Ohio state senator Tom Patton believes there may be yet another way to battle against Ohio traffic cameras, when it comes to small communities he believes are trying to cash in on photo enforced speeding tickets.
This past July, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld cities' use of traffic camera enforcement for a third time, striking down as unconstitutional legislative restrictions that included requiring a police officer to be present.
Patton, (R) District 7, told News 5 some of his colleagues in Columbus are now talking about trying restrict state funding to smaller cities that he believes are trying to use speeding camera revenue to pad a significant part of their city budgets.
"They're issuing tickets, simply as a cash cow," said Patton.
"If they think it's a fair source of revenue. good you have that, then we won't give you as much state aid as we have in the past, now that you found that."
Newburgh Heights Mayor Trevor Elkins admitted 20% of his city budget comes from traffic camera tickets, but said his city continues to operate within state guidelines.
Elkins said his police department issues about 1,200 speeding tickets every month, and said that effort is all about safety and not making money.
"We're not trying to make money on this, we're trying to get people to slow down," said Elkins.
"People can appeal a ticket to an independent magistrate, and if they disagree, they can appeal that judgment to our municipal court, which is in Garfield Heights."
"I believe photo enforcement is here to stay, because our ability to make the community safer can't be restricted."