An Ohio House Committee has passed a bill that would prohibit the use of stoplight cameras by cities, counties, townships and the state highway patrol to detect traffic light and speed violations.
The House Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee held a fourth hearing on Tuesday to discuss House Bill 49.
Police officers came in from all over the state to speak in
support of cameras being used for traffic enforcement. However, at the end of
the day it wasn't enough and the proposed ban moves forward.
Departments urged legislators to adopt best practices like
setting specific speed thresholds and standards for calibrations instead of
scrapping cameras altogether.
"I hope you don't vote for
House Bill 69 due to Elmwood Ohio and let me throw in the Village of Lucas too,"
said George Speaks. "To enact a statewide band that would detrimentally affect
the entire state based on the alleged activities of a couple small, single
villages is absurd."
On the other side, witnesses like attorney Mike Allen argue
the cameras aren't about the business of public safety.
"It is about revenue, pure and simple," said
Allen. "It violates and completely throws out the window the presumption of
In the end, the supporters of the ban won out. However, both
sides recognize that the debate isn't over.
"Today was the first step
in correcting this problem throughout our state," said Representative Dale
Mallory. "We will continue to fight on to the house floor, onto the Senate,
onto the Governor's desk so that we can right the wrongs that have been done."
Also included in the bill that passes out of committee was
an amendment that allows some cameras to be used in school zones where officers