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(a) No person shall operate a vehicle on or onto a public street or highway that is temporarily covered by a rise in water level, including groundwater or an overflow of water, and that is clearly marked by a sign that specifies that the road is closed due to the rise in water level and that any person who uses the closed portion of the road may be fined up to two thousand dollars ($2,000).
(b) A person who is issued a citation for a violation of subsection (a) hereof is not permitted to enter a written plea of guilty and waive the person’s right to contest the citation in court, but instead must appear in person in the proper court to answer the charge.
(c) (1) Whoever violates subsection (a) hereof is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
(2) In addition to the financial sanctions authorized or required under Section 501.99 and to any costs otherwise authorized or required under any provision of law, the court imposing the sentence upon an offender who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of subsection (a) hereof shall order the offender to reimburse one or more rescuers for the cost any such rescurer incurred in rescuing the person, excluding any cost of transporting the rescued person to a hospital or other facility for treatment of injuries, up to a cumulative maximum of two thousand dollars ($2,000). If more than one rescuer was involved in the emergency response, the court shall allocate the reimbursement proportionately, according to the cost each rescuer incurred. A financial sanction imposed under this section is a judgment in favor of the rescuer and, subject to a determination of indigency under division (B) of Ohio R.C. 2929.28, a rescuer may collect the financial sanction in the same manner as provided in Ohio R.C. 2929.28.
(d) As used in this section:
(1) “Emergency medical service organization”, “firefighting agency” and “private fire company” have the same meanings as in Ohio R.C. 9.60.
(2) “Rescuer” means a state agency, political subdivision, firefighting service, private fire company, or emergency medical service organization.