A bill to impose restrictions on the use of automated
cameras at intersections throughout Ohio is one step closer to becoming law.
The Ohio Senate voted 20-11 Wednesday, Dec. 6, to approve a
bill that would effectively ban cameras in the state used to catch speeders,
unless they are posted in active school zones with flashing yellow lights.
Cameras used to track red-light runners wouldn't be affected.
Its next stop is the House for approval of changes. If
approved there, the bill - HB56 - would move to Gov. Bob Taft's office.
Removed from the bill was a provision the House previously
approved to require a police officer to be present to personally witness a
speeding violation captured on camera.
Sponsored by Rep. Jim Raussen, R-Springfield, the bill would
prohibit the use of portable cameras, as well as end the practice of paying
camera vendors a portion of the fine amount. Instead, vendors would receive
Supporters say the changes would alleviate concerns that the
devices are being used primarily as a revenue generator for cities and other
Raussen said studies have also indicated that the cameras do
not reduce accidents.
A study paid for by the U.S. Department of Transportation
showed rear-end crashes actually increased in cities with red-light cameras, as
motorists stopped abruptly at yellow lights to avoid tickets.
A provision in the bill is intended to address concerns that
the cameras do more harm than good. It would require that if, after 12 months,
accidents don't decrease at intersections with the cameras, they must be