Skip to comments.Ohio House passes bill to ban red-light, speed cameras
Posted on 06/27/2013 8:00:27 AM PDT by Deadeye Division
The Ohio House yesterday approved a bill to ban red-light and speed cameras over the objections of Columbus-area representatives and others who argued that the technology has reduced traffic accidents and saved lives.
Motorists learn where these cameras are and guess what? Driving habits change. They change for the better, said Rep. Michael F. Curtin, D-Marble Cliff.
House Bill 69, approved 61-32 and sent to the Senate, would require Columbus and other municipalities to remove all law-enforcement cameras except mobile units in school zones during restricted hours, which would be permissible if a police officer is present.
During more than an hour of debate yesterday, supporters said some local officials have abused the cameras by overusing them to generate profits for local governments.
The village of Elmwood (Place) issued 6,000 tickets in 30 days at $105 a pop ... with 40 percent of the revenue going to a company that is not located in Ohio, said Rep. Alicia Reece, D-Cincinnati.
Folks dont even want to go to church because they dont want to drive through the village.
Lacking such controversy was legislation to crack down on sex trafficking. House Bill 130, which the House passed unanimously and sent to the Senate, would impose harsher penalties for solicitation of minors, increase the statute of limitations for human trafficking and criminalize sex-for-hire advertising.
This is the human-rights issue of our lifetime, the bills sponsor, Rep. Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo, told her colleagues. Thirty-two billion in revenues are generated a year in human trafficking. ... The seriousness and urgency of this problem compounds every day.
Supporters of the proposed ban on law-enforcement cameras said the legislation would protect Ohio motorists from excessive fines.
You are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. With red-light cameras, you are guilty until proven innocent. ... You are not able to face your accuser because your accuser is a machine, said Rep. Ron Maag, R-Lebanon.
Companies that run the cameras have incentive to write as many (tickets) as possible because they get a cut of the proceeds. Theyve taken law enforcement and rigged it for profits.
Opponents argued that a complete ban of the cameras is an overreaction, and they called for regulating use to prevent abuses.
Curtin said concern about the misuse of new technologies in law enforcement is nothing new. He cited similar debates with the advent of fingerprinting, stun guns and DNA evidence.
Where is the balance in this proposal? Where is the reason? Curtin said. Lets weed out the bad apples. Columbus is not one of them.
Rep. Kevin Boyce, a Columbus Democrat and former city councilman, said he shares concerns about due process and excessive fines, but more important is the idea of saving a life.
In Columbus, which has 38 cameras, officials reported a 74 percent drop in broadside crashes and a 25 percent decrease in rear-end collisions from 2008, when the first cameras were installed, to 2011.
The bill now heads to the Senate, where President Keith Faber, R-Celina, voted in favor of a similar bill a few years ago. Were starting to have discussion inside the caucus, but I cant predict there are the votes to get it done, Faber said.
Also yesterday, the majority Republicans rejected a Democratic effort to authorize a Medicaid expansion before legislators leave this week for summer recess. Democrats proposed adding the provision to an unrelated health-care bill, but Republicans quickly voted to table the amendment.
Dispatch Reporter Jim Siegel contributed to this story.
Follow the dollar and you will figure out why the political class is upset.
Could be just a pinch bill. Okay, system manufacturers, time to pony up some more dough.
Rather than the red light cameras, I’d opt for those steel poles to rise up and block the lanes of traffic with a red light.
Maybe some of those self important morons who run the lights might be taken out of the gene pool.
Increasing yellow light times by itself reduces collisions and violations by as much as 75% in studies done. Of course that's real safety and that isn't very profitable.
Few blocks from my neighborhood; big victory. The devices are still up but not on, and folks still slow down.
That is pure 'pie in the sky' Barbra Streisand. They slow down for the camera area and resume their normal speed immediately thereafter. These cameras are nothing but a not too subtle method of raising money both for the city but mainly for the friends of the pols who install them,. They are worth millions to the vendors.
Motorist do change their habit of running the red light when cameras are there. I watched it happen here in Houston. Red light running came almost to a halt. Then people complained and the cameras were removed and it is back to the running red lights again.
Whether it was done to enhance revenue, I can’t comment because I have no insight into that but people do learn to stop for a red light and they learned it quickly. I saw that with my own eyes.
Summary...I hate the big brother aspects with the cameras. But it has helped somewhat.
“And when accidents and fines diminish to a point where not enough cash is flowing in, they cut the yellow signal light times until they create more accidents and revenues.”
In Brecksville, they just have a cop run the light at 82 and 21, by hand. One didn’t like the look of my work van, so he “flashed” the yellow light. It was no longer than 1 to 1 1/2 seconds. I skidded to a stop.
They used to have red light cameras near where I live but now they are gone. What I hated most was that people did learn to avoid them like they had the plague. Bozos would stop a full car length before the white stop line and sit there and wait. The light would never turn green for them because they weren’t over the sensor in the road that detects a car is there.
Call me when you rear end someone!
If it’s about public safety why not pull the license from anyone caught running a red light?
Because it’s not about safety. It’s about revenue.
Never will happen as I do not tailgate. I do however brake check those who appear to be drafting me!
One woman had a McDonalds coffee moment when she got very close for a very long time and I brake checked her. Served her right.
Judge slams Cincinnati suburb for keeping traffic cameras
Village is in contempt of court, he says
By Dan Sewell
Associated Press Friday June 28, 2013 4:00 AM
CINCINNATI A judge found a southwestern Ohio village in contempt of court yesterday, saying it had violated his order against using traffic cameras to catch speeders.
Judge Robert Ruehlman of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court also ordered the sheriffs office to confiscate the cameras in Elmwood Place. And he ordered the village and its camera vendor to reimburse all speeding fines collected since his March 7 ruling, knocking down a village ordinance that allowed the camera use starting last September.
Any money collected after my ruling is to be returned, Ruehlman said.
To make sure the equipment doesnt run anymore in the meantime, he said, it will be seized and the village will have to pay any costs for it being taken down and stored. His written order also said the village was liable for the plaintiffs legal fees, to be tallied.
The cameras were to be taken down by last night, said Holly Calhoun, who manages the Elmwood Quick Mart and had advocated for their removal. Calls seeking comment from Elmwood Places police chief and the villages attorney werent returned yesterday.
The village of 2,200 people neighboring Cincinnati has become a focal point for a debate common across the country about using traffic cameras. Thousands of people got ticketed within a few months, leading to the lawsuit. The village appealed Ruehlmans injunction and has said it stopped issuing citations after his ruling.
But the judge found that about $48,000 had been collected in fines after March 7 and ordered that money returned by the village and its vendor, Maryland-based Optotraffic. The company is one of several that provide and operate traffic cameras to municipalities throughout the country in return for a percentage of revenue in Elmwoods case, 40 percent.
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