A legal dispute regarding automated traffic cameras, also called red light cameras, has caused disagreement among courts in Ohio. The Ohio Supreme Court recently announced there is a conflict in decisions made in separate cases where Dayton and Toledo are challenging an Ohio law putting restrictions on automated traffic cameras. The Supreme Court is set to reconcile the conflict with its decision in the Dayton case, which should determine if an automated traffic camera recording is the sole evidence necessary to issue a ticket for traffic violations such as speeding or running a red light.
Red Light Cameras Are Controversial
As the technology developed and became more cost effective, the use of automated traffic cameras has become popular for cities looking to increase enforcement of traffic laws. It is now commonplace to see the boxes containing red light cameras perched along the roadside or right next to traffic signals at busy intersections.
However, automated cameras became a source of complaints, and at the end of 2014 Senate Bill 324 was signed into law. One of the requirements included in Senate Bill 324 was that a police officer needed to be present at the location where a traffic camera was in use in order for that evidence to be valid. This effectively eliminated the usefulness of the cameras.
The requirement to have a police officer present was challenged by municipalities in the state that felt that the requirement infringed on their power to manage their own affairs. In the two cases before the Ohio Supreme Court, there is a split where one appeals court ruled that Senate Bill 324 was unconstitutional and the other ruled that it was a valid law.
Conflict Between State Law and Red Light Camera Use
Automated traffic cameras are still in use in many areas of Ohio without an officer present, which means you can still face a traffic ticket based on evidence collected by a red light camera even though it violates the requirements of Senate Bill 324. Until the Ohio Supreme Court makes a decision, it is important to remember that as you travel throughout Ohio there can be differences in how traffic laws are enforced.
How a Columbus Traffic Lawyer Can Help
Whether you are issued a traffic ticket by an automated traffic camera or by more traditional means, the consequences can be substantial. In addition to heavy fines, a traffic ticket can lead to the suspension of your driver’s license or even jail time depending on your prior traffic offenses. If you want to fight your traffic ticket, you need an experienced Columbus traffic attorney that can help you contest any charges.
The skilled attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates have helped several clients facing traffic violations from speeding to DUI and OVI. Let our experience work to help defend you from any traffic charges you might be facing.
Call us today at (614) 500-3836 for a free and confidential consultation.