Ohio House Votes to Implement Highway Photo Radar

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper
ohio house votes to implement highway photo radar

A deeply divided Ohio House of Representatives on Thursday passed sweeping legislation that would impose new penalties on motorist s, including a statewide speed camera program. State Representative Peter S. Ujvagi (D-Toledo) inserted the controversial proposals into a “must pass” $7.6B transportation funding measure to avoid individual discussion of the merits of the many programs rolled into the 361-page bill. Only one Republican voted in favor of Ujvagi’s plan, which passed by a margin of 53-45.

The bill would make it allowable for a law enforcement officer to stop a motorist who either forgets to wear a seatbelt or chooses not to do so, even if he has committed no other offense. The plan would make it easier for police to issue seatbelt tickets which, in other states, have become a significant source of revenue. In addition to raising a number of motoring fees, Ujvagi envisions a statewide freeway speed camera program as a secondary means of increasing the state’s ability to spend.

The program allows the state to lower the speed limit in “construction zones” on freeways so long as there is one designated worker present. A private, for-profit company will station speed camera vehicles in these zones to photograph motorists and generate a $250 ticket—plus an unspecified fee—mailed up to ninety days after the alleged offense took place.

The recipient of this ticket will be presumed guilty unless he can prove to the Department of Public Safety in a “nonjudicial, administrative hearing” that he is innocent using evidence that the agency considers “reliable and credible.” From each ticket, the state will pay $125 to the city or county in whose jurisdiction the alleged offense took place. Another $12.50 will go to a state trauma fund. The remainder will be split between the state and the private vendor in charge of ticketing. Anyone failing to pay the fee will have his license suspended, or, in the case of out-of-state drivers, be banned from operating a motor vehicle in Ohio.

The state of Illinois was the first to deploy photo radar on freeways in May 2006 with the claim that the program would save the lives of highway workers. A number of studies suggest that only 15 percent of freeway construction zone injuries are caused by automobiles. A far greater number of workers are injured by their own construction equipment.

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  • Jack Baruth Jack Baruth on Mar 09, 2009

    @HGONZ: Nobody in Ohio voted for photo radar. They (and I mean they) voted for "change". Photo radar is coming in on Obama's coattails.

  • Michael Ayoub Michael Ayoub on Mar 09, 2009

    I lived in Ohio, and still believe that there is no reason to live, or go, there.

  • MaintenanceCosts This class of car competes hard with Chargers/Challengers and modded diesel pickups for the douchey-driving crown.
  • 28-Cars-Later Corey - I think I am going to issue a fatwa demanding a cool kids car meetup in July somewhere in the Ohio region.
  • Master Baiter Might as well light 50 $100 bills on fire.
  • Mike1041 At $300K per copy they may secure as much as 2 or 3 deposits of $1,000
  • Sgeffe Why on Earth can’t you just get the torque specs and do it yourself if you’re so-inclined?!