TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – House Bill 62 took effect Wednesday, which said communities that use traffic cameras will see a reduction in what they receive from the Local Government Fund by the amount they take in from fines.
The bill also prohibits such cameras from being used on interstate highways.
Additionally, all ticket appeals must be heard in court instead of by an administrative officer.
Trotwood employs a handful of speed and red light traffic cameras, which Police Chief, Erik Wilson, said are used not as money makers, but rather additional safety measures.
Erikson said on Wednesday, the camera system is currently being suspended because the city of Toledo is suing over these changes and he is waiting to see what comes of that court case, and will follow those guidelines.
He added, this should not significantly impact the city’s funds, but he still has a lot of questions for the legislature regarding the new law.
“You know, what are you going to do with the money?,” said Wilson. “Since you made it about revenue, where is this money going? You know, like it would be nice to hear that ‘hey, the money we’re not giving you is now going to fund drivers-ed in our schools.”
One Trotwood resident, Frederick Hayes Jr., said he has seen the positive impact the cameras have had on unsafe driving practices, but added this law could benefit the residents.
“They are necessary to keep people in order, the people still have to pay those fines, but I think that Trotwood has to find new innovative ways to bring more income into this city,” said Hayes.
Another Trotwood resident, Tasha Jenkins, said she opposes the traffic cameras in general as they have been ruled unconstitutional in other cases, and feels they have errors in judgment.
She added the city should take note, that losing these state funds could really hurt an already hurting community.
“I feel like the community has been hit hard enough, you know, there are more important things that we should be focused on as far as coming together as a community and helping each other,” said Jenkins.
State Representative Niraj Antani (R-Miami Township) released a statement in support of these red light camera restrictions:
Red light cameras are too often used to police for profit, and this practice must be stopped. These new restrictions will protect Ohioans from becoming victims to overzealous local politicians trying to make a quick buck to fund their pet projects. While I appreciate the City of Dayton agreed to use red light camera fine dollars only for their police and fire departments at my urging, this bill has a statewide effect and will make certain that other cities are truly only operating red light and speed cameras for safety purposes. As well, the restrictions will give due process for those being ticketed and will take back into the state’s hands the policing of interstate highways.Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miami Township)