12/13/2006Ohio Governor to Decide Speed Camera Fate
The Ohio House sends photo enforcement limitation measure to the Governor.
The Ohio House of Representatives voted 67-30 to adopt Senate-passed compromise legislation that would outlaw most forms of speed cameras and put novel restrictions on red light cameras (read bill text). The measure now heads to the governor's desk where Bob Taft (R) has not indicated whether he would sign or veto it.
City officials from Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo are begging Taft to veto the bill in order to save the devices which bring in millions in annual revenue.
"The former mayor of Cleveland suggested getting red-light cameras to erase a [budget] deficit," Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre told the Toledo Blade newspaper. "That was the worst thing that could have happened to red-light cameras."
If enacted, the new law would allow the use of permanent speed cameras in school zones during school hours, but ban their use on other streets unless an officer personally pulls over the motorist and directly issues the ticket at the time of the offense.
To protect the due process rights of motorists, the legislation places the burden of proof on cities and allows registered vehicle owners to mail a statement denying that they were driving the car at the time of the alleged offense. Cities may not use photographs of drivers to refute such statements.
Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin all have enacted a ban on photo ticketing.