Ohio Supreme Court To Hear Traffic Camera Case

Jun 9, 2014

Advocates say cameras increase safety.
A red light and speed camera next to a Dunkin' Donuts in Parma Heights, Ohio.
Credit Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr/Creative Commons

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments this week about traffic cameras. The case in Toledo is one of a slew of legal challenges to cities using cameras to catch and ticket drivers for running red lights or speeding.

Motorists also filed lawsuits last week against the Dayton suburbs of Trotwood and West Carollton. That brings the number of legal cases against cameras around the state to at least eight.

Opponents say the cameras are an easy way for cities to get money that takes advantage of drivers, but those in favor argue traffic cameras save lives—the national Traffic Safety Coalition points to significant reductions in crashes at red lights in several cities studied. Cities argue it's a legitimate source of revenue that also contributes to public safety.

Meanwhile, the state Senate president says he expects legislative action on cameras before the year's end. One bill currently under consideration in the Ohio legislature would effectively ban the cameras by requiring cities to post a police officer at every camera—which would be prohibitively expensive.

The Ohio Municipal League has said the case against Toledo's cameras could affect "every Ohioan who drives or owns a vehicle."