Mon March 11, 2013
Why bipartisan group of lawmakers wants a ban on traffic enforcement cameras
Last week's decision by a Hamilton County judge ordering Elmwood Place to stop using its traffic enforcement cameras is giving new energy to a group of Ohio lawmakers who want a statewide ban, House Bill 69, on the devices.
Several state representatives at a news conference in Elmwood Place Monday said the cameras pose a couple of problems:
First there's the money grab argument. That's the position laid out by Democratic State Rep. Dale Mallory of Cincinnati.
"It's being used as a tool to generate funds. This is not a public safety issue. This is a speed trap; it's an example of big brother gone wild in a budget crunch," he said.
Next there's the Constitutional argument expressed by Republican State Rep. Ron Maag of Lebanon.
"The one thing I find so reprehensible is that it is contrary to America," he said. "In America, you get the right to address your accuser. You cannot address that machine."
And finally, there's the referendum argument. Former Republican State Rep. Courtney Combs of Hamilton is glad to see his idea for banning them continue. He said there's another step if the legislature fails to approve it.
"If we can't get this done, the next step is we'll go to the ballot," he said.
Combs said he guarantees the voters would approve getting rid of the cameras.
House Bill 69 next heads to the Ohio House Transportation Committee.
Supporters of the cameras have said they improve public safety and provide additional money during tight budget times.