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5/18/2005
Ohio House Votes to Ban Red Light Cameras
A bill effectively banning camera enforcement passes in Ohio state House of Representatives.

Rep. James Raussen on May 18, 2005The Ohio House of Representatives voted 72-23 to approve a bill by state Representative Jim Raussen (R-Springdale) today that would effectively prohibit the use of red light cameras and speed cameras in the state. Raussen's legislation would only allow the devices to be used when a police officer is present to witness the offense and issue the citation to the driver.

The House also voted 92-4 to add a provision standardizing yellow signal timing to the ITE recommendations. The amendment's sponsor, Rep. Shawn Webster, cited the Texas Transportation Institute study showing longer yellow times decreased accidents.

Raussen argued that the photo enforcement represented, "a program that at best has questionable results." He cited cases in Ohio where individuals had improperly received tickets for offenses they did not commit as well as studies which show red light camera use actually increased the number of accidents where they were used.

Rep. Peter Ujvagi (D-Toledo) agreed that some abuses have happened, but "we should not punish those communities that are doing the right thing." He cited evidence from the Toledo police showing a reduction in violations where the cameras were used.

The cities of Dayton, Middletown, Northwood, Sylvania Township, and Toledo currently use red light cameras. Northwood also uses speed cameras.

Article Excerpt:
126th General Assembly, Regular Session 2005-2006
Am. Sub. H. B. No. 56 (As passed by the House)

Representatives Raussen, Seitz, Brinkman, McGregor, D. Evans, Fessler, Aslanides, Reidelbach, Gilb, Buehrer, Hood, Daniels, Taylor, Martin, Gibbs, Faber, Raga, Blessing, Schneider, Uecker, Bubp, J. Stewart, Schaffer, Webster, Key, Law, Widowfield, Calvert, Coley, Collier, Flowers, Hughes, T. Patton, Peterson, Seaver, Setzer, Trakas, Yates

A BILL To enact sections 4511.092 and 4511.093 of the Revised Code to allow the use of a traffic law photo-monitoring device to detect traffic law violations only if a law enforcement officer is present at the location of the device and issues tickets at the time and location of the violations, and to require the time period during which traffic control signals display yellow lights or yellow arrows to conform with the applicable provisions of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices.


BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:

Section 1. That sections 4511.092 and 4511.093 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 4511.092. (A) As used in this section:

(1) "Law enforcement agency" means any law enforcement agency of a local authority.

(2) "Law enforcement officer" means any law enforcement officer employed by a law enforcement agency of a local authority.

(3) "Local authority" means a municipal corporation, county, or township.

(4) "Traffic law photo-monitoring device" means an electronic system consisting of a photographic, video, or electronic camera and a means of sensing the presence of a motor vehicle that automatically produces photographs, videotape, or digital images of the vehicle, its operator, or its license plate.

(B) A local authority that authorizes the law enforcement agency of that local authority to utilize a traffic law photo-monitoring device within its boundaries to determine compliance with, or to detect a violation of, a municipal ordinance or any provision of the Revised Code that governs or regulates the operation of motor vehicles shall provide that the traffic law photo-monitoring device shall be so utilized and operated for such purposes only when a law enforcement officer is present at the location of the traffic law photo-monitoring device and issues tickets, citations, or summonses at the time and location of the traffic law violations.

(C) The state highway patrol shall not utilize a traffic law photo-monitoring device to determine compliance with, or to detect a violation of, any provision of the Revised Code that governs or regulates the operation of motor vehicles unless a state highway patrol trooper is present at the location of the traffic law photo-monitoring device and issues tickets, citations, or summonses at the time and location of the traffic law violations.

Sec. 4511.093. The time period during which a traffic control signal displays a yellow light or yellow arrow shall conform with the provisions contained in the manual adopted by the department of transportation pursuant to section 4511.09 of the Revised Code governing the time of display of yellow lights and yellow arrows by traffic control signals, and that time period shall not be shorter than the time period prescribed by that manual for intersections that are of the same type or have the same characteristics as the intersection at which the traffic control signal is located.



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