My husband accidentally hit a car in front of him because they slammed on their breaks because someone pulled out in front of them and it was rainy out. I want to fight the ticket. I cannot find any law on this so far and if you comment that he was too close I do not agree. Everything I have read states that you should be at a maximum of 5 seconds behind someone in rainy weather however looking at a study done in 2000 the average break response time is 2.3 seconds and if you slide in the rain, 5 seconds doesn't cut it. There is no specific measurement for 5 seconds and he was only going 40 MPH.
The citation should have a reference to the numeric section of the Ohio Revised Code or local ordinance he was charged with violating.
If it doesn't, he may argue the ticket is defective. Just remember that YOU do not have standing to fight the ticket. It will be up to your husband to decide what action to take at his arraignment. If he wants to fight it, the case will be set for a trial so that he may call witnesses and present evidence (or argue that the ticket is defective).
If the charge is a violation of "Assured Clear Distance Ahead" or "ACDA," Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.21, specifies “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." That includes reasonable speed for weather conditions which is not necessarily a mathematical calculation.
Typically an ACDA ticket has a maximum fine of $150 but if it was issued in a construction zone, that is doubled to $300. The penalties can be increased if a driver has prior moving violations in the past year. If the offense is a jailable misdemeanor as a result of your husband's prior traffic record, he may qualify for appointment of legal counsel if he cannot afford to pay for an attorney. That would be addressed by the judge at his arraignment.
This answer is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
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