Gahanna Man Questions Law Banning U-Turns

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UPDATED: Monday March 24, 2014 6:32 PM

A quick turnaround turned costly for a Gahanna man. He said police slapped him with a $120 fine for making a U-turn that he said he thought was legal.

Russell Garner drives the Gahanna streets nearly every day, but it was only a few days ago that he received his first ticket for making an illegal U-turn.

Garner said, “I had a green arrow in the left turn lane. Everybody else was stopped at the Morse Road red light, and no one was coming out of Stoneridge Plaza.”

Garner said he made a U-turn, but as he was driving towards Hamilton Road, he was stopped by police.

“I was shocked because in the ORC it says there are only certain times when you aren't allowed doing it,” Garner said.

Garner is referencing Ohio state law, which only prohibits U-turns on a curve, on the approach or near the crest of a hill or if the vehicle cannot be seen within 500 feet of another approaching vehicle. In Gahanna, police said what Garner did is illegal.

Sgt. Ethan Moffitt said, “Per our city ordinance, in regards to U-turns, they are restricted at intersections.”

Gahanna isn’t the only central Ohio city to restrict U-turns in certain areas. 10TV checked around and the city of Dublin also prohibits U-turns at intersections. In the city of Columbus, U-turns are banned citywide, unless otherwise specified.

Garner said he wasn’t aware of the law, and there wasn’t a sign to let him know.  Police admit there isn't an elevated sign, but say the lane was marked.

Sgt. Moffitt said at that particular intersection, the turn lane is marked left turn only. Garner said he didn’t see the marking and didn’t know the law, and now he has a $120 ticket to help him remember.

While state law doesn't prohibit making a U-turn at an intersection, most cities ban it, unless there is a sign stating otherwise. 

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