Bills aim to limit 'Dragon Cam' speed enforcement

Bills aim to limit 'Dragon Cam' speed enforcement
Dragon camera (Source: WOIO)

NEWBURGH HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - You're caught on a Dragon Camera speeding. You don't get a ticket for a month, and it comes in the mail. Because an officer pulled the trigger,
it is considered a manned camera, so it gets around Senate Bill 342 which pulled the reins in on speed-camera ticketing.

State Sen. Tom Patton isn't happy about it saying, "They could argue till the cows come home about safety but if you're getting a ticket one month after you've committed the offense you're not being reminded to slow down or be careful."

Patton has introduced four bills that don't ban Dragon Cams, but limit their use in communities like Linndale and Newburgh Heights, well
known for speed enforcement.

The bills say no more tickets than twice the population, no more than 30 percent of the budget from tickets. Since the tickets are said to be for safety the area would have to have a Fire Department and EMS and no area with fewer than 200 people can ticket.

The bills create multiple problems for Linndale's budget. Two of the four proposals hit home here. Look far and wide and you won't find a fire department or EMS. It also falls below the 200 resident threshold.

Then there's Newburgh Heights. Their fire department was founded in 1943, and not a lot has changed other than a second bay. With the influx of Dragon Cam money, the mayor went full time at five times the part-time salary, and a new Village Hall, police, and fire department are being built.

Patton says there is another thing to consider. People with long driving records and no tickets can plead to an officer.

"They listen to it and believe it and they say I'm gonna give you a warning. That's compassion. In their heart you know. Cameras have no compassion," said Patton.

Safety or revenue?  You be the judge.

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