NMA Reboot: We Told You So, Ohio

This weekly post features recent news stories that highlight and update themes previously covered throughout NMA E-Newsletters and Alerts.

Editor’s Note: Ohio lawmakers can’t figure out why the “ban” on speed cameras they passed a year ago didn’t actually get rid of the cameras. Seems local police have found a workaround using handheld speed cameras and are now issuing more tickets than ever. We called the legislation to ban the cameras a “Trojan Horse” and predicted that municipalities would exploit the loopholes therein (See this Ohio legislative alert from last year). Turns out we were right.

 

NMA Ohio Alert: Ohio Senate May Pass “Trojan Horse” Camera Bill

The Ohio Senate is pulling the oldest trick in the book again. In the name of “banning” ticket cameras, it is about to vote on a bill that actually authorizes the use of red-light cameras, speed cameras and bus cameras.

Here’s the shady part. In many of the 10 cities that have banned ticket cameras by referendum in Ohio, the language says an officer must be present with the camera and issue the citation personally to the driver. The current bill, Senate Bill 342, leaves out that last portion.

Under SB 342, the officer still has to babysit the camera, but “may use any lawful means to identify the registered owner.” And that includes the use of a camera.

SB 342 is not ban; it is a cynical attempt to confuse legislators and to trick the public into supporting a bill that will in fact allow widespread use of photo enforcement.

Don’t let them get away with it. Contact your Senator and tell him or her not to support SB 342 as written. The bill needs to be amended with the following language to be an effective deterrent to the predatory use of ticket cameras:

“The city, including its various boards, agencies and departments, shall not use any traffic law photo-monitoring device for the enforcement of a qualified traffic law violation, unless a law enforcement officer is present at the location of the device and personally issues the ticket to the alleged violator at the time and location of the violation.”

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