Howland discontinued speed cameras July 1 after change in state law


Published: Fri, July 12, 2019 @ 12:05 a.m.

Staff report

HOWLAND

The Howland Police Department ended its traffic- camera program July 1 in response to the new Ohio law that reduced state funding to government bodies using them.

The legislation reduced the local government funding the government agency received by an amount equivalent to the fines they collected through a red-light or speed-camera program.

Supporters of the reduction in state funding said they wanted to test the theory that traffic cameras are meant to prevent crashes and not to boost municipal budgets.

Howland Police Nick Chief Roberts said the loss of local government funds the township would have experienced and other changes brought about by the law that went into effect July 3 were too much to overcome.

The township received $660,000 in revenue from Howland speeding tickets issued during 12 months from March 2018 to March 2019.

Republican state Rep. Niraj Antani of Miamisburg, R-42nd, said the restrictions protect Ohioans from overzealous officials “trying to make a quick buck.”

The law also prohibits operation of traffic cameras on interstate highways and requires all appeals of tickets received through camera technology to be heard in court rather than by an administrative officer.

The largest percentage of speeding citations in Howland was in school zones, Roberts said. The new law required all revenue from those tickets to go toward a school-safety program.

The revenue the township received during the duration of the program March 2018 to July 1 was used to buy new police cruisers, stun guns and police radio system. “It definitely helped us,” Roberts said. The program also reduced crashes 16 percent, he added.


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