Ohio Lawmakers Are Still Trying to Limit Use of Traffic Cameras

click to enlarge Ohio Lawmakers Are Still Trying to Limit Use of Traffic Cameras
Photo vie Doug Brown
Representative Tom Patton, a Republican from Strongsville, recently introduced four bills (HB 139-142) to the Ohio Legislature to minimize traffic cameras in small communities.

The first bill prohibits cities without their own EMS or fire department from using the cameras. The second bans the cameras in towns with 200 or fewer people. The third dictates that citations issued cannot exceed twice the population (on an annual basis). And the fourth limits revenue from tickets to 30 percent of the town's annual revenue.

"It's always been my contention that speed cameras are not about public safety; it's simply a cash grab," Patton told Fox 8 Cleveland.

Democratic Newburgh Heights Mayor Trevor Elkins is in favor of the cameras, disagreeing with Patton.

"It is a fair, objective measurement that does not come with bias," Elkins said in a statement. "Motorists need to be more attentive to their speed and for the driver that gets hit with the one-time mistake, due process is ensured with the ability to plead your case to a hearing officer and ultimately a municipal judge if desired."

Newburgh Heights employs traffic cameras.

The traffic cameras have generated much controversy, with the Ohio Supreme Court recently ruling in favor of their use despite protests; studies have illustrated that the cameras don't reduce accidents or injuries.

The bills are partially inspired by Fox 8 Cleveland's recent revelations concerning traffic cameras in Linndale, the smallest village in Cuyahoga county. Ticketed citizens claimed to have never driven near the cameras, and the revenue for 2016 was $1.4 million.

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