DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The City of Dayton took a blow in its effort to operate traffic cameras without a police officer present.
The Ohio Second District Court of Appeals reversed an earlier Montgomery County Court ruling Friday that allowed the city to continue using the cameras with certain restrictions under the Home Rule Amendment. The appeals court ruled that a partial summary judgment in the city’s favor was in error.
The appeals court ruling says the traffic light camera law that every camera be manned by an officer does not violate the Home Rule Amendment. Dayton was among cities that sued the state after it banned ticketing via red-light and speed cameras unless an officer is present.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley is a staunch proponent of the cameras. She told 2 NEWS when the injunction was permitted, “Stats show this is a safety issue for us and we see an increase in safety and how people follow the law in our city.”
Right now, cameras that catch traffic violations and result in a ticket are being manned by officers. Unmanned cameras are collecting traffic data.
Mayor Whaley issued the following statement Friday afternoon:
I am disappointed by the decision rendered by the Second District Court of Appeals to reverse the Common Pleas court decision which found the state’s photo enforcement law unconstitutional. Clearly the state’s action is controversial as evident by the mixed decisions we have seen across the state. Since the city has suspended issuing tickets, we have seen a 107% increase in the number of red light violations as well as a 27% increase in speeding violations.
As I have said many times, this legislation makes our streets less safe and prevents cities from using technology to better enforce its traffic laws. The City of Dayton will continue to pursue its legal options in this matter.
The city now has the option of appealing to the Ohio Supreme Court. Whaley plans to wait for similar court cases in Lucas and Summit counties to play out before making the next move.