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Red Light Camera Ban Set To Go Before Ohio Supreme Court

Red light camera in Springfield, Ohio.
Derek Jensen
Wikimedia Commons
A red light camera system in Springfield, Ohio.

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments tomorrow on whether a state law that bans the use of most red-light cameras goes too far.

In 2014, state lawmakers put limits on how cities and villages can employ automatic traffic cameras – including requiring a full-time officer to be present and requiring local governments to do a traffic study before they install the cameras.

Six years earlier, the Ohio Supreme Court had ruled it is legal for cities to employ the cameras. Dayton – along with Toledo and Springfield — are arguing that the newer state law is an attempt to do an end-run around that ruling and is an unconstitutional limit to home-rule powers. The state is countering that municipalities can still have the cameras, but state laws provide a uniform framework for their use.

Akron was among the cities that shut the cameras down after the law passed, but it restarted them in school zones last fall. Voters in Cleveland and Maple Heights have banned the cameras on their own. And some small villages such as Cuyahoga County’s Linndale and Newburgh Heights -- where the cameras and traffic enforcement in general are most controversial – have assigned officers to sit with the cameras.