Ohio legislators are insisting that traffic cameras positioned to snare motorists who speed or run red lights can be used only if a police officer is at the intersection to write the ticket, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Requiring an officer at the scene jeopardizes Cleveland’s plan to instal 30 red-light cameras and a dozen speeding cameras. As sucy cameras are used around the country, a photograph is reviewed off-site by a designated officer who generates a ticket from the vehicle’s license plate.
Backers of the legislative measure said that sometimes the driver is not the car’s owner and that studies have shown rear-end crashes increase at intersections where the cameras are located. A Toledo lawmaker protested that police “simply do not have the officers to put at the intersections” and that the bill “will just eliminate the ability to use” cameras. Many lawmakers in the Republican-controlled House rejected the notion that the cameras enhance public safety. “It’s clearly a money grab,” said Rep. Jim Trakas, Republican of Independence. “I think it has nothing to do with safety.”