- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that enforcing traffic laws by camera is legal, rejecting an effort by the state to require that a police officer be present at the time of the offense for tickets to be valid.

The 5-2 opinion strikes down a 2015 law that attempted to restrict localities’ rush to use traffic cameras for enforcement.

Justice Patrick F. Fischer, writing the majority opinion, said cities and counties had a good reason to turn to traffic cameras, and the state didn’t show an “overriding” interest that trumped the localities’ judgment.

“The Home Rule Amendment provides independent authority to Ohio’s municipalities with regard to local police regulations,” Justice Fischer wrote.

Dayton had challenged three provisions in a Ohio state law passed in 2015, which placed three restrictions on the use of traffic cameras. The restrictions required a police officer to be present at the camera site, prohibited a driver from being fined unless he or she was going more than 6 miles per hour over the limit in a park or school zone, or more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit in non-restricted areas, and required a public information campaign before the city could use a camera.

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