(A) No person shall operate a vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar over any bridge or other elevated structure constituting a part of a highway at a speed which is greater than the maximum speed that can be maintained with safety to such bridge or structure, when such structure is posted with signs as provided in this section.
The department of transportation upon request from any local authority shall, or upon its own initiative may, conduct an investigation of any bridge or other elevated structure constituting a part of a highway, and if it finds that such structure cannot with safety withstand traffic traveling at the speed otherwise permissible under sections 4511.01 to 4511.85 and 4511.98 of the Revised Code, the department shall determine and declare the maximum speed of traffic which such structure can withstand, and shall cause or permit suitable signs stating such maximum speed to be erected and maintained at a distance of at least one hundred feet before each end of such structure.
Upon the trial of any person charged with a violation of this section, proof of said determination of the maximum speed by the department and the existence of said signs shall constitute prima-facie evidence of the maximum speed which can be maintained with safety to such bridge or structure.
(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.
Effective Date: 01-01-2004 .