Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the pedestrian walk signal change to flashing 'don't walk' before I can get across the street?

Pedestrian signals are timed to allow pedestrians who have already started walking to safely cross the street. The flashing 'don't walk' message is not for the pedestrians who have stepped off the curb into the crosswalk, it is for those who are still on the sidewalk and have not yet stepped into the street.

Is it really necessary for me to push a button to activate the pedestrian signal?

Absolutely! Pushbuttons are made available at intersections where the traffic signal is timed for vehicles, not pedestrians. If you do not activate the pedestrian signal by pushing the button, indication to cross the street safely will not be displayed. By activating the pedestrian signal, ample time will be provided to safely cross the street. And, by the way, you need only push the button once for it to be activated.

Why are pedestrians signals available at some intersections and not others?

Pedestrian signals are warranted and installed for two main reasons:
1) Because of a high volume of pedestrian traffic at the intersection and / or,
2) The signals directing motorists do not meet the needs of pedestrians.
Some roadways intersect at odd angles making it difficult for pedestrians to see the traffic signals. In other cases, turning and merging lanes make intersections so complex that special provisions must be made for pedestrians' safety.

When I approach an intersection with traffic signals that are not working because of a power failure, what am I supposed to do?

In Ohio, motorists approaching a malfunctioning traffic signal, will follow the rules for a four-way stop sign.

General Assembly: 118.
Bill Number: Amended S.B. 44
Effective Date: 7-25-89

The driver of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley who approaches an intersection where traffic is controlled by traffic control signals shall do all of the following, if the signal facing him either exhibits no colored lights or colored lighted arrows or exhibits a combination of such lights or arrows that fails to clearly indicate the assignment of right-of-way:

(A) Stop at a clearly marked stop line, but if none, stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or, if none, stop before entering the intersection;

(B) Yield the right-of-way to all vehicles, streetcars, or trackless trolleys in the intersection or approaching on an intersecting road, if the vehicles, streetcars, or trackless trolleys will constitute an immediate hazard during the time the driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways;
(C) Exercise ordinary care while proceeding through the intersection.

Why are there blue reflectors on the center line of Hamilton County Roads?

The Hamilton County Engineer provides the blue reflectors to mark (within 40 feet) a fire hydrant. This helps the Fire Department find the hydrants during inclement weather, darkness or in case the hydrant has been overgrown by vegetation.

I sometimes see motorists passing a school bus that is stopped on a four lane road. Is this legal?

In Ohio, motorists approaching a stopped school bus on a roadway divided into four or more lanes from the opposite direction, are not required to stop. The bus operator is prohibited from discharging children that would have to cross a four lane road.

General Assembly: 115.
Bill Number: Amended House Bill 478
Effective Date: 3-28-85

(A) The driver of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school child or person attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities shall stop at least ten feet from the front or rear of the school bus and shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion, or until signaled by the school bus driver to proceed. It is no defense to a charge under this division that the school bus involved failed to display or be equipped with an automatically extended stop warning sign as required by division (B) of this section.

(B) Every school bus shall be equipped with amber and red visual signals meeting the requirements of section 4511.771 of the Revised Code, and an automatically extended stop warning sign of a type approved by the state board of education, which shall be actuated by the driver of the bus whenever but only whenever the bus is stopped or stopping on the roadway for the purpose of receiving or discharging school children or persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities. A school bus driver shall not actuate the visual signals or the stop warning sign in designated school bus loading areas where the bus is entirely off the roadway or at school buildings when children or persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities are loading or unloading at curbside. The visual signals and stop warning sign shall be synchronized or otherwise operated as required by rule of the board.

(C) Where a highway has been divided into four or more traffic lanes, a driver of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley need not stop for a school bus approaching from the opposite direction which has stopped for the purpose of receiving or discharging any school child or persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities. The driver of any vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley overtaking the school bus shall comply with division (A) of this section.

(D) School buses operating on divided highways or on highways with four or more traffic lanes shall receive and discharge all school children or persons attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities on their residence side of the highway.

(E) No school bus driver shall start his bus until after any child or person attending programs offered by community boards of mental health and county boards of mental retardation and developmental disabilities who may have alighted therefrom has reached a place of safety on his residence side of the road.

Does the Engineer's Office remove dead animals?

The Engineer's Office will remove animals that have been killed by passing vehicles and are in the Hamilton County public right of way  . Individuals with dead pets or vermin on private property should make other arrangements.

My road doesn't seem to be cleared of snow like other roads in my area. Why? I pay a lot of money in property taxes!

The Engineer's Office clears all roads under it's jurisdiction   before the snow emergency has ended. However, it is unrealistic to think that residential roadways would be cleared before major arterial highways. Before calling the Engineer's Office (or any City or Township, for that matter) to complain, make sure that the roadway in question is under the Engineer's jurisdiction  . Further, understand that any tax money paid to the State, Federal or local governments has no bearing on when the road in question is cleared. The Engineer's Office uses money from license plate sales and excise taxes collected locally from the sale of gasoline and other products to be used by motorists on the Hamilton County roadway system.