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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Traffic camera ban sought by some Ohio lawmakers: Road Rant [cleveland.com]


traffic camera.jpgView full sizeLegislation introduced at the Statehouse could prohibit Cleveland and other Ohio communities from red-light and speed enforcement cameras. 
 Some state lawmakers want to ban the controversial red-light and speed cameras that ticket thousands of motorists a month in Cleveland and more than a dozen other towns in Ohio.
Legislation introduced last month would prohibit communities, counties and the State Highway Patrol from using photo-monitoring devices to enforce traffic laws. 
State Rep. Zack Milkovich, a Democrat from Akron, said the cameras siphon money out of people's wallets. Milkovich is a cosponsor of the bill, which has bipartisan support.
"They're oppressive to folks just trying to put food on the table," said Milkovich, who added that he regularly hears complaints about the devices. "It's a little bit too much."
Cleveland officials believe the proposed legislation is unconstitutional given a city's right to home rule, said Maureen Harper, the communications chief for the mayor's office.
The city's photo enforcement program began at the end of 2005. Annual reports and court records show that Cleveland's cameras clicked out more than a half-million tickets during the first six years of the program, through December 2011. Fines and fees collected on those citations amount to more than $47 million.
Camera-generated tickets in Cleveland start at $100. Violations qualify as a civil offense and don't go on a driver's license record.

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