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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Is it illegal to drive with a lollipop in your mouth?

“Is it illegal to drive with a lollipop in your mouth in Newton Falls?” That may be one of the more unusual questions we have been asked at the Newton Falls Public Library. With embarrassment, I must confess that I first bothered Chief Carlson as to what traffic laws may be specific to Newton Falls. He was very gracious, and nicely reminded me that we have a copy of the Codified Ordinances of Newton Falls Ohio in the library. Sometimes with the ease of using the Internet for information, I forget to check to see what is available in print form.

Looking through the ordinances makes for very interesting reading. MP3 players are very handy, but remember if you don’t own a car adapter, 331.43a WEARING EARPLUGS OR EARPHONES PROHIBITED states that “no person shall operate a motor vehicle while wearing earphones over, or earplugs in, both ears . . . that provides the listener with . . . recorded information through a device attached to the head and that covers all or a portion of both ears.” If you are tempted by that parking space on the other side of the street, be aware that 331.32c “U” TURNS RESTRICTED prohibits turning so as “to proceed in the opposite direction. . . or upon any street in a business district . . .” And if that space happens to be “at any place where signs prohibit stopping, standing or parking, or where the curbing or street is painted yellow . . .” you can be ticketed under 351.02n PROHIBITED STANDING OR PARKING PLACES. Even at the library, parking in a handicapped space without a handicapped parking card or plates (351.04f PARKING NEAR CURB; HANDICAPPED LOCATIONS ON PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LOTS AND GARAGES) carries a fine of $50 per violation.

We were unable to find an ordinance specifically addressing lollipops, but if it was very large and obstructed your view you could perhaps be cited under 331.25a DRIVER’S VIEW AND CONTROL TO BE UNOBSTRUCTED BY LOAD OR PERSONS, or if it caused you to be inattentive while driving as detailed in 331.34 FAILURE TO CONTROL; WEAVING; FULL TIME AND ATTENTION. And when you finished eating your lollipop, if you threw the stick out the window you could be ticketed for 331.42 LITTERING FROM A MOTOR VEHICLE.

Facing legal difficulties resulting from traffic violations? While the staff of the Newton Falls Public Library is unable to give any advice, we can direct you to one of the many books we have dealing with legal proceedings and what to do when appearing in court.

Looking for lighter reading than the Codified Ordinances or the Ohio Revised Code, the Internet can be searched for wacky, loony, and funny laws with numerous results. The library cannot guarantee the accuracy of the sites, but it does make for enjoyable reading. Some of the ones we came across were Wacky Laws [] and Associated Content []. At the latter site, from Bexley, Ohio – “Ordinance #223 prohibits the installation and usage of slot machines in outhouses.” You can also place holds on Funny Laws & Other Zany Stuff and Loony Laws & Silly Statutes by Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts, and Loony Laws: ...that you never knew you were breaking by Robert Wayne Pelton, through the library’s shared TiPL (Trumbull Independent Public Library) catalog.

Beginning on August 25, register your little ones for Baby Bugs, Toddler, and Preschool Story Times. Families with children up to the age of 6 years are also invited to register and attend our new Family Time program on Tuesday evenings. Teens in grades 7 – 12, register for ‘Denim Design’ on Monday, September 15 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Bring your old jeans, a denim jacket or shirt to our design workshop, and create cool new couture. We will use bleach pens, safety pins, beads and more to send you back to school in style. Registration is required and begins on September 2.

Don’t forget the Friends of the Library’s Book Sale on Saturday, August 16, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., on the library’s lawn, weather permitting. The Anime and Manga Club will meet on Saturday, August 30, 2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Anyone under 16 years of age, must be accompanied by a parent/guardian or bring a signed permission slip which is available at the library.

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