Office of Research Legislative Budget
www.lsc.ohio.gov and Drafting Office
S.B. 178 Bill Analysis
135th General Assembly
Click here for S.B. 178’s Fiscal Note
Version: As Introduced
Primary Sponsor: Sen. Wilson
Effective date:
Margaret E. Marcy, Attorney
 Prohibits failing to change lanes or proceeding with caution around a stationary vehicle
that is in distress.
Move Over Law
Current law requires drivers, under certain circumstances, to “move over” to the
adjacent lane or to slow down and proceed with caution in the same lane (when moving over is
not possible because of the road, weather, or traffic). Specifically, drivers must slow down or
provide extra space around public safety vehicles, emergency vehicles, certain utility vehicles,
certain weight-enforcement vehicles, waste collection vehicles, and highway maintenance
vehicles when those vehicles are stationary and displaying flashing, oscillating, or rotating
The bill requires drivers to similarly slow down or move over for stationary vehicles that
are in distress (e.g., a vehicle with a flat tire). A vehicle is in distress when the operator indicates
the condition through lit fuse, flares, red lights, red reflectors, red flags, emergency signs, or
flashing emergency/hazard lights.2
The bill applies the current Move Over Law penalties to the new offense of failure to
move over for a vehicle in distress. Specifically, the offense is a predicate motor vehicle offense,
thus a minor misdemeanor, with gradually increasing degrees of offense if the person has other
1 R.C. 4511.213.
2 R.C. 4511.213(F).
November 6, 2023
Office of Research and Drafting LSC Legislative Budget Office
traffic violations from within the past year. Failure to move over or slow down also carries a
penalty of double-fines compared to other minor misdemeanor traffic offenses. Further, an
additional $100 fine is charged if the offender was distracted and that distracting activity was a
contributing factor to the failure to move over or slow down.3
Action Date
Introduced 10-19-23
3 R.C. 4511.213(D); R.C. 4511.991, not in the bill.
P a g e |2 S.B. 178
As Introduced