Safety Forces Say They Like One Bill That Would Reform Red-Light Cameras

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Backers of a bill that would reform the way red light cameras are used say it’s important to keep those tools in place for safety forces. Lieutenant Brenton Mull of the Columbus Police Department says the red light cameras are saving lives and reducing traffic accidents.

Mull says he likes a new bill that would allow the use of these cameras if there is some human discretion is used in the process of issuing a ticket as a result of red light camera video.

"We have an officer that reviews those," Mull said. "And the officer can look at the video, just as if the officer was in a cruiser, and decide whether they are going to write a citation. This way, the citation is automatically written by clicking your mouse and hitting accept.

"I look at some of these videos some of the time too. And we have the discretion when we are out on the street and [we have discretion when watching the video.]"

Mull and the other safety advocates say they don’t object to making reforms to red light cameras to make sure citizens are not being fined for violations they didn’t commit. But the group does take issue with another red light camera bill that it says would do away with the technology.

That bill would require officers to physically be posted at the camera when the violation is committed.

The sponsor of that bill, Republican Senator Bill Seitz, says it’s almost the same bill that was passed by the legislature back in 2006, which was later vetoed by Governor Bob Taft on his way out of the office.