Growing traffic camera backlash, I-TEAM tracking what’s next

WEATHERSFIELD TOWNSHIP, OHIO -- The FOX 8 I-TEAM has uncovered a growing movement that could shut down at least some of those traffic cameras that give you tickets.

A state representative said he will be introducing a bill soon that deals with townships that issue tickets on interstates.

"Townships are forbidden by state law to issue traffic citations on interstate highways, and yet that is what Weathersfield Township has been doing for a couple years," said State Representative Bill Seitz, "They rely on the very thin read which I find very disingeious, that they are not issuing traffic citations but are just issuing civil photo enforcement citations."

Weathersfield Township in Trumbull County has a contract with a traffic camera company and has made hundreds of thousands of dollars. A majority of that money was generated by tickets given to drivers on Interstate 80, a part of which goes through Weathersfield Township.

"It's a nasty way to make a buck," Seitz said.

Seitz said he plans to have a bill in front of his fellow lawmakers soon that will make it "crystal clear that townships have no authority to issue traffic tickets on the interstate or photo enforcement camera citations on the interstate."

Carl Luther, of Canton, got a ticket from Weathersfield and paid it. He said he is now asking for a refund.

"It's very upsetting," Luther said. "If you are that concerned about safety and speed get your officers on the street."

State Senator Kenny Yuko said he isn't convinced communities are using the traffic cameras for safety reasons.

"What safety is it providing when someone violates the speed and gets a ticket in the mail weeks later saying they owe $200?" Yuko said.

State Attorney General Dave Yost said he knows many Ohio residents are upset about the cameras and his office will be looking at the issue.

"I am well aware people are concerned about them," Yost said.

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