Ohio gas tax hike will penalize communities that use speed cameras

Communities would be penalized the dollar amount they ticket from state aid.

Ohio gas tax hike will penalize communities that use speed cameras

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The hike in Ohio’s gasoline tax has two other important provisions.

A portion of the bill says any money collected from traffic cameras will be totaled at the end of the year, and that same amount will be subtracted from state aid to the municipality.

Newburgh Heights has held that the cameras are about safety, not revenue, and has argued that in court previously.

“Infringing on municipalities, cities and villages’ rights to police and enforce the law,” is Mayor Trevor Elkins’ view.

He sees the new law as a power grab by the legislature.

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled against similar laws in the past, but this is different because of the money penalty.

“We don’t do it for money. This is done and designed to increase safety, reduce speeds.” is what Elkins repeated on Wednesday.

It’s a stance he has always taken on the issue.

“If the cities think this is all about safety, we’re playing ball with them.” said Ohio Rep. Tom Patton in 2018.

He predicted exactly what happened in the new bill regarding the cameras.

There is another element of the bill that impacts speed enforcement.

With no front license plates as required in the law, an officer using a Dragon cam can only use it on cars going away from him, not approaching. Previously they could get you coming and going. Now, just going.

So the tug of war isn’t over. The safety versus revenue argument aside; the cams are lucrative enough to fund the municipalities expensive legal fight to keep them

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