Cleveland Heights Ohio Bicycle Laws

By Kenneth J Knabe- Greater Cleveland’s Bicycle Accident & Safety Attorney representing fellow cyclists injured by unsafe drivers. 14222 Madison Avenue, Lakewood, Ohio 44107. Phone: 216 228 7200; knabe@brownandszaller.com; www.brownandszaller.com. Attorney Knabe is a fellow cyclist, local bike club member and supporter, personal injury trial lawyer and corporate sponsor and co-author of the “Bikes and the Law” section for Bikecleveland.org.

 

As a fellow cyclist it is important to know the “rules of the road.” Cleveland Heights,  Ohio’s city ordinances pertaining to bicycles are set forth below. Knowledge of your local bike laws empowers you to ride safer!

 

CHAPTER 373
Bicycles and Motorcycles

373.01   Code application to bicycles.

373.02   Riding upon seats; handle bars; helmets and glasses.

373.03   Attaching bicycle or sled to vehicle.

373.04   Riding bicycles and motorcycles abreast.    

373.05   Signal device on bicycle.

373.06   Lights and reflector on bicycle; brakes.

337.02  Lighted lights; measurement of distance and heights

373.07   Riding bicycle on right side of roadway; obedience to traffic rules; passing.

373.08   Reckless operation; control, course and speed.

373.09   Parking of bicycle; sidewalk riding.

373.10   Motorized bicycle operation, equipment and license.

373.11   Registration and tag required.

373.12   Application for registration; fee.

373.13   Registration card; metal tag.

373.14   Alteration of frame number or license plate.

373.15   Second-hand bicycle dealers.

373.16   Removal of metal tag or other form of license.

373.17   Impounding for violation by minor.

373.18   Impounding for failure to register or have a license tag on bicycle.

 

 

373.01 CODE APPLICATION TO BICYCLES.

(a)   The provisions of this Traffic Code that are applicable to bicycles apply whenever a bicycle is operated upon any street or upon any path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles.

(b)   Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, a bicycle operator who violates any section of this Traffic Code described in subsection (a) of this section that is applicable to bicycles may be issued a ticket, citation or summons by a law enforcement officer for the violation in the same manner as the operator of a motor vehicle would be cited for the same violation.  A person who commits any such violation while operating a bicycle shall not have any points assessed against the person’s driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, temporary instruction permit, or probationary license under Ohio R.C. 4510.036.

(c)   Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, in the case of a violation of any section of this Traffic Code described in subsection (a) of this section by a bicycle operator or by a motor vehicle operator when the trier of fact finds that the violation by the motor vehicle operator endangered the lives of bicycle riders at the time of the violation, the court, notwithstanding any provision of this Traffic Code to the contrary, may require the bicycle operator or motor vehicle operator to take and successfully complete a bicycling skills course approved by the court in addition to or in lieu of any penalty otherwise prescribed by the Traffic Code for that violation.

(d)   Subsections (b) and (c) of this section do not apply to violations of Section 333.01 of this Traffic Code.  (ORC 4511.52)

(e)   The provisions of this Traffic Code shall apply to bicycles except those which by their nature are not applicable.

 

373.02 RIDING UPON SEATS; HANDLE BARS; HELMETS AND GLASSES.

(a)   For purposes of this section “snowmobile” has the same meaning as given that term in Ohio R.C 4519.01.

(b)   No person operating a bicycle shall ride other than upon or astride the permanent and regular seat attached thereto, or carry any other person upon such bicycle other than upon a firmly attached and regular seat thereon, and no person shall ride upon a bicycle other than upon such a firmly attached and regular seat.

(c)   No person operating a motorcycle shall ride other than upon or astride the permanent and regular seat or saddle attached thereto, or carry any other person upon such motorcycle other than upon a firmly attached and regular seat or saddle thereon, and no person shall ride upon a motorcycle other than upon such a firmly attached and regular seat or saddle.

(d)   No person shall ride upon a motorcycle that is equipped with a saddle other than while sitting astride the saddle, facing forward, with one leg on each side of the motorcycle.

(e)   No person shall ride upon a motorcycle that is equipped with a seat other than while sitting upon the seat.

(f)   No person operating a bicycle shall carry any package, bundle or article that prevents the driver from keeping at least one hand upon the handle bars.

(g)   No bicycle or motorcycle shall be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed and equipped.  No motorcycle shall be operated on a highway when the handlebars rise higher than the shoulders of the operator when the operator is seated in the operator’s seat or saddle.

(h)   Except as provided in subsection (i)(3) of this section, no person shall operate or be a passenger on a snowmobile or motorcycle without using safety glasses or other protective eye device.  Except as provided in subsection (i)(3) of this section, no person who is under the age of eighteen years, or who holds a motorcycle operator’s endorsement or license bearing “novice” designation that is currently in effect as provided in Ohio R.C. 4507.13, shall operate a motorcycle on a highway, or be a passenger on a motorcycle, unless wearing a protective helmet on the person’s head, and no other person shall be a passenger on a motorcycle operated by such a person unless similarly wearing a protective helmet.  The helmet, safety glasses or other protective eye device shall conform with rules adopted by the Ohio Director of Public Safety.  The provisions of this subsection or a violation thereof shall not be used in the trial of any civil action.

 

(i)  (1)   Except as provided in subsection (i)(3) of this section, no person shall operate a motorcycle with a valid temporary permit and temporary instruction permit identification card issued by the Ohio Registrar of Motor Vehicles pursuant to Ohio R.C. 4507.05 unless the person, at the time of such operation, is wearing on the person’s head a protective helmet that conforms with rules adopted by the Director.

(2)   No person shall operate a motorcycle with a valid temporary instruction permit and temporary instruction permit identification card issued by the Registrar pursuant to Ohio R.C. 4507.05 in any of the following circumstances:

  1. At any time when lighted lights are required by Section 337.02(a)(1);
  2. While carrying a passenger;
  3. On any limited access highway.

(3)   Subsections (h) and (i)(1) of this section do not apply to a person who operates or is a passenger in a cab-enclosed motorcycle when the occupant compartment top is in place enclosing the occupants.

 

(j)   Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the carrying of a child in a seat or trailer that is designed for carrying children and is firmly attached to the bicycle.

 

373.03 ATTACHING BICYCLE OR SLED TO VEHICLE.

No person riding upon any motorcycle, bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle shall attach the same or himself to any vehicle upon a roadway.

No operator shall knowingly permit any person riding upon any motorcycle, bicycle, coaster, roller skates, sled or toy vehicle to attach the same or himself to any vehicle while it is moving upon a roadway.  This section does not apply to the towing of a disabled vehicle.  (ORC 4511.54)

 

373.04 RIDING BICYCLES AND MOTORCYCLES ABREAST.

Persons riding bicycles or motorcycles upon a roadway shall ride not more than two abreast in a single lane, except on paths or parts of roadways set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles or motorcycles.  (ORC 4511.55(B))

 

373.05 SIGNAL DEVICE ON BICYCLE.

A bicycle may be equipped with a device capable of giving an audible signal, except that a bicycle shall not be equipped with nor shall any person use upon a bicycle any siren or whistle.

(ORC 4511.56)

 

 

373.06 LIGHTS AND REFLECTOR ON BICYCLE; BRAKES.

(a)   Every bicycle when in use at the times specified in Section 337.02, shall be equipped with the following:

(1)   A lamp mounted on the front of either the bicycle or the operator that shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet to the front; and three hundred feet to the sides.  A generator-powered lamp that emits light only when the bicycle is moving may be used to meet this requirement.

(2)   A red reflector on the rear that shall be visible from all distances from one hundred feet to six hundred feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle.

(3)   A lamp emitting either flashing or steady red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear shall be used in addition to the red reflector;

If the red lamp performs as a reflector in that it is visible as specified in subsection (a)(2) of this section, the red lamp may serve as the reflector and a separate reflector is not required.

(b)   Additional lamps and reflectors may be used in addition to those required under subsection (a) of this section, except that red lamps and red reflectors shall not be used on the front of the bicycle and white lamps and white reflectors shall not be used on the rear of the bicycle.

(c)   Every bicycle shall be equipped with an adequate brake when used on a street or highway.  (ORC 4511.56)

 

337.02  LIGHTED LIGHTS; MEASUREMENT OF DISTANCES AND HEIGHTS.

(a)   Every vehicle, other than a motorized bicycle, operated upon a street or highway shall display lighted lights and illuminating devices as required by this chapter during all of the following times:

(1)   The time from sunset to sunrise;

(2)   At any other time when, due to insufficient natural light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons, vehicles, and substantial objects on the street or highway are not discernible at a distance of one thousand feet ahead;

(3)   At any time when the windshield wipers of the vehicle are in use because of precipitation on the windshield.

Every motorized bicycle shall display at such times lighted lights meeting the rules adopted by the Ohio Director of Public Safety under Ohio R.C. 4511.521.  No motor vehicle, during any time specified in this section, shall be operated upon a street or highway using only parking lights as illumination.

(b)   Whenever in this chapter a requirement is declared as to the distance from which certain lights and devices shall render objects visible, or within which such lights or devices shall be visible, such distance shall be measured upon a straight level unlighted street under normal atmospheric conditions unless a different condition is expressly stated.

(c)   Whenever in this chapter a requirement is declared as to the mounted height of lights or devices, it shall mean from the center of such light or device to the level ground upon which the vehicle stands.

(d)   Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no law enforcement officer shall cause the operator of a vehicle being operated upon a street or highway to stop the vehicle solely because the officer observes that a violation of subsection (a)(3) of this section has been or is being committed or for the sole purpose of issuing a ticket, citation or summons for a violation of that subsection, or causing the arrest of or commencing a prosecution of a person for a violation of that subsection.

(ORC 4513.03 )

 

373.07 RIDING BICYCLE ON RIGHT SIDE OF ROADWAY; OBEDIENCE TO TRAFFIC RULES; PASSING.

(a)   Every person operating a bicycle upon a roadway shall ride as near to the right side of the roadway as practicable obeying all traffic rules applicable to vehicles and exercising due care when passing a standing vehicle or one proceeding in the same direction.

(b)   This section does not require a person operating a bicycle to ride at the edge of the roadway when it is unreasonable or unsafe to do so.  Conditions that may require riding away from the edge of the roadway include when necessary to avoid fixed or moving objects, parked or moving vehicles, surface hazards, or if it otherwise is unsafe or impracticable to do so, including if the lane is too narrow for the bicycle and an overtaking vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.  (ORC 4511.55)

(c)   Any person operating a bicycle shall:

(1)   Obey the instructions of official traffic control devices applicable to vehicles, unless otherwise directed by a police officer;

(2)   Before changing course, turning or stopping upon a roadway, exercise due care that the movement can be made with reasonable safety and give the hand and arm signals required by Section 331.15;

(3)   Yield the right of way to pedestrian and vehicular traffic upon the roadway as lawfully required;

(4)   Yield the right of way to a pedestrian upon a sidewalk;

(5)   Give timely and audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian upon a roadway or sidewalk.

 

 

 373.08 RECKLESS OPERATION; CONTROL, COURSE AND SPEED.

No person shall operate a bicycle:

(a)   Without due regard for the safety and rights of pedestrians and drivers and occupants of all other vehicles, and so as to endanger the life, limb or property of any person while in the lawful use of the streets or sidewalks or any other public or private property;

(b)   Without exercising reasonable and ordinary control over such bicycle;

(c)   In a weaving or zigzag course unless such irregular course is necessary for safe operation in compliance with law;

(d)   Without both hands upon the handle grips except when necessary to give the required hand and arm signals, or as provided in Section 373.02(d);

(e)   At a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions then existing.

 

373.09 PARKING OF BICYCLE; SIDEWALK RIDING.

(a)   No person shall at any time park a bicycle upon a sidewalk or other public place customarily used by pedestrians, in such a manner as to unduly interfere with pedestrian traffic, nor shall a bicycle be parked upon a roadway so as to interfere with vehicular traffic.

(b)   Where bicycle racks or other such devices to park bicycles are provided in a commercial area, park, school or other such place, no person shall park a bicycle in such area, except in the rack provided or other fixture designated for such purpose.

(Ord. 5-1975.  Passed 1-20-75.)

(c)   A bicycle or skateboard may be operated or ridden upon any public sidewalk in the City except where signs are erected prohibiting such operation.

(Ord. 119-1985.  Passed 10-7-85.)

 

373.10 MOTORIZED BICYCLE OPERATION, EQUIPMENT AND LICENSE.

(a)   No person shall operate a motorized bicycle upon any street or highway or any public or private property used by the public for purposes of vehicular travel or parking, unless all of the following conditions are met:

(1)   The person possesses a valid license or permit authorizing such operation and which is issued by the Ohio Registrar of Motor Vehicles under Ohio R.C. Chapter 4506 or 4507 or Ohio R.C. 4511.521;

(2)   The motorized bicycle is equipped in accordance with rules adopted by the Ohio Director of Highway Safety and is in proper working order;

(3)   The person, if he is under eighteen years of age, is wearing a protective helmet on his head with the chin strap properly fastened, and the motorized bicycle is equipped with a rear-view mirror;

(4)   The person operates the motorized bicycle when practicable within three feet of the right edge of the roadway obeying all traffic rules applicable to vehicles; and

(5)   The motorized bicycle displays on the rear of such bicycle the current license plate or validation sticker furnished by the Ohio Director of Highway Safety under Ohio R.C. 4503.191.

(b)   No person operating a motorized bicycle shall carry another person upon the motorized bicycle.

(c)   Each probationary motorized bicycle license or motorized bicycle license shall be laminated with a transparent plastic material.

(ORC 4511.521)

373.11 REGISTRATION AND TAG REQUIRED.

No person shall operate a bicycle upon any street or public place in the City unless such bicycle has been registered and tagged as provided for herein, or as provided in the bicycle owner’s city of residence.  This section shall not be applicable to the owner or operator of a bicycle, residing in a community which does not provide for registration and licensing of bicycles.

(Ord. 5-1975.  Passed 1-20-75.)

 

373.12 APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION; FEE.

Applications for registration shall be made to the City upon forms to be provided by the City, which application shall contain the name and address of the applicant, make, color, and serial number or other identification mark of the bicycle and such other information as the City shall require.  Except as otherwise provided herein, each application shall be accompanied by a fee of two dollars ($2.00), which fee shall constitute a lifetime registration fee for that bicycle to the applicant.

The registration fee of two dollars ($2.00) may be waived by the City if both of the following conditions are met:

(a)   At the time of registration, the applicant offers satisfactory proof of ownership of a bicycle helmet; and

(b)   At the time of registration, the applicant signs a pledge agreeing to wear the helmet at all times when riding the registered bicycle.

(Ord.  72-1998.  Passed 5-4-98.)

 

373.13 REGISTRATION CARD; METAL TAG.

The City, upon receipt of the application accompanied by the required fee, shall register the bicycle.  A record of all such registrations shall be kept by the City.  At the time of registration the City shall furnish to the applicant a metal tag or other type of license in such form and design as the City shall determine, bearing a serial number or other such identifying mark or number, which metal tag or other form of license shall be affixed to the registered bicycle.

The City shall also deliver to the applicant a registration card showing the name and address of the applicant, the number, date of registration and description of the bicycle and reciting that the bicycle has been so registered.  Registration shall be deemed permanent so long as the licensee continues to be the owner of the bicycle.

The City shall, upon request, issue a new metal tag or other form of license to a person who has registered his bicycle with the City at an earlier time, but who has lost such metal tag or other form of license.  The fee for such replacement shall be one dollar ($1.00).

(Ord. 5-1975.  Passed 1-20-75.)

 

373.14 ALTERATION OF FRAME NUMBER OR LICENSE PLATE.

No person shall willfully or maliciously remove, destroy, mutilate or alter the frame number of any bicycle or any license plate issued hereunder.

(1943 R.O., Ch. II, Art. C.)

 

 

373.15 SECOND-HAND BICYCLE DEALERS.

Every person engaged in the business of buying or selling second-hand or used bicycles shall make a report to the City of every bicycle purchased or sold by such dealer, giving the name and address of the person from whom purchased and to whom sold, a description of such bicycle by name, make, color, serial number thereof, and any other identifying marks, and the number of the metal tag or other form of license affixed to the bicycle.

(Ord. 5-1975.  Passed 1-20-75.)

 

 

373.16 REMOVAL OF METAL TAG OR OTHER FORM OF LICENSE.

Every person who sells a second-hand or used bicycle to any other person shall, at the time of such sale, remove the metal tag or other form of license from such bicycle.

(Ord. 5-1975.  Passed 1-20-75.)

 

373.17 IMPOUNDING FOR VIOLATION BY MINOR.

Except as specifically provided in Section 373.18, whenever any bicycle shall be operated by a minor under the age of eighteen in violation of any of the provisions of this Traffic Code, the bicycle may be impounded by any police officer.  Such bicycle so impounded shall be surrendered to the parents or guardian of the minor without charge after a full explanation to such parents or guardian of the reason for impounding of such bicycle.  A complete record of each such impounding shall be kept in the office of the Police Department.

(Ord. 5-1975.  Passed 1-20-75.)

 

373.18 IMPOUNDING FOR FAILURE TO REGISTER OR HAVE A LICENSE TAG ON BICYCLE.

Whenever any bicycle is found within the City, which has not been registered or which has no license tag attached to the bicycle, the bicycle may be impounded by any police officer or other duly authorized agent of the City.  The fee to obtain return of the impounded bicycle from the City, by the owner thereof, shall be fifteen dollars ($15.00).  A complete record of each such impounding shall be kept by the City.  This section shall not be applicable to the owner or operator of a bicycle residing in a community which does not provide for regulation or licensing of bicycles.

Any bicycle impounded under this section may be sold at public auction if unclaimed for a period of thirty days after such bicycle was impounded.  The City shall give notice of any auction for the sale of bicycles by publishing notice thereof not less than ten days prior to the sale in a newspaper of general circulation in the City.

(Ord. 5-1975.  Passed 1-20-75.)

 

 

337.02   LIGHTED LIGHTS; MEASUREMENT OF DISTANCES AND HEIGHTS.

(a)   Every vehicle, other than a motorized bicycle, operated upon a street or highway shall display lighted lights and illuminating devices as required by this chapter during all of the following times:

(1)   The time from sunset to sunrise;

(2)   At any other time when, due to insufficient natural light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons, vehicles, and substantial objects on the street or highway are not discernible at a distance of one thousand feet ahead;

(3)   At any time when the windshield wipers of the vehicle are in use because of precipitation on the windshield.

Every motorized bicycle shall display at such times lighted lights meeting the rules adopted by the Ohio Director of Public Safety under Ohio R.C. 4511.521.  No motor vehicle, during any time specified in this section, shall be operated upon a street or highway using only parking lights as illumination.

(b)   Whenever in this chapter a requirement is declared as to the distance from which certain lights and devices shall render objects visible, or within which such lights or devices shall be visible, such distance shall be measured upon a straight level unlighted street under normal atmospheric conditions unless a different condition is expressly stated.

(c)   Whenever in this chapter a requirement is declared as to the mounted height of lights or devices, it shall mean from the center of such light or device to the level ground upon which the vehicle stands.

(d)   Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no law enforcement officer shall cause the operator of a vehicle being operated upon a street or highway to stop the vehicle solely because the officer observes that a violation of subsection (a)(3) of this section has been or is being committed or for the sole purpose of issuing a ticket, citation or summons for a violation of that subsection, or causing the arrest of or commencing a prosecution of a person for a violation of that subsection.

(ORC 4513.03)

 

Source: http://www.clevelandheights.com/index.aspx?page=227

 

Cleveland Heights contact information:

40 Severance Cir
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

 

 

 

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