Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2021

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What state has the strictest laws? As it is true with many states, Ohio has worked hard in the recent past to pass legislation that would make driving on the roads of the state safer, making it one of the stricter states. Several of the laws were passed not only on common sense but on statistics of the dangers of driving.

Ohio auto insurance rates are directly influenced by the costs of the accident claims submitted each year. If there are fewer claims, then auto insurance rates decline for everyone since the cost of running an insurance company also decreases when the number of collisions shrinks.

Interested in finding better auto insurance rates for you or your family in Ohio? Even if you have a poor driving record from breaking Ohio’s strict driving laws, put your ZIP code into our online quote generator to find the best auto insurance rates for you.

You can also check out our insurance companies page, which covers large and small companies depending on numerous factors including rates.

This article will cover topics relating to Ohio traffic laws right of way (stay in the right lane whenever possible), Ohio traffic laws speeding (check out our Frequently Asked Question section for a little bit about reckless driving), Ohio 17-year-old driving laws, and new Ohio driving laws.

Strict Driving Safety Laws in Ohio

Some of the laws that Ohio has passed in an attempt to increase safety and encourage fewer accidents include seat belt laws, helmet laws, and speeding laws. Read on to see the explanation of each law. We’ve collected specific details of the Ohio regulations from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Ohio Seat Belt Law

Nearly all of the 50 states, Ohio included, now have a mandatory seat belt law. Even states that do not require seat belts to be worn invest money in seat belt awareness campaigns. The statistics prove over and over again that the use of seat belts minimizes damages and fatalities in collisions. Drivers who break the seatbelt law face $30 fines, and passengers face $20 fines.

Ohio Booster Seat Law

It has been proven that height matters in an accident and children are more susceptible to being hurt if they are not in the proper restraints. Take a look at the table below to see the details of Ohio’s booster seat law from the IIHS.

Ohio Car Seat Laws

Ohio Car Seat LawsDetails
Child Restraint Required: 3-years-old or younger or less than 40 lbs
Child Restraint or Booster Required: 4 to 7-year-olds (must weigh more than 40 lbs and be under 57 inches tall)
Adult Seat Belt Permissible: 8 to 14-year-olds
Maximum Fine (1st Offense): $75
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It is recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that children use booster seats until they are eight years and at least 4” 9’ tall. Ohio supports that by making it legally mandatory.

Ohio Distracted Driving Law

Is Ohio a hands-free state? There is no hand-held ban in Ohio for drivers over 18, but Ohio does have laws banning texting while driving for all ages. Ohio drivers cannot legally text while operating a motor vehicle.

Ohio Helmet Law

In Ohio, any motorcyclist under 18-years-old must wear a helmet, as well as new motorcyclists who have less than a year of licensure. All motorcycle passengers under 18 and ones riding with a new motorcyclist are also required to wear helmets.

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Ohio Youth Driving Law

Ohio has also implemented driving restrictions for teenagers. Take a look at them below.

Ohio Teenage Driver Laws
Ohio Teenage Driver LawsLearner Intermediate Unrestricted
Minimum Age15 years and 6 months16 NA
Mandatory Holding Period6 monthsNANA
Nighttime Restrictions NANo driving between midnight to 6 a.m. Intermediate restrictions may be lifted after two years if driver is 18
Passenger Restrictions (family members excepted)NA No more than 1 passenger for 1st yearIntermediate restrictions may be lifted after one year if driver is 17
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Experience is the only way to get better at driving and some states feel like teens should get plenty of daytime experience before attempting to drive after dark.

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Concerns About Ohio’s Driving Laws

However, many residents are concerned about whether or not Ohio has become lax in its restrictions. The Ohio Department of Insurance wants to increase safety on Ohio roadways by making it one of the strictest states for speeding, but a recent change has raised concerns. What is the new driving law in Ohio? A speed limit increase to 70 MPH on one of Ohio’s major highways has supporters suggesting that all of the main highways match that limit.

Those opposing this idea are worried that increasing the speed limit will also increase the number of accidents around the state. Legislators and residents in Ohio will continue to work towards decreasing accidents and, ultimately, decreasing auto insurance rates for their area.

Due to Ohio’s strict driving safety laws, many people in Ohio might believe they have great insurance rates compared to other states. However, even if a driver has a great rate, there are generally ways that can be improved on.

Frequently Asked Questions: Strict Driving Laws and Punishments

Now that we’ve covered some safety driving laws in Ohio, let’s get to your frequently asked questions. They include:

  • Which state has the strictest driving laws?
  • Is driving barefoot in Ohio illegal?
  • What state has the fastest drivers?

And more. Let’s get started.

#1 – Which state has the strictest driving laws?

While the state with the strictest driving laws changes year by year, there are some common attributes in the states with the strictest driving laws. They include a lower speed limit when it comes to highways and interstates, harsher penalties for drunk drivers and distracted drivers, and requirements for seat belts and booster seats.

#2 – Can a 16-year-old drive alone in Ohio?

If you have a driver’s license, generally yes. However, a 16-year-old is not allowed to drive between 1 AM and 5 AM. This time period is often considered the most dangerous time to drive in general as there are larger percentages of drunk or drowsy drivers compared to other time periods.

#3 – Is driving barefoot in Ohio illegal?

There is no specific law banning someone from driving while barefoot, but if a driver were to do so and get into an accident or be pulled over for an infraction, a police officer might cite driving barefoot as a factor in that transgression.

#4 – How many miles over the speed limit is reckless driving in Ohio?

Often, going 20 or more miles per hour over the speed limit is considered reckless driving, though that definition accounts for more than just driving speed. Weaving in and out of traffic, being aggressive, not adhering to directions in construction or school zones, can all lead to a reckless driving charge, which may cost a driver their license.

#5 – What is the strictest state?

For driving, we’ve already seen that the state with the strictest driving laws varies year to year. There are some states that stand out year after year when it comes to driving, often having harsh traffic safety laws. These include Minnesota, Massachusetts, D.C., and New York.

#6 – What state has the fastest drivers?

Speed limit tolerance by state varies, resulting in some states having faster drivers. Texas is ranked No. 1 as the state with the fastest drivers in the country. The environment, with highways stretching for hundreds of miles, and higher speed limits compared to many other states allow Texans to drive faster, even if it comes at the cost of accidents.

#7 – Do 18-year-olds have a curfew in Ohio?

No, 18-year-olds do not have a curfew in Ohio. However, there may be driving restrictions if an 18-year-old does not have a license free of restrictions.

#8 – Do you need your temps if you’re 18 in Ohio?

No matter what age you are, if you’re in the restricted license part of your driving history, then you’ll need your temps. However, if you have graduated to a full license with no restrictions, then you do not need to have temps.

Now that you’ve learned more about Ohio’s strict driving laws, to get the best Ohio insurance rate in your ZIP code, just enter your information into our online quote comparison tool to receive quotes from local insurance companies in your area.