WHEN POLITICIANS STICK IT TO CITIES
Sometimes waking up and clicking on the news brings a humorous surprise. Such is the case today.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) - The Ohio House passed a bill Wednesday that would take away state funding from cities that use automated speed cameras to issue tickets.
House Bill 410 would also move the traffic violations to municipal courts, instead of before a Mayor’s Court or hearing officer.
The local government that sends the ticket would also have to pay the court costs.
State Representative John Boccieri voted against the bill saying it would hurt local communities.
State Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) introduced that bill that would offset revenue cities earn from cameras by reducing the same amount from its state funding.
The bill passed the House in a 65-19 vote. It now goes to the Ohio Senate.
Seriously, I haven't any sympathy for the cities' loss of funding. I've been the victim of local speed traps. These cities rake it in hand-over-fist. Let me tell you how it goes:
- You put on your signal and speed up to pass a gas truck to save your windshield from rocks kicked up by the truck's tires = $100 ticket.
- You put on your signal and speed up to pass a vehicle moving slower than the speed limit = $100 ticket.
- You get confused by all the damn speed differences because there are too many damn road signs everywhere = $100 ticket. (Legal limits along the OH-7 fluctuate between 35-70 MPH, for instance)
- The speed limit has decreased but the sign was knocked down by a snow plow or drunk driver, thus you maintain what you think is the legal speed limit.
- You are going down a steep incline and creep over the speed limit because you don't want to burn out your brakes = $100 ticket.
- You are intentionally speeding = $100 ticket.
- The camera is malfunctioning = $100 ticket.
These tickets arrive in the mail and can not be easily fought. You must have internet access and a printer in order to print a form. This is just to request a hearing; this is not your plea. It has to be notarized and then sent to Kentucky (yep). Then you wait for your day in court. Not real court. The mayor's kangaroo court (at least it is in East Liverpool County). You have no control over scheduling nor can you speak to a real human being regarding your case beforehand - which means you can not review evidence to determine if there was a mistake. There are so many damn hoops to jump that it's easier to pay the fucking fine rather than try to mitigate the shakedown. I should also clarify that you aren't really sure where the hell the court is, given that they only list a damn county rather than the city which benefits from the robbery.
I would genuinely balk at this bill if these cities made due process easier. As they don't... take their funding, Ohio. I'm more than pleased to see my money go to a city that needs financial assistance to keep schools open and the low-income families housed in safe buildings. Let's hope this bill passes the OH Senate.
Do you hear that, Wellsville government? Burn, you bastards.