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Columbus Goes To Court Over State's New Red Light Camera Law

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A red light traffic camera

The City of Columbus will challenge the constitutionality of a new red light camera law. The law will shut the cameras off March 23rd unless a police officer is assigned to each camera location 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Columbus public safety director George Speaks says the new law is unconstitutional because it violates the city’s right to home rule. The law is irrational, he says, because it would require more than 100 police officers to be on-site at red light camera intersections. The city, Speaks says, has no intention to redeploy officers to monitor cameras. And hiring new officers, he says, would be prohibitively expensive.

“Currently we have one officer who oversees our 38 intersections. This law would require an officer be present at all intersections 24 / 7. Therefore you’re talking about 38 intersections, times 3, for 3 shifts or 114 officers,” Speaks says

The cost would amount to more than $11 million annually.

Columbus’ red light cameras will be turned off at midnight March 23rd.