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Ohio House approves proposed red-light camera ban

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Lawmakers in the Ohio House have approved a measure that would bar local governments across the state from using cameras to determine whether motorists have run red lights or been speeding.

Members of the House voted 61-32 on Wednesday to move the measure to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

Rep. Ron Maag is the sponsor of the proposal. The Lebanon Republican says the main goal of the cameras is not to increase public safety but to generate revenue for local governments.

Those who want law enforcement to continue monitoring drivers using the cameras say the technology prevents accidents and saves lives.

The bill includes an exemption for school zones. Cameras would be allowed to operate during school recess, opening and closing hours provided that a police officer is present.

More than a dozen Ohio cities use traffic-enforcement cameras. Cleveland collected nearly $6 million from them last year.

Camera-generated tickets are civil infractions.

Attorney Mike Allen spoke Tuesday before a House committee that voted on the bill earlier.

Allen represented several drivers who were ticketed in Elmwood Place by the speed cameras the town used there.

Officials with the village say the cameras accomplished their goal of slowing down speeders but Allen says the cameras were installed for the purpose of making money.

Speeders who were caught in Elmwood Place were charged $105 per ticket.

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