Driving Regulations and Safety

A cluster of road signs

Basic Driving Regulations

  • You must have a valid U.S. Driver’s License.
  • Stay on the right side of the road.
  • Obey traffic signals.
  • Stop signs mean that you must stop! These are not optional.
  • Stop for school buses.
  • When you see or hear emergency vehicles, pull to the right side of the road and stop.
  • Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.
  • You cannot drive on sidewalks.
  • Don’t stop or pull over in the street to let someone out or into the car. Please go to a parking lot to do this.
  • If you hit or bump another vehicle, you must stop and call the police.
  • For detailed regulations, please read through the Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws. The ISSS office has a few paper copies of the digest if you would like to pick one up.
  • You must drive at or below the posted speed limits.
  • Racing is dangerous and illegal!

Legal Offenses or Crimes


Each road has a designated speed limit, and you should see a sign that will inform you of the speed limit. As you enter and exit towns or cities, the speed limit will likely change. Please pay attention to these signs as this is the most common traffic violation. Depending on how many miles per hour (mph) you are speeding and which state you are in, the result could be a ticket, a fine, or prison time for “reckless driving.”

Reckless Driving

Reckless driving is when the driver displays a serious disregard for the rules of driving, which could put others in danger. If someone is driving much faster than the speed limit, this could be reckless driving. Reckless driving could result in a ticket, a fine, or prison time.


A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) is when a person is driving after drinking alcohol and may refer to someone driving under the influence of drugs. In all 50 U.S. states, the legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is .08%. However, for people who are under 21 years old, there is a zero-tolerance limit – even the smallest amount of alcohol is grounds for a DUI or DWI arrest. A DUI or DWI may result in the revocation of your visa and is a very serious offense!

What to do if a Police Officer Stops You

  • The police car will have red and blue flashing lights behind you.
  • Pull your car over to the curb on the right side in a safe and open area. It is ok to turn on the car’s flashing lights and then drive to a gas station for security reasons.
  • Put your car in park.
  • Keep your hands on the steering wheel.
  • Follow any commands the police officer gives to you.
  • The police officer will ask to see your driver’s license and insurance card.
  • The police officer may also ask to see your registration or title of the car.