WEATHERSFIELD, Ohio — A state representative from Stark County is sponsoring a bill that, if passed, would prohibit townships from giving tickets out on interstate highways — something that Weathersfield Township in Trumbull County is doing almost daily.
The FOX 8 I-Team has shown that Weathersfield Township has made hundreds of thousands of dollars by issuing traffic camera tickets to many drivers found to be speeding on a portion of I-80 that runs through the community.
State Representative Bill Seitz says townships are forbidden by state law to issue traffic tickets on interstates, but Weathersfield officials maintain the camera tickets are a civil matter and allowed.
“This bill is made to deal with the Weathersfield issue,” said State Representative Reggie Stoltzfus, of Stark County. He introduced the bill earlier this month. “They believe they are within their rights because they are operating a camera and giving out civil citations. They see a difference; I don’t, and this bill addresses that issue.”
Weathersfield Township officials would not discuss the issue on-camera but released statements saying they use the speed cameras for safety reasons.
The bill would still allow townships and other communities to use the cameras, but it also addresses the amount of money communities make from these tickets.
“Let’s just say a municipality makes $100,000 on traffic cameras, that $100,000 would be deducted from their local government funding and given to ODOT to spend on safety measures,” Stoltzfus told FOX 8. “So if these cameras are about safety then everyone should support the bill.”
Stoltzfus is hoping the bill will pass by the end of the year.