4511.454 Reporting failure of motor vehicle operator to yield right-of-way to public safety vehicle.

(A) When the failure of a motor vehicle operator to yield the right-of-way to a public safety vehicle as required by division (A) of section 4511.45 of the Revised Code impedes the ability of the public safety vehicle to respond to an emergency, any emergency personnel in the public safety vehicle may report the license plate number and a general description of the vehicle and the operator of the vehicle to the law enforcement agency exercising jurisdiction over the area where the alleged violation occurred.

(B)

(1) Upon receipt of a report under division (A) of this section, the law enforcement agency may conduct an investigation to attempt to determine or confirm the identity of the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation.

(2) If the identity of the operator at the time of an alleged violation of division (A) of section 4511.45 of the Revised Code is established, the law enforcement agency has probable cause to issue either a written warning or a citation for that violation, and the agency shall issue a written warning or a citation to the operator.

(3) If the identity of the operator of the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation cannot be established, the law enforcement agency may issue a written warning to the person who owned the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation. However, in the case of a leased or rented vehicle, the law enforcement agency shall issue the written warning to the person who leased or rented the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation.

(C)

(1) Whoever violates division (A) of section 4511.45 of the Revised Code based on a report filed under division (A) of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and shall be fined one hundred fifty dollars.

(2) If a person who is issued a citation for a violation of division (A) of section 4511.45 of the Revised Code based on a report filed under division (A) of this section does not enter a written plea of guilty and does not waive the person's right to contest the citation but instead appears in person in the proper court to answer the charge, the trier of fact cannot find beyond a reasonable doubt that the person committed that violation unless the emergency personnel who filed the report appears in person in the court and testifies.

(D) As used in this section:

(1) "License plate" includes any temporary license placard issued under section 4503.182 of the Revised Code or similar law of another jurisdiction.

(2) "Public safety vehicle" does not include an unmarked public safety vehicle or a vehicle used by a public law enforcement officer or other person sworn to enforce the criminal and traffic laws of the state or a vehicle used by the motor carrier enforcement unit for the enforcement of orders and rules of the public utilities commission.



Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 123, §1, eff. 9/14/2016.