OH bill proposes charging speed camera operators $5,000 a month for calibration

COLUMBUS, Ohio — There’s a new effort to make sure speed camera citations are accurate in Ohio. The bill would require speed camera operators to pay a $5,000 monthly fee for their speed cameras to be calibrated by the Department of Public Safety.

It would also require municipalities to issue a speed citation within 72 hours of catching a driver on camera.

Ohio Rep. Tom Patton (R-District 17) introduced House Bill 416 Thursday.

Along with the measures aimed at fixing issues drivers have complained about, the legislation would require private traffic camera companies to pay an annual $100,000 licensing fee, in addition to obtaining a license for each camera they operate.

The bill also adds an 8% tax to the gross receipts obtained by those companies, which would fund PTSD treatment for public safety officers.

News 5 reached out to Rep. Patton. He was unavailable for an interview Thursday evening.

In a news release, Patton said, “For too long there have been more questions than answers when it comes to receiving ticket notifications in the mail.”

“It is important these systems are operating in good faith. By establishing standards and best practices, we can ensure that the machines are accurate, and Ohioans aren’t being taken for a ride,” he said.

He also said, “Forty percent of revenues from these fines go out of state and, in many cases, out of the country. These out-of-state companies are profiting tens of millions of dollars off of Ohioans.”

News 5 also reached out to Newburgh Heights Mayor Trevor Elkins, who owns Targeting and Solutions Limited, a private photo enforcement company.

In a text, Elkins wrote: “Mr. Patton doesn’t have to manage the day to day impact of negligent drivers. Those of us in local elected offices have to manage the brunt, the cost, and the risk to our brave law enforcement officials that are already overburdened, short staffed, and exhausted because of a general disregard for public safety by so many motorists.