ODOT: We will review the speed camera signage policy


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

The Ohio Department of Transportation’s order for local municipalities to remove all speed-camera signs and equipment from state highways and interstates has been halted while the department reviews the policy, pushing back the original Friday deadline.

“Given the feedback and concerns we heard from local communities and law enforcement, we are allowing more time to review this policy before taking further action on existing signs and cameras. No new signs or cameras will be granted installation permission during this review period,” said Matt Bruning, ODOT press secretary.

Communities consulted their law directors to consider if the order by Jerry Wray, ODOT director, would require ending the program per state law on signage.

Youngstown Law Director Jeff Limbian said the signs were taken down, but “there has been no state mandate to stop the program. We will still be operating the hand-held cameras to slow people down.”

The police chief has noted people seem to drive slower on Interstate 680 because of the cameras, he added.

Howland Administrator Darlene St. George said the township put speed-camera use on hold until ODOT is finished with the review.

Howland started using the cameras earlier this year. The township’s permit for state Route 82 was canceled last week.

Hubbard Township also had a permit canceled for state Route 304, but Atty. Mark Finamore, the township’s legal counsel, said they decided not to use speed cameras anyway.

Girard, Liberty, Weathersfield and Youngstown didn’t have permits for their speed cameras as of last week.

Finamore said state law requires signs be put up on all highways except freeways for a community to use photo enforcement, so if ODOT decides not to rescind its order, he doesn’t believe it would be legal to operate speed cameras based on state law.

Liberty Administrator Pat Ungaro said the township will continue to use its speed cameras on the highway unless the state rules it isn’t legal. Calls to Girard and Weathersfield were not returned late Friday afternoon.

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