House bill 154 states that if a driver believes that a traffic light is malfunctioning, they are allowed to take the proper safety precautions to proceed through the intersection. This bill was introduced to the house of representatives in April of 2015.
In order for a bill to become a law in the state of Ohio, the bill has to go through three steps before it is passed.
First, the Senate introduces the bill with the conditions they want . Once it is approved, it is then passed on to a group of committees that advises bills on that topic. Each committee is able to debate and modify a bill before it goes to the House of Representatives.
However, the bill can only go to the House if it receives the majority of the votes from the members of the House, which is 17 out of 33. If the House makes any changes to the bill, it then goes back to the Senate they decide if they will accept the changes. If the Senate does accept the changes, it then turns into an act and gets sent to the governor. The governor can either approve the act or veto it.
The governor signed it in December of 2016. It will go into effect on March 21, 2017.
The new law is not a “free pass” for drivers to just run red lights. Although the law does not state how long a driver must wait before passing the light, drivers are not allowed to just wait a few seconds and then keep going. If a crash happens as a result of this, and the authorities find out that the light was working properly, a driver could still face sever punishment. The driver would be cited for a misdemeanor and/or be at fault for the accident.