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Government & Politics

Ohio Supreme Court Strikes Down State Restrictions On Local Traffic Cameras

photo of traffic camera
KABIR BHATIA
/
WKSU

The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the right of cities to use traffic cameras without certain restrictions passed by state lawmakers, saying the state law that restricts those cameras is unconstitutional.

The court ruled 5-2 in striking three provisions of the law, including requirements that an officer be posted with each camera and that cities conduct traffic studies and awareness campaigns before turning on the cameras. Dayton’s Assistant City Attorney John Musto told the court in January that the law conflicts with local home-rule authority.  

“The power is provided directly by the (Ohio) Constitution, and as this Court has repeatedly held, the power may not be withdrawn by the General Assembly.”

Backers of cameras say they’re safety tools, but lawmakers who pushed for the regulations said they were concerned about the millions in revenue raised by cameras, often in small communities. Most of the more than 20 camera programs in cities were shut down after the law passed in 2014.