The Ohio state House of Representatives on Thursday voted 71 to 27 to approve a broad package of transportation measures designed, among other things, to discourage some use of speed cameras. The measure, which has yet to be considered in the state Senate, replaces administrative hearings for photo tickets with trials that would be heard in an actual court, with the locality footing the bill for the court fees in advance.
Similar language was introduced last year by House Majority Leader Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), though it never made it into law despite overwhelming House passage. Under his revised proposal, municipalities using cameras would still have to file an annual report to the state tax commissioner documenting how much cash the town’s private photo ticketing vendor has collected from motorists. The state would then deduct that amount from state aid payments to the city or town and direct the cash to a state fund dedicated to “enhance public safety” on roads and highways, except the revised measure exempts speed camera tickets from the revenue total if they are issued near a “school zone.” The bill also prohibits townships from setting up camera traps on interstates.