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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ohio law takes turn for worse with error [Dispatch]


A little-noticed change in an Ohio traffic law this year made a dangerous left turn perfectly legal.
The change was a mistake — a short phrase that should have been in the original bill is missing. And the lawmaker who introduced the bill last year said yesterday that he would work with the Ohio Department of Transportation to correct it.
The old state law allowed drivers on a one-way street to stop at a red light, then turn left onto another one-way street if no other vehicles were coming.
That’s still legal. But the new law, which took effect in April, allows vehicles on a one-way street to stop at the red light and turn left onto a two-way street as well.
“We have some concern about that,” Columbus City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr. said, when told of the new law last week. “That means you are crossing a lane of traffic.”
He hadn’t heard of the change before. Nor had Columbus police, though no one from the Police Division would speak on the record about it. The change was news to AAA Ohio yesterday, and would be to most drivers, spokeswoman Kimberly Schwind said. That could be dangerous. “People don’t know about this and won’t be expecting it,” she said.

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