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One-size-fits-all approach won’t do

Published 10:19am Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Traffic cameras can serve an enforcement purpose if the focus is on safety, not money.

That’s why a proposal by Sen. Kevin Bacon, R-Columbus, should give the Legislature pause before it imposes a statewide ban on the controversial devices.

Earlier this year, legislation was introduced to ban red-light cameras altogether and limit use of speed-enforcement cameras only to 20 mph school zones, and then only if an officer is present. The measure was approved by the House and is awaiting Senate action.

Bacon’s better bill, introduced this week, sets rules for camera use, but stops well short of outlawing them.

It would require police to approve each citation issued through use of a red-light or speed-enforcement camera. It also requires safety studies of intersections before cameras are installed, and assures drivers have a way to challenge a citation.

The latest proposal makes the most sense for Ohio.

Many of those who oppose using cameras in place of officers to monitor traffic see them only as a way for communities to generate revenue. But studies have shown that the cameras can help reduce violations and save lives….

A one-size-fits-all approach for Ohio isn’t practical. A ban would eliminate a proven law enforcement aid that can, if used properly, change bad driving habits. Cameras do generate revenue through tickets, but so do officers.

Bacon’s proposal addresses concerns raised by those caught by a camera….

At the very least, Bacon’s bill should expand the discussion. A ban should be the last option, not the first.

 

The (Findlay) Courier

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