Traffic Cameras

traffic camera red light camera
Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr/Creative Commons

Ohio’s 2nd District Court of Appeals has ruled against Dayton’s efforts to continue use of its traffic camera program.

 

City officials sued the state after lawmakers banned the cameras earlier this year. In March, the state created a law saying cities could only use the cameras to ticket drivers if a police officer was on site.

 

traffic camera red light camera
Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr/Creative Commons

The city of Dayton will continue to use its traffic cameras, but will now only make citations when an officer is present. It’s part of an ongoing face-off with the state over the use of the speed and red light cameras.

In March, the state of Ohio created a law banning the use of traffic cameras to ticket drivers, unless a police officer was on site.  

Several cities, including Dayton filed lawsuits against the state, saying the law violated "home rule" authority.

traffic camera red light camera
Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr/Creative Commons

One provision that’s likely to stay in the final version of the state budget being worked on now is a proposal to deduct state money from cities still using traffic cameras. Officials in those affected cities are frustrated by the move. 

Traffic cameras are a topic that revs up contentious debate for Republicans and Democrats.  But last year, camera opponents prevailed and this March, a law took effect requiring cities to station police officers with cameras to observe violations. Cities say those cameras are important safety tools, and they sued.

Ohio County Judge Blocks New State Rules On Traffic Cameras

Apr 3, 2015
traffic camera red light camera
Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr/Creative Commons

A southwest Ohio judge has ruled new restrictions on traffic cameras violate the state's constitution, granting the city of Dayton a permanent order blocking them.

Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Barbara Gorman says rules like requiring police officers to be present when cameras are used violate the Ohio municipalities' "home rule" powers. She says the law passed late last year tells local governments how to allocate their law enforcement personnel.

75 mph Speed Limit Proposal On Chopping Block In Ohio

Mar 24, 2015

A proposal to boost Ohio's speed limit to 75 mph on rural interstate highways and the turnpike has been scrapped.

House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger's office said the proposed increase would be pulled from a $7 billion, two-year transportation budget.

The proposal would have made Ohio only the second state entirely east of the Mississippi River to have such a high limit. The other is Maine. A total of 16 states, mostly out West, have at least a 75 mph speed limit.

traffic camera red light camera
Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr/Creative Commons

The city of Dayton has discontinued, then reinstated, its use of traffic cameras.

Monday was the first day of a state law effectively banning the use of static red light and speed cameras to ticket drivers. The law requires a police officer to be present in order for a ticket to be issued based on a violation caught on camera.

But several cities, including Akron, Springfield, Dayton and Toledo filed lawsuits against the state, saying the law violated the cities’ home rule authority.

Two more cities are challenging an Ohio traffic camera law they say would restrict cities' use of the cameras and are asking county courts to find the law unconstitutional.

Dayton and Springfield sued the state Wednesday, saying the law violates their right to home rule authority to set their own policies and regulations. Akron and Toledo earlier filed similar lawsuits.

Dayton To Halt Citations From Fixed-site Traffic Cameras

Jan 5, 2015
Advocates say cameras increase safety.
Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr/Creative Commons

The city of Dayton says it will stop using traffic cameras in fixed positions to issue citations for red-light and speeding violations.
 
The southwest Ohio city says it made the decision because of a new Ohio law effective in March that requires a police officer be present when cameras are used.  The law passed last month regulates statewide use of the devices, which have faced backlash from critics who say they're more about raising revenues than increasing safety.
 

Advocates say cameras increase safety.
Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr/Creative Commons

A police officer's presence would be required for tickets to be issued from red-light cameras around Ohio under a bill that's cleared the Ohio Senate.

The officer requirement was among new statewide restrictions placed on the traffic-monitoring devices in legislation approved Wednesday in a bipartisan 24-9 vote. It goes next to the Ohio House.

Republican Senator Bill Seitz, of Cincinnati said the bill addresses legal issues surrounding the use of cameras.

U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

You open your mail and there it is – a picture of your car allegedly speeding through town or sailing through the red light at an intersection. Ready to proclaim your innocence, you wait for your day in court. But, if you reside in any of the 15 Ohio communities that use traffic enforcement cameras, that’s not what you get. In most cases, you’ll get an administrative hearing.

That's the reason traffic cameras are being challenged in courts around Ohio. One case has reached the Ohio Supreme Court and could have an impact on local communities that use traffic cameras.

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