Levels of Snow Emergencies in Ohio

In Ohio, there are 3 total levels of snow emergencies. The levels, and their meanings are as follows:

Level 1. Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Drivers should exercise caution when driving in these conditions. 

Level 2. Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be very icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work. Motorists should use extreme caution when driving in these conditions.

Level 3. All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.

In 1997, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office issued a formal opinion that help that:

“The county sheriff may, pursuant to RC. 311.07 and RC. 311.08, declare a snow emergency and temporarily close the state roads and municipal streets within his jurisdiction when such action is reasonably necessary for the preservation of the public peace.”

This opinion applies to county and township roads, as well as state and municipal roads within a county jurisdiction. To make these emergency declarations a bit clearer for the public to understand, most Ohio counties use a level system to explain to drivers the risks and safety considerations when driving in inclement weather. 

About the Authors: Sawan & Sawan is a multi-generational, family owned law firm practicing law in the areas of car accidents, truck accidents, insurance claims, personal injury, litigation and more. Our firm practices law in Ohio (Toledo, Columbus), Georgia, and Michigan.

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