You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Ohio step closer to banning traffic cameras


The Ohio House of Representatives on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to ban using red light and speed cameras throughout Ohio.

House Bill 69 now goes to the Ohio Senate, which won’t consider it until after its summer recess. As a consolation to law enforcement officials who said the cameras help reduce crashes, legislators carved out an exception allowing communities to operate speed cameras in school zones during school hours as long as a police officer is present to monitor the machine.

The bill passed the House, 61-32.

Bill sponsors Reps. Ron Maag, R-Lebanon, and Dale Mallory, D-Cincinnati, said the cameras have been used as a cash grab and bypass due process. They were inspired by the case of Elmwood Place, a Hamilton County village of roughly 2,200 people that issued $1.5 million in tickets during the first six months its speeding cameras were on. A judge ordered the cameras shut down last March.

“They’ve taken law enforcement and rigged it for profit,” Maag said. “No amount of regulation can justify the continued use of these machines.”

Rep. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, said the cameras eliminate the discretion police, prosecutors and judges have to dismiss speeding and traffic violations.

“We have to weigh liberty versus safety all the time. We have a whole system set up to do that for us,” Huffman said. “Speed cameras trump that system and remove that system from us.”

Some legislators said the cameras should be more strictly regulated, but not banned, and that all communities in Ohio shouldn’t be punished because of the abuses of a few. Some also expressed concerns about how the 14 Ohio communities who operate them would make up the revenue difference if the cameras are banned.

“There have been abuses of red light cameras throughout the state of Ohio, and it needs to be addressed,” said Rep. Ross McGregor, R-Springfield. “But I don’t think doing away with them entirely is the correct measure.”

Police and local governments that operate the cameras oppose the ban, saying they have helped reduce crashes and free up police resources to fight more serious crime.

The Ohio Municipal League, the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio and Traffic Safety Coalition issued a joint statement following the ban, saying it would prevent Ohio cities and law enforcement from holding red light runners and speeders accountable.

“We are committed to defeating this bill and hop senators and the governor will join us,” the statement said.

Among the communities with red-light or speed cameras or both include Dayton, Hamilton, Middletown, New Miami, Springfield, Trotwood and West Carrollton.

If legislators end up approving the ban, Ohio would become the tenth state to ban automated traffic enforcement cameras, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Women, supporters march in D.C., around America day after inauguration
Women, supporters march in D.C., around America day after inauguration

Two things became abundantly clear during a six hour span in the nation’s capital Saturday: Donald Trump begins his presidency facing a loud, raucous resistance, and that resistance is still figuring out how to tell its story. While hundreds of thousands descended on Washington, D.C. less than 24 hours after Trump was sworn in as president, the...
Some Springfield residents torn on income tax increase
Some Springfield residents torn on income tax increase

Springfield leaders say residents deserve another chance to vote to increase the local income tax after hundreds of thousands of dollars in cuts to city services, but some residents believe it’s unfair for residents to pay more. Voters narrowly rejected the income tax increase in November by about 200 votes. City commissioners voted this week...
Ohio key battleground in abortion fight
Ohio key battleground in abortion fight

Ohio is at the frontline in a battle over abortion rights that continues to rage on 44 years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Roe versus Wade . “I would argue, and we have the data to back this up, that Ohio and Texas are the key battleground states for the abortion debate. What happens in Ohio tends to trickle to other...
Local women among hundreds of thousands in D.C. for march
Local women among hundreds of thousands in D.C. for march

Hundreds of people from the Dayton region joined a massive Women’s March on Washington Saturday to speak out for women’s and human rights and against the conservative agenda of President Donald Trump. Millions also marched worldwide in sister marches, including one in Dayton. The crowd grew so large in Washington D.C. - more than half a...
New Carlisle seeks to fill empty council seat, welcomes new member
New Carlisle seeks to fill empty council seat, welcomes new member

The city of New Carlisle has a new city council member and will interview a handful of candidates to fill one more vacancy. The current opening is from the departure of former New Carlisle Mayor Lowell McGlothin, a longtime council member who won a race for Clark County commissioner in November. McGlothin had to resign his New Carlisle seat to take...
More Stories