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Sorry Ohio Drivers, You Have to Stay at that Red Light

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Traffic lights installation art

Traffic light street art in London
Image: Grant Nicholson

Ohio was abuzz earlier this year when the state’s House of Representatives passed a law that would technically make it legal to run a red light. Was Ohio finally admitting to its crazy and dissolving into madness?

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Not quite, as the law was actually kind of complicated and only allowed for cars to ignore a red light if the signal was malfunctioning. It sounded like a good plan on the surface, as we all have experienced the annoyance of a light not recognizing your car and having to sit and wait much longer than necessary. This is especially annoying late at night, when there are no cars around (but if you were to run the light, you know a cop would magically appear). The law did stipulate that if an accident occurred, or if the driver was pulled over, it would be up to the driver to prove that the light was malfunctioning, so it wasn’t a catch-all excuse for just ignoring the signal.

While that all seems pretty straightforward, the new law seemed very confusing to Ohio drivers, if local news coverage is any indication. Earlier this week, Ohio’s government took action and modified the law to make it only apply to bicycle riders. It’s very feasible that a bike traveling on a roadway might not have the size or weight to trigger a red light sensor in the road, but of course the intersection still has to be empty and the bike must move safely.

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We apologize to the Ohio drivers that might have been looking forward to running red lights in the near future. If you want to have a chance to do that legally, you need to swap your four wheels for two.

News Sources: Dayton Daily News and WKRN