Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ohio traffic control cameras

    With the bill introduced by Ron Maag and Dale Mallory last April that would prohibit the use of traffic law photo- monitoring devices by municipal corporations, counties, townships, and the State Highway Patrol to detect traffic signal light and speed limit violations except in school zones during recess and while children are going to or leaving school during opening or closing hours,  having been passed by the House last month by a 61-32 vote, not all towns and villages are happy with the idea.

  The Middletown Journal over the weekend carried an article citing “some Ohio cities and villages, already hurting from recent state changes that reduce their funding, will lose millions more if a proposed ban on automated traffic cameras goes through.”

   Kent Scarrett, a lobbyist for the Ohio Municipal League, which represents Ohio villages and cities in the Statehouse, was quoted as saying “the camera ban would amount to yet another funding cut for some communities.

 “The revenue component cannot be denied,” Scarrett said. “Our folks always considered this more of a safety issue… But you know, our demands are not going away for the need to generate revenue. Yet, the state seems to be not quite as supportive of a partner as they’ve been in the past.”

   “Traffic cameras netted around $16.5 million for eight Ohio cities and villages that had them in 2012, according to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, the state legislature’s research arm,” the Journal’s article said. “That doesn’t count camera revenues in six other communities — including Elmwood Place, the Hamilton County village that inspired the ban after raking in $1.5 million in just six months before a judge shut ordered its cameras shut down — for which the LSC couldn’t obtain 2012 full-year data.”

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