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Starting and Backing without Safety Citations in Ohio

If you have ever been in an accident while backing out of a space or driveway, you may have been surprised to discover that you were held at fault, despite possibly reckless actions by the other driver. Even worse, causing an accident while starting and backing up a vehicle can lead to a misdemeanor starting and backing without safety citation.

In Ohio, the law states that a person should not start a car unless it can be done with “reasonable safety” and that they should “exercise vigilance not to injure person or property on the street or highway” while backing up. Because of this wording, police tend to hold whoever was backing liable for the accident, no matter what the circumstances. Unless your insurance company or traffic attorneys do more investigation to discover recklessness on the part of the other driver, you are likely to be on the hook for all damages and legal responsibility.

This not only has potential civil consequences for the responsibility of the accident, but also even carries criminal consequences. Under Ohio law, starting and backing without safety is at least a minor misdemeanor offense that requires a fine and points on your license. If you have prior traffic violations, though, you could face more serious misdemeanor charges that have the potential to carry jail sentences. While many people want to shrug off these charges, they can have long-term consequences and should be taken seriously.

Preventing Starting and Backing without Safety Charges

Because this traffic violation can have unintended consequences, it is important to do all you can to avoid these charges in the first place. The best way to do this is to back safely. The following tips should be followed when starting and backing your car:

  • Think forward. Never put yourself in a place where you will encounter a difficult backing situation later.
  • Check around your car before getting in to start it. This walk-around will allow you to notice any potential obstacles, limitations, or other hazards. Never back up if your vision of the road will be impaired or you may hit a hazard.
  • Know—and check—your blind spots and clearances. Keep these in mind when heading out of your parking position, in order to avoid collisions.
  • Take it slow. Backing safely requires caution, and this means using low speeds. Take your time to back out safely.
  • Use a spotter or backup camera in tricky parking situations. Don’t be afraid to use extra help if you have difficulty seeing certain hazards, such as when there is an impediment to your vision from the driver’s seat.
  • Be extra cautious at night and in inclement weather. When your vision is impaired, take extra care.

If you follow these tips, you are less likely to find yourself facing a starting and backing without safety citation, or worse, a backing collision.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to totally eliminate the possibility of backing accidents. It is a risk we all face when driving. If you have been in a backing accident or are facing a starting and backing without safety citation for any reason, you could face serious repercussions. That’s why the help of experienced traffic attorneys can help mitigate the consequences. Call the experienced traffic lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates today at for a free consultation to find out how we may be able to help.

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Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335
advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com

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