Ohio Supreme Court gives green light for traffic cameras

Ohio Supreme Court gives green light for traffic cameras

GIRARD — Residents, and even a city council member, railed against the use of an automated camera to catch speeders here, but the Ohio Supreme Court has said the practice is legal.

That means the city can put the camera back into use, and might get to keep the fines collected through the use of the device.

The state’s top court today gave a green light to municipalities that want to use automated camera systems to enforce traffic laws and levy fines against violators.

Supreme court justices, in a unanimous opinion, said municipalities can enact civil penalties for traffic signal light or speeding violations, provided the city does not alter statewide traffic regulations.

Penalties levied on speeders from the camera are civil not criminal in nature.

The decision came in a case that challenged use of a camera system in Akron. That city used cameras in schools zones after a child was struck and killed in a crosswalk in 2005.

Girard city officials, in 2005, agreed to use a mobile camera to photograph the rear license plates of speeders. A civil fine would then be imposed on the owner of the vehicle.

Use of the camera was suspended in mid-2006 when Judge John Stuard of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court ruled that use of the camera device is in violation of the Ohio Constitution.

For the complete story, see Friday’s Vindicator and Vindy.com.