Keeping Ohio's Roadways Safe
A Guest Editorial by Senator Scott Oelslager

The Ohio state legislature is taking steps to ensure Ohioans’ safety on the roadways.  We have been working diligently to ensure that each individual is taking the appropriate measures to improve the safety and efficiency of Ohio’s transportation system.  I am excited to share with you some of these recent initiatives. 
There has been a growing problem where less-reputable vehicle repair facilities may install a counterfeit airbag in a car after a collision without the owner’s knowledge or consent. In addition to being an obvious case of fraud, this also created an extremely dangerous situation for the vehicle’s occupants. House Bill 177, which the Senate passed several months ago, prohibits the sale, installation, or manufacturing of a faulty or counterfeit air bag and imposes up to a third degree felony.  Having gone into effect two weeks ago, the bill is now working to keep you safe on the road.
The Senate also gave final approval to Senate Bill 161, which requires cars on the road to have only white headlights installed in order to bring Ohio in line with federal headlamp requirements. Law enforcement officers were encountering drivers with many different colors of headlamps. The different colors don't provide the same level of visibility, and some police departments felt they didn’t have the proper authority to enforce the federal guidelines without clarification by the legislature.
As we make our way into the spring season, be on the lookout for standing and high water on the roadways, especially when law enforcement has placed road-closed signs on the roadway during a heavy rain. Senate Bill 106 will prohibit someone from operating their vehicle on a road that is flooding and has been clearly marked as being closed due to the high water. During testimony, the Senate heard many terrible stories of individuals and rescue personnel becoming severely injured or killed as a result of someone trying to drive through high water and becoming trapped. This legislation passed the Ohio Senate and is currently being considered in the Ohio House Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
Also, this summer, you may start to see scooters parked on the sidewalk. That’s because the legislature passed Senate Bill 194 to allow certain motor scooters to park on sidewalks so long as they are walked, not driven, on the sidewalk. This will be specifically beneficial in downtown areas where parking is scarce. This legislation goes into effect on June 2nd, just in time for summer.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if ever I can be of assistance with any state government-related issue.  I wish you and your family a safe and joyful spring season.

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