Safety Laws in Ohio

Child Car Seat Laws

Ohio law requires children between the ages of 4 years old and 15 years old to be properly restrained by either a child seat, booster seat, or seat belt any time they are being transported by a motor vehicle. (This doesn't apply to children riding in taxicabs or public safety vehicles.)

Drivers who violate this law face a misdemeanor charge and at least a $25 fine.

Weight and Height Specifics

  • Your child must be restrained in a federal approved safety seat or booster (each placed in the back seat) until he is 8 years old, or is at least 4 ft 9 in tall.

Seat Belt Rules for Front-Seat Riders

Drivers and front-seat passengers must wear a seat belt, even if air bags are available. Drivers can get hit with a $30 fine, and passengers with a $20 fine, for ignoring the rule. However, since disobeying the seat belt rule isn't considered to be a moving offense, no points will be applied to a driving record.

Cell Phones and Texting

All drivers younger than 18 years old are banned from using cellphones while behind the wheel. And all drivers, regardless of age, are banned from texting.


It's illegal to drive a motor vehicle wearing earphones, headsets, or earplugs in both ears.



Anyone 18 years old years old who is operating a moped must wear a helmet and protective eyewear.


Motorcycle riders of all ages must wear protective eyewear. Motorcycle riders under 18 years old year old must also wear a helmet.

If you have less than one year of experience driving a motorcycle, you must wear a helmet, regardless of your age.

Also, if you're a passenger and the driver is required to wear a helmet, you must wear one, too, no matter how old you are.

Reporting Unsafe/Drunk Drivers

Ohioans should use their discretion in this regard, but if you suspect a driver is under the influence, call (800) GRAB-DUI to report the driver to law enforcement. You may also call 911 to report this, or to report someone who is driving so dangerously that lives appear to be in imminent danger.

Headlight Rules

If conditions warrant the use of windshield wipers, motorists are required to turn on their headlights.

You must always use your headlights between sunset and sunrise, during periods of rain, fog, or snow, and any time conditions make it impossible to clearly see more than 1000 feet ahead.

Leaving a Child Unattended in a Vehicle

If you leave a child unattended in a vehicle, especially during periods of extreme heat or cold, it could be considered child endangerment. Under Ohio law, this is when a parent or guardian decides to act recklessly by disregarding a substantial risk.

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