Although a new law placing significant restrictions on the use of traffic cameras recently became effective in Ohio, at least two municipalities in the state have reportedly continued to use them after a judge granted a court order banning enforcement of the law. The Dayton Daily News and Toledo Blade report that the cities of Dayton and Toledo have decided to continue using their red-light cameras after Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Dean Mandros granted the Toledo's request for a preliminary injunction, effective statewide, with a finding that, "the city established a high likelihood of success in terms of prevailing on the issue of whether sections of the law are unconstitutional.”
Toledo argues that the law infringes on its "home-rule" authority to govern under Article XVIII, Section 7 of the Ohio Constitution. The Blade reports that several other cities have filed their own court challenges, including Akron, Columbus and Springfield. The new law requires a police officer to be present and witness traffic violations before a ticket can be issued.
The Ohio Supreme Court has previously found in favor of municipalities with respect to civil enforcement of penalties for traffic violations caught by these cameras. Although the Court did not consider the constitutionality of the new law, as it was not in place yet, they did find support for Toledo's administrative penalty system under the city's constitutional home-rule powers. Could this be an indicator of how the Court will rule if it hears these cases on appeal? We may find out in the coming months.
Photo Credit: Kevin Payravi, via Wikimedia Commons