Red Light Cameras in Ohio

The use of traffic cameras by law enforcement in Ohio is a perennially contentious issue. On one side, city governments say that they are about safety. On the other hand, detractors say that it is nothing by a cash grab – with little impact on public safety. Wherever you fall in this debate, you should know the following important legal information:

Red Light Camera Locations in Toledo Ohio

The Use of Traffic Cameras in Ohio is legal

A legal battle on this issue has been being waged in Ohio courts for years. In Ohio, there is a concept in the law called “home rule.” In general, this provides local governments the ability to govern as they see fit with respect to local police, sanitation and the like. The Ohio Constitution, enacted in 1912 states:

Municipal Powers of Local Self-Government. §3 Municipalities shall have authority to exercise all powers of local self-government and to adopt and enforce within their limits such local police, sanitary and other similar regulations, as are not in conflict with general laws.

Home rule; Municipal Charter. §7 Any municipality may frame and adopt or amend a charter for its government and may, subject to the provisions of section 3 of this article, exercise thereunder all powers of local self-government.

In 2015, after public uproar over the use of these cameras, the Ohio legislature tried to deal a death blow to the practice by passing a bill requiring that a law officer by present at the cameras, prohibiting fines unless a driver exceeded the speed limit by 6 miles per hour or more in school zones and 10 miles per hour or more elsewhere and requiring governments to conduct extensive safety studies prior to use of cameras.

In 2017, this was found to violate home rule. Long story short, the use of these cameras is legal – for now.