End of red-light cameras? Ohio Supreme Court gives greenlight to withholding state funds

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Published: May. 19, 2022 at 10:23 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVG) - A ruling by the Ohio Supreme Court Thursday allowing the state’s legislature to withhold funding from cities that utilize red-light and speeding cameras for enforcement may spell the end of the technology’s use.

After the court required an appeals process to be established challenging tickets in 2020, cities throughout the state were preparing to relaunch the program. To combat that, the GOP-led General Assembly passed a law that allowed lawmakers to reduce appropriation of local-government funds going to municipalities that used the cameras to collect fines.

That disincentive will likely keep cities from using the cameras, since any revenue that would be collected would be lost from the state.

While claiming the cameras were for safety, not revenue, officials with the city of Toledo said the tool has “been taken away.”

There will be no impact on the City’s budget because, frankly, we anticipated this decision and began making adjustments to our budget 2 years ago to prepare for this day. We’ve long assumed the Court would rule the way it did, and so we budgeted accordingly.

However, the cameras were never about revenue — they were always about safety — and the City of Toledo remains concerned that a tool for keeping our streets safe has been taken away by a small handful of Columbus politicians who think they are smarter than Police chiefs and safety forces, who have long supported this common-sense tool to calm traffic and keep our streets safe.

The City will continue to implement strategies that promote traffic safety, and the Mayor, City Council and Chief Kral will be working together to achieve this common goal.

Gretchen DeBacker - Toledo Director of Marketing and Communications

Newburgh Heights and East Cleveland had challenged the law based on the ‘home rule’ provision in the state Constitution, which allows local governments, such as cities and counties, to pass laws to govern themselves.

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