Ohio's Point System For Traffic Violations
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Preface

Chapter 1
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Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
- Ohio's Financial Responsibility Law
- Ohio's Comparative Negligence Law
- Child Safety Restraint Laws
- Ohio's Safety Belt Law
- Auto and Homeowners Insurance Cancellation Laws
- Speed Limit Laws
Ohio's Point System for Traffic Violations
- Graduated Licensing Law
- Ohio's Inspection Law for Salvage and Self-Assembled Vehicles
- Banking Issues/Privacy Provisions of Gramm-Leach-Bliley
- The McCarran-Ferguson Act: Regulating the Industry
Chapter 7
Glossary
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The results of driving irresponsibly include accidents and fines, and could affect your auto insurance premium. In fact, one at-fault accident can result in up to three years of surcharges. More than one could place you in a higher risk category or even cause nonrenewal.

Points charged for traffic violations

In July, 1996, Ohio's speed limits were raised to 65 mph on designated urban interstates and rural highways for passenger vehicles and commercial buses. As a result, the point system for moving violations was updated by the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Any Ohio driver convicted of a traffic violation is assessed a specific number of penalty points according to the type of violation. If convicted of a second or subsequent offense within two years after the first violation, the point assessment for the new violation is added to the driver's previous total. For example, if you were cited for speeding in excess of the speed limit and were given two points for the violation, and within two years were cited for drag racing, your total point accumulation would be eight.

The points for specific moving violations follow.

Six-point violations

  • Homicide by vehicle
  • Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or any drug of abuse
  • Failure to stop and disclose identity at the scene of a crash
  • Willingly fleeing or eluding a law enforcement officer
  • Drag racing
  • Operating a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner
  • Operating a motor vehicle while your license is under suspension or revocation
  • Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony, or committing any crime punishable as a felony under Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws

Four-point violations

  • Willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property
  • Operating a vehicle after under-age alcohol consumption

Two-point violations

  • All moving violations except those pertaining to load limits
  • Operating a motor vehicle in violation of a restriction imposed by the Registrar of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Speeding violations

Violating any prima facie speed limit (safe for existing road conditions) is a two-point violation. Violations of the absolute speed limit come under a progressive point system.

  • First offense: Two points if convicted of a violation in excess of 75 mph
  • Second offense within a year: One point for each full 5 mph increment, excluding the first 5 mph over the posted speed limit
  • Third and subsequent offenses within a year: Two points for each full 5 mph increment, excluding the first 5 mph over the posted speed limit

Point system for 55 mph speed limit areas

The top chart below shows the progressive point system for areas with a posted speed limit of 55 mph, including vehicles weighing more than 8,000 pounds.

Point system for 65 mph speed limit areas

Motorists receive two points if they exceed 75 mph on their first offense in areas posting a maximum speed of 65 mph. If a driver violates the law again within a one-year period, the graduated point system is enforced. This point system is only enforced on Ohio interstates outside of urban areas, and applies to cars and other vehicles weighing under 8,000 pounds. The second chart below provides the graduated point system for 65 mph zones.

Note: These charts show the points assigned as recommended by statute. Judges have the final jurisdiction as to the actual number of points issued.

Penalties

A driver having six points will receive a letter from the Registrar of Motor Vehicles indicating the following penalties should 12 or more points be accumulated within a two-year period:

  • Suspension of driving privileges for six months
  • Proof of financial responsibility must be filed with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and maintained for five years. Your insurance company will notify the BMV if, within the five-year monitoring period, your policy lapses, is nonrenewed or is terminated.
  • Upon completion of suspension, a remedial driving course approved by the Director of Public Safety must be taken. The course must include a minimum of 25% of its classroom hours devoted to instruction on driver attitude.
  • A new driving test must be taken

Driving under suspension

Operating a motor vehicle while a license is under suspension is a first degree misdemeanor. If convicted, the driver is subject to a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail, or both. The violator may also be sentenced to an additional one-year drivers license suspension.

Two-point "credit"

A driver who accumulates more than five but no more than 11 points for traffic violations is eligible for a one-time, two-point credit by completing an approved remedial driving course.

The two-point "credit" offered through this program doesn't erase any convictions from a person's official driving record and doesn't eliminate any prior convictions that an insurance company may take into consideration in premium assessments. All convictions remain on the driver's record, but the points needed for the 12-point suspension are extended by two.

Source: Ohio Department of Public Safety's Digest of Motor Vehicle Laws

The home of the first manual "stop and go" sign is Detroit in 1914. Later that year, the first electric signal was installed in Cleveland.
(Response Insurance, Car & Driving History Quiz)

Each year 1.9 million moving violations are reported to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. They range from speeding to DUIs.
(Columbus Dispatch, 9/18/00)