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Under Ohio law, a motorist can be penalized for violating what is known as the state’s Assured Clear Distance Ahead (ACDA) law. This law, which is set forth in Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.21, provides that “No person shall operate a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar at a speed greater or less than is reasonable or proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the street or highway and any other conditions, and no person shall drive any motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar in and upon any street or highway at a greater speed than will permit the person to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.
The concept of the assured clear distance ahead is not easily understood and, as demonstrated above, Ohio law does a poor job of defining this for Ohio drivers. However, what this statutory language means is that an Ohio driver is required under Ohio’s ACDA law to operate his or her vehicle at a speed and a distance so that the motorist can come to a complete stop if necessary without striking the car in front of the motorist. As any Ohio driver knows, there are a number of factors that go into determining whether a driver is leaving the adequate amount of distance between him or herself and the car in front of him or her, including the amount of traffic, the weather conditions, the speed limit on the road on which a motorist is traveling, etc.
An ACDA ticket is most often given out by Ohio police in the event of a rear-end collision. This is because it is easiest for the police to prove that a motorist did not maintain an assured clear distance ahead if the motorist caused an accident by hitting the car in front of the motorist. Motorists also frequently receive citations for violating ACDA if they are tailgating, or leaving little room between the motorist’s car and the car in front of them. Ohio state law provides that an ACDA violation is a misdemeanor which carries with it a fine of $150. If you received an ACDA ticket in a construction zone, then the amount of the ticket is doubled, to $300.
The penalties for receiving an ACDA ticket can be increased if a driver has received previous speeding or ACDA tickets in the past year. For instance, if a motorist has two prior ACDA or speeding tickets within the last year, the ACDA violation would constitute a fourth-degree misdemeanor, carrying with it a fine of $250 and a term of imprisonment of up to 30 days. Finally, if a motorist has three or more ACDA or speeding tickets in the past year, then a fourth ACDA violation would constitute a third-degree misdemeanor under Ohio law that can carry with it a fine of $500 and a term of imprisonment of up to 60 days.
Have you received a ticket for committing an ACDA violation in Columbus, Ohio? If so, contact the experienced and aggressive attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates at for a free consultation regarding your legal options today for your ACDA ticket. The experienced attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates may be able to get your ticket dismissed and your fine waived for your ACDA violation.