434.03  MAXIMUM SPEED LIMITS; ASSURED CLEAR DISTANCE AHEAD.
   (a)   No person shall operate a motor vehicle at a speed greater or less than is reasonable or proper, having due regard for the traffic, surface, and width of the street or highway and any other conditions, and no person shall drive any motor vehicle in and upon any street or highway at a greater speed than will permit him or her to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.
   (b)   It is prima facie lawful, in the absence of a lower limit declared or established pursuant to this section by the Director of Transportation or local authorities, for the operator of a motor vehicle to operate the same at a speed not exceeding the following:
      (1)   A.   Twenty miles per hour in school zones during school recess and while children are going to or leaving school during the opening or closing hours, and when 20 miles per hour school speed limit signs are erected, except that on controlled-access highways and expressways, if the right-of-way line fence has been erected without pedestrian opening, the speed shall be governed by division (b)(4) of this section, and on freeways, if the right-of- way line fence has been erected without pedestrian opening, the speed shall be governed by divisions (b)(10) and (b)(11) of this section.  The end of every school zone may be marked by a sign indicating the end of the zone.  Nothing in this section or in the Manual and Specifications for a Uniform System of Traffic-Control Devices shall be construed to require school zones to be indicated by signs equipped with flashing or other lights, or giving other special notice of the hours in which the school zone speed limit is in effect.
         B.   As used in this section, “school” means any school chartered under Ohio R.C. 3301.16 and any nonchartered school that during the preceding year filed with the Department of Education in compliance with O.A.C. 3301-35-08, a copy of the school’s report for the parents of the school’s pupils certifying that the school meets State minimum standards for nonchartered, nontax-supported schools and presents evidence of this filing to the jurisdiction from which it is requesting the establishment of a school zone.  “School” also includes a special elementary school that in writing requests the County Engineer to create a school zone at the location of the school. Upon receipt of such written request, the County Engineer shall create a school zone at that location by erecting appropriate signs.
         C.   As used in this section, "school zone" means that portion of a street or highway passing a school fronting upon the street or highway that is encompassed by projecting the school property lines to the fronting street or highway, and also includes that portion of a State highway.  Upon request from local authorities for streets and highways under their jurisdiction and that portion of a State highway under the jurisdiction of the Director of Transportation, the Director may extend the traditional school zone boundaries.  The distances in divisions (b)(1)C.1. through 3. below shall not exceed 300 feet per approach per direction, and are bounded by whichever of the following distances or combination thereof the Director approves as most appropriate:
            1.   The distance encompassed by projecting the school building lines normal to the fronting highway and extending a distance of 300 feet on each approach direction;
            2.   The distance encompassed by projecting the school property lines intersecting the fronting highway and extending a distance of 300 feet on each approach direction;
            3.   The distance encompassed by the special marking of the pavement for a principal school pupil crosswalk plus a distance of 300 feet on each approach direction of the highway.
         D.   Nothing in this section shall be construed to invalidate the Director's initial action on August 9, 1976, establishing all school zones at the traditional school zone boundaries defined by projecting school property lines, except when those boundaries are extended as provided in divisions (b)(1)A. and (b)(1)C. of this section.
         E.   As used in this division, "crosswalk" has the meaning given that term in Ohio R.C. 4511.01(LL)(2).
         F.   The Director may, upon request by resolution of the Legislative Authority and upon submission by the Municipality of such engineering, traffic, and other information as the Director considers necessary, designate a school zone on any portion of a State route lying within the Municipality that includes a crosswalk customarily used by children going to or leaving a school during recess and opening and closing hours, whenever the distance, as measured in a straight line, from the school property line nearest the crosswalk to the nearest point of a crosswalk is no more than 1,320 feet. Such a school zone shall include the distance encompassed by the crosswalk and extending 300 feet in each appropriate direction of the State route.
         G.   As used in this section, “special elementary school” means a school that meets all of the following:
            1.   It is not chartered and does not receive tax revenue from any source.
            2.   It does not educate children beyond the eighth grade.
            3.   It is located outside the limits of a municipal corporation.
            4.   A majority of the total number of students enrolled at the school are not related by blood.
            5.   The principal or other person in charge of the special elementary school annually sends a report to the superintendent of the school district in which the special elementary school is located indicating the total number of students enrolled at the school, but otherwise the principal or other person in charge does not report any other information or data to the superintendent.
      (2)   Twenty-five miles per hour in all other portions of the Municipality, except on state routes outside business districts, through highways outside business districts, and alleys;
      (3)   Thirty-five miles per hour on all State routes or through highways within the Municipality outside business districts, except as provided in divisions (b)(4) and (6) of this section;
      (4)   Fifty miles per hour on controlled-access highways and expressways within the municipality, except as provided in divisions (b)(12), (b)(13), (b)(14), (b)(15), and (b)(16) of this section;
      (5)   Fifty-five miles per hour on highways outside the municipality, other than highways within island jurisdictions as provided in division (b)(8) of this section, highways as provided in divisions (b)(9) and (b)(10) of this section, and highways, expressways and freeways as provided in divisions (b)(12), (b)(13), (b)(14), and (b)(16) of this section;
      (6)   Fifty miles per hour on State routes within the Municipality outside urban districts unless a lower prima facie speed is established as further provided in this section;
      (7)   Fifteen miles per hour on all alleys within the Municipality;
      (8)   Thirty-five miles per hour on highways outside the Municipality that are within an island jurisdiction;
      (9)   Thirty-five miles per hour on through highways, except state routes, that are outside municipal corporations and that are within a national park with boundaries extending through two or more counties;
      (10)   Sixty miles per hour on two-lane state routes outside municipal corporations as established by the Director under R.C. § 4511.21(H)(2);
      (11)   Fifty-five miles per hour on freeways with paved shoulders inside the municipality, other than freeways as provided in divisions (b)(14) and (b)(16) of this section;
      (12)   Sixty miles per hour on rural expressways with traffic control signals and on all portions of rural divided highways, except as provided in divisions (b)(13) and (b)(14) of this section;
      (13)   Sixty-five miles per hour on all rural expressways without traffic control signals;
      (14)   Seventy miles per hour on all rural freeways;
      (15)   Fifty-five miles per hour on all portions of freeways or expressways in congested areas as determined by the Director and that are located within a municipal corporation or within an interstate freeway outerbelt, except as provided in division (b)(16) of this section;
      (16)   Sixty-five miles per hour on all portions of freeways or expressways without traffic control signals in urbanized areas.
   (c)   It is prima facie unlawful for any person to exceed any of the speed limitations in divisions (b)(1)A., (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(4), (b)(6), (b)(7), (b)(8), and (b)(9) of this section or any declared or established pursuant to this section by the Director or local authorities and it is unlawful for any person to exceed any of the speed limitations in division (d) of this section. No person shall be convicted of more than one violation of this section for the same conduct, although violations of more than one provision of this section may be charged in the alternative in a single affidavit.
   (d)   No person shall operate a motor vehicle upon a street or highway as follows:
      (1)   At a speed exceeding 55 miles per hour, except upon a two-lane state route as provided in division (b)(10) of this section and upon a highway, expressway or freeway as provided in divisions (b)(12), (b)(13), (b)(14), and (b)(16) of this section;
      (2)   At a speed exceeding 60 miles per hour upon a two-lane state route as provided in division (b)(10) of this section and upon a highway as provided in division (b)(12) of this section;
      (3)   At a speed exceeding 65 miles per hour upon an expressway as provided in division (b)(13) of this section or upon a freeway as provided in division (b)(16) of this section, except upon a freeway as provided in division (b)(14) of this section;
      (4)   At a speed exceeding 70 miles per hour upon a freeway as provided in division (b)(14) of this section;
      (5)   At a speed exceeding the posted speed limit upon a highway, expressway or freeway for which the Director has determined and declared a speed limit pursuant to R.C. § 4511.21(I)(2) or (L)(2).
   (e)   Pursuant to Ohio R.C. 4511.21(E), in every charge of violating this section, the affidavit and warrant shall specify the time, place and speed at which the defendant is alleged to have driven, and in charges made in reliance upon division (c) of this section also the speed which division (b)(1)A., (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(4), (b)(6), (b)(7), (b)(8), or (b)(9) of, or a limit declared or established pursuant to, this section or Ohio R.C. 4511.21 declares is prima facie lawful at the time and place of such alleged violation, except that in affidavits where a person is alleged to have driven at a greater speed than will permit the person to bring the vehicle to stop within the assured clear distance ahead, the affidavit and warrant need not specify the speed at which the defendant is alleged to have driven.
   (f)   Pursuant to Ohio R.C. 4511.21(F), when a speed in excess of both a prima facie limitation and a limitation in division (d) of this section is alleged, the defendant shall be charged in a single affidavit, alleging a single act, with a violation indicated of both division (b)(1)A., (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(4), (b)(6), (b)(7), (b)(8), or (b)(9) of this section, or of a limit declared or established pursuant to this section or Ohio R.C. 4511.21 by the Director or local authorities, and of the limitation in division (d) of this section. If the court finds a violation of division (b)(1)A., (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(4), (b)(6), (b)(7), (b)(8), or (b)(9), or a limit declared or established pursuant to this section or Ohio R.C. 4511.21 has occurred, it shall enter judgment of conviction under such division and dismiss the charge under division (d) of this section. If it finds no violation of division (b)(1)A., (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(4), (b)(6), (b)(7), (b)(8), or (b)(9), or a limit declared or established pursuant to this section or Ohio R.C. 4511.21, it shall then consider whether the evidence supports a conviction under division (d) of this section.
   (g)   Pursuant to Ohio R.C. 4511.21(G), points shall be assessed for a violation of a limitation under division (d) of this section in accordance with Ohio R.C. 4510.036.
(ORC 4511.21(A) - (G))
   (h)   Whenever, in accordance with Ohio R.C. 4511.21(H) through (N), the maximum prima facie speed limitations as established herein have been altered, either higher or lower, and the appropriate signs giving notice have been erected as required, operators of motor vehicles shall be governed by the speed limitations set forth on such signs.  It is prima facie unlawful for any person to exceed the speed limits posted upon such signs.
   (i)   As used in this section:
      (1)   "Commercial bus" means a motor vehicle designed for carrying more than nine passengers and used for the transportation of persons for compensation.
      (2)   “Divided” means a roadway having two or more travel lanes for vehicles moving in opposite directions and that is separated by a median of more than four feet, excluding turn lanes.
      (3)   “Interstate system” has the same meaning as in 23 U.S.C. 101.
      (4)   “Noncommercial bus” includes but is not limited to a school bus, or a motor vehicle operated solely for the transportation of persons associated with a charitable or nonprofit organization.
      (5)   “Outerbelt.” A portion of a freeway that is part of the interstate system and is located in the outer vicinity of a major municipal corporation or group of municipal corporations, as designated by the Director.
      (6)   “Rural” means an area outside urbanized areas and outside of a business or urban district, and areas that extend within urbanized areas where the roadway characteristics remain mostly unchanged from those outside the urbanized areas.
      (7)   “Urbanized area” has the same meaning as in 23 U.S.C. § 101.
(R.C. § 4511.21(O))
   (j)   Penalty.
      (1)   A violation of any provision of this section is one of the following:
         A.   Except as otherwise provided in divisions (j)(1)B., (j)(1) C., and (j)(2) and (j)(3) of this section, a minor misdemeanor;
         B.   If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to two violations of any provision of  this section, Ohio R.C.  4511.21, or any provision of any other municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to any provision of that section, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree;
         C.   If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to three or more violations of any provision of this section, Ohio R.C. 4511.21, or any provision of any other municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to any provision of that section, a misdemeanor of the third degree.
      (2)   If the offender has not previously been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of any provision of this section, Ohio R.C.  4511.21, or any other municipal ordinance that is substantially similar to any provision of that section, and operated a motor vehicle faster than 35 miles an hour in a business district  of the municipality, faster than 50 miles an hour in other portions of the municipality, or faster than 35 miles an hour in a school zone during recess or while children are going to or leaving school during the school's opening or closing hours, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
      (3)   Notwithstanding division (j)(1) of this section, if the offender operated a motor vehicle in a construction zone where a sign was then posted in accordance with Ohio R.C. 4511.98, the court, in addition to all other penalties provided by law, shall impose upon the offender a fine of two times the usual amount imposed for the violation. No court shall impose a fine of two times the usual amount imposed for the violation upon an offender if the offender alleges, in an affidavit filed with the court prior to the offender's sentencing, that the offender is indigent and is unable to pay the fine imposed pursuant to this division and if the court determines that the offender is an indigent person and unable to pay the fine.
      (4)   If the offender commits the offense while distracted and the distracting activity is a contributing factor to the commission of the offense, the offender is subject to the additional fine established under § 408.02(b).
(ORC 4511.21(P))