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(a) (1) When one vehicle is towing another vehicle, the drawbar or other connection shall be of sufficient strength to pull all the weight towed thereby, and the drawbar or other connection shall not exceed 15 feet from one vehicle to the other, except the connection between any two vehicles transporting poles, pipe, machinery, or other objects of structural nature which cannot readily be dismembered.
(2) When one vehicle is towing another and the connection consists only of a chain, rope, or cable, there shall be displayed upon such connection a white flag or cloth not less than 12 inches square.
(3) In addition to such drawbar or other connection, each trailer and each semitrailer which is not connected to a commercial tractor by means of a fifth wheel shall be coupled with stay chains or cables to the vehicle by which it is being drawn. These chains or cables shall be of sufficient size and strength to prevent the towed vehicle’s parting from the drawing vehicle in case the drawbar or other connection should break or become disengaged. In case of a loaded pole trailer, the connecting pole to the drawing vehicle shall be coupled to the drawing vehicle with stay chains or cables of sufficient size and strength to prevent the towed vehicle’s parting from the drawing vehicle.
(4) Every trailer or semitrailer, except pole and cable trailers and pole and cable dollies operated by a public utility as defined in Ohio R.C. 5727.01, shall be equipped with a coupling device which shall be so designed and constructed that the trailer will follow substantially in the path of the vehicle drawing it, without whipping or swerving from side to side. Vehicles used to transport agricultural produce or agricultural production materials between a local place of storage and supply and the farm, when drawn or towed on a street or highway at a speed of 25 miles per hour or less, and vehicles designed and used exclusively to transport a boat between a place of storage and a marina, or in and around a marina, when drawn or towed on a street or highway for a distance of no more than ten miles and at a speed of 25 miles per hour or less, shall have a drawbar or other connection, including the hitch mounted on the towing vehicle, which shall be of sufficient strength to pull all the weight towed thereby. Only one such vehicle used to transport agricultural produce or agricultural production materials as provided in this section may be towed or drawn at one time except as follows:
A. An agricultural tractor may tow or draw more than one such vehicle;
B. A pickup truck or straight truck designed by the manufacturer to carry a load of not less than one-half ton and not more than two tons may tow or draw not more than two such vehicles that are being used to transport agricultural produce from the farm to a local place of storage. No vehicle being so towed by such a pickup truck or straight truck shall be considered to be a motor vehicle.
(b) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense; on a second offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; on each subsequent offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.
(c) Exception to size and weight restrictions.
(1) The size and weight provisions of this chapter and Ohio R.C. Chapter 5577 do not apply to a person who is engaged in the initial towing or removal or a wrecked or disabled motor vehicle from the site of an emergency on a public highway where the vehicle became wrecked or disabled to the nearest site where the vehicle can be brought into conformance with the requirements of this chapter and Ohio R.C. Chapter 5577 or to the nearest qualified repair facility.
(2) Any subsequent towing of a wrecked or disabled vehicle shall comply with the size and weight provisions of this chapter and Ohio R.C. Chapter 5577.
(3) No court shall impose any penalty prescribed in Ohio R.C. 5577.99, or any substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, or the civil liability established in Ohio R.C. 5577.12 upon a person towing or removing a vehicle in the manner described in division (c)(1) of this section.
(Am. Ord. O2007-23, passed 3-20-2007)