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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Ohio Supreme Court Sides with Financial Penalties from Traffic Cameras

Posted By on Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 11:15 AM

click to enlarge This surveillance camera on the corner of St. Clair and West Sixth - DOUG BROWN/CLEVELAND SCENE
  • Doug Brown/Cleveland Scene
  • This surveillance camera on the corner of St. Clair and West Sixth
Clevelanders better make sure to put their car on cruise control when driving through the I-71 speed trap better known as Linndale, as the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled in favor of traffic camera financial penalties.

Just last year, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of Toledo and other traffic-camera cities by finding that they had the constitutional home-rule authority to operate such programs.

However, while that decision was being appealed, the state legislature passed a new law that required local governments to report compliance with the new restrictions and, if not complying, report the revenue collected from camera-issued tickets.

The state tax commissioner was then to deduct that amount from the entity's local government fund allocation. Toledo asked the court to block implementation of the new law, since it had already ruled the underlying law unconstitutional.

Toledo attempted to sue the state by challenging the 2015 traffic camera law over a package of new restrictions on traffic cameras intended to reduce their use, including requiring an officer be present and that municipalities run a safety study before implementing cameras.

Court documents released today reveal that in a unanimous vote, the high court determined a lower court could not block the law because it had not yet determined it to be constitutional, and the judicial branch cannot prevent the legislative branch from enacting laws. This means that previous rulings have now been reversed.

Since June 1, the cameras at the intersection of Pearl Road and Stumph Road-York Road in Parma were put back in operation with a month-long grace period. Violators will be cited beginning July 1.

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