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Government & Politics

Cities Fight Back Against Traffic Cam Restrictions in New State Transportation Budget

Ohio lawmakers have put strict new guidelines for cities using traffic cameras in the new transporation budget. Cities are fighting back.

It’s been a few years, but state lawmakers are trying again to put rules on local traffic cameras, which they’ve said communities are using to generate revenue rather than improve safety.

The new regulations are part of the same budget that would raise the state’s gas tax.

The House version of the transportation budget requires traffic camera disputes go through municipal courts instead of an administrative process, and would require cities that use cameras to report income from them, which would then be deducted from their state funds.

Keary McCarthy with the Ohio Mayors Alliance said this is an attempt to work around an Ohio Supreme Court decision upholding cities’ rights to operate camera programs, and it has no place in a budget that needs to be agreed upon by March 31.

“We can continue to debate the value of this policy," said McCarthy, "but having it included in what is already a difficult challenge in the transportation budget doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

And McCarthy suggests that legal action is possible if the provision remains in the transportation budget.