Ohio Senate bill would limit revenue from tickets issued through speed cameras


By Marc Kovac

news@vindy.com

COLUMBUS

Local offices could not collect more than 30 percent of their total revenues from speeding tickets issued through the use of traffic cameras, under legislation being considered in the Ohio Senate.

Senate Bill 275 was introduced by Sen. Tom Patton, a Republican from Strongsville, in response to citations issued in one suburban Columbus village.

Linndale, which has a population of fewer than 200 people and covers about 50 acres, collected nearly $448,000 in fines, licenses and permits in 2013, Patton said in testimony submitted Tuesday to the Senate’s State and Local Government Committee.

That’s about 80 percent of the village’s total receipts, he said.

“Linndale is notorious for operating traffic cameras and issuing a large amount of tickets,” Patton said in his submitted testimony. “The misuse of these cameras was not clear to me until we took a closer look at the numbers.”

SB 275 had its first hearing Tuesday.

Lawmakers have revamped state law concerning traffic cameras, notably requiring an officer to be present when the devices are in use.

SB 275 would add an additional condition, limiting camera-issued tickets to 30 percent of the total revenue of the county, township or village where the devices are used.

“... Traffic cameras have proven to be a nuisance to the public providing zero increase to public safety, and while I understand their purpose in principle, I have yet to see it in practice,” Patton said in his submitted testimony Tuesday. “A local authority who receives nearly 80 percent of their annual cash receipts from the issuance of said tickets is simply gaming the system, and this issue must be addressed. This legislation does exactly that.”