While law enforcement officials and local government figures argue that traffic cameras reduce the number of vehicle crashes in many Ohio cities, others claim the devices only serve as moneymakers for local governments and intrude on their privacy. Now, The Ohio Supreme Court has weighed in.
The Ohio Supreme Court unanimously agreed on Thursday (May 20) that it is legal to reduce state funding to cities that use traffic cameras to fine motorists for driving infractions, according to FOX 8.
They upheld a 2019 law that reduces the amount of state funding a municipality receives based on the amount of money the municipality bills in traffic-camera fines. The law also requires local governments to pay any fees accumulated when enforcing a traffic-camera citation in advance (except in cases involving school zones).
Two Cleveland suburbs argued that the law violates their home-rule powers (which give municipalities authority to exercise government powers delegated by its state government) guaranteed in the Ohio Constitution. But Justice Sharon Kennedy, writer for the court, disagreed.
“The Ohio Constitution does not require the General Assembly to appropriate any funds to municipalities, and it does not create a specific right for a municipality to receive local-government funds from the state,” Kennedy wrote in the court’s opinion.
As for the requirement that local government pay fees in advance, Kennedy believes it “merely requires that municipalities that ask state courts to enforce citations issued using traffic cameras shoulder the costs that their litigation creates.”merely requires that municipalities that ask state courts to enforce citations issued using traffic cameras shoulder the costs that their litigation creates.”