Ohio: Note to Lawmakers in Columbus–Stay in your lane when it comes to automated traffic enforcement and home rule for cities like Toledo

What will it take for state lawmakers to grasp that home rule means cities like Toledo can choose for themselves whether to use traffic-enforcement cameras?

The state Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld this right. And last year, the court blocked lower court attempts to hold the state in contempt for imposing financial penalties associated with exercising that right. The high court found that the city had never directly challenged the constitutionality of such penalties, something Toledo has since done in a case that is still pending.

Even so, the latest transportation bill yet again targeted Toledo and other cities with the traffic cameras with those types of penalties by deducting their traffic-camera revenue from any state Local Government Fund payments.

Toledo’s budget this year expects its share of fines from stationary red light cameras to be $1.8 million. The city’s projected take from hand-held speed enforcement cameras would be $5.6 million, but some of those may be cameras in school zones that would be exempted from these new financial penalties.