Ohio Lawmaker's War on Traffic Cameras Continues With New Bills Aimed At Small Towns Like Linndale


The days of Linndale and Newburgh Heights' red light traffic enforcement cameras could be numbered, if Rep. Tom Patton has his way.

On Tuesday, the Strongsville Republican introduced a number of bills aimed at stopping small Ohio towns and villages from issuing camera tickets.

The new bills (H.B. No. 207-210) would prohibit cameras in places with a population of 200 or less, or places without a fire/EMT department. They would also limit the amount of tickets and money a jurisdiction can issue and collect.

"Somebody telling me I'm making a mistake 30 days later doesn't help me correct my behavior," Patton told Cleveland.com. "The police car out there reminds people what the speed limit is supposed to be."

And the congressman, who has introduced multiple bills to curtail the reach of traffic cameras, none of which have passed, isn't alone in his sentiments. Northeast Ohioans have a history of not taking kindly to photo-enforced traffic ticket machines, like when one portable camera was set ablaze in 2013.

However, Newburgh Heights' mayor Travis Elkins told News 5 Cleveland that his city only has the best intentions for people when it comes to slowing down in their cars.

“For us, it’s about safety,” Elkins said. "Does it create revenue? Yes. Absolutely.”

Elkins also told Cleveland.com that Newburgh Heights, which issues about 600 tickets per month, does not use that revenue for general operations. Addressing the idea of capping the number of tickets, Elkins said:

"There's no basis in the real world for that. What you're saying is everybody who gets caught up until 5,000 tickets gets punished but everybody after that is permitted to break the law without repercussions — that's laughable. The state supreme court has ruled these cameras are constitutional and are legal," Elkins said. "Instead of getting involved in municipal business, Rep. Patton needs to start instituting programs explaining to people speed is the No. 1 cause of fatalities and accidents on roadways."

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