As Taft Leaves Office He Vetoes Traffic Camera Restriction Bill
Jan 5, 2007 10:58 AM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Outgoing Gov. Bob Taft vetoed a bill Friday that would have restricted how cities can use traffic cameras to catch drivers who speed and run red lights.
The bill, passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature, would have banned cities from using the cameras to ticket drivers who break traffic laws unless a police officer is present to witness the infraction.
"I can discern no strong public policy that warrants this sweeping pre-emption of local control over our local streets," Taft, also a Republican, said in a statement.
Camera programs have been in Columbus, Toledo, Springfield, Trotwood, Dayton, Northwood, Middletown and Cleveland. Most cities use the technology for red-light enforcement, but Toledo and Cleveland use the cameras to nab speeders, generating millions of dollars in revenue for Cleveland.
Supporters of the bill argued that the camera programs are high-tech traps and that state regulation was needed to set some standards and avoid an abuse of power.
The cameras work by snapping photos of vehicles and their license plates. In Columbus, like many cities, the fine is mailed to the vehicle's registered owner. The ticket is considered a civil violation, not criminal, so no points are recorded on a driving record.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)