A red light camera ban has been passed by the Ohio house, putting an end to traffic light and speed cameras across the state.
The law requires all municipalities in the state to remove law-enforcement cameras, except fpor mobile units in school zones during restricted hours, though this is only applicable in the presence of a police officer. The red light camera ban passed after an hour of debate, during which proponents of the bill accused some officials of overusing the cameras to generate profit for local governments.
Not everyone agreed with the ban, however.
“Motorists learn where these cameras are … and guess what? Driving habits change. They change for the better,” said Rep. Michael F. Curtin, a Democrat from Marble Cliff.
The vote cut across party lines, with other Democrats disagreeing with Curtin.
“The village of Elmwood (Place) issued 6,000 tickets in 30 days at $105 a pop … with 40 percent of the revenue going to a company that is not located in Ohio,” said Rep. Alicia Reece, a Democrat from Cincinnati. “Folks don’t even want to go to church because they don’t want to drive through the village.”
Red light cameras have become an increasingly contentious issue nationwide. Earlier this month, the Iowa City council voted to repeal an ordinance that allowed red light cameras. Last year officials in New Jersey determined that red light cameras weren’t calibrated properly and were giving hundreds of unwarranted tickets.
A driver in Newark, California, made national headlines earlier this month when she successfully fought a ticket from a red light camera. She found that a public announcement had incorrectly stated the street she was on, a move that officials think could invalidate thousands of other tickets generated by the red light camera.
The issue of banning red light cameras has national groups involved as well. The red light ban in Iowa City was proposed by StopBigBrother.org, a civil rights organization that advocates for an end to what it calls “traffic surveillance.”