4/9/2013 - More than 68,000 tickets issued to Ohioans for running red lights
Wallet sizes have a bit less heft in the state of Ohio, as recent numbers released by Ohio officials indicate that the red-light cameras used in much of the state resulted in millions of dollars in traffic citations.
First reported by the local newspaper The Blade, the city of Toledo accumulated close to $3 million in 2012, after nearly 68,200 tickets were issued to area motorists who went through a red light at some point during the course of the year.
Toledo Mayor Mike Bell pointed out that if people had simply obeyed the rules of the road, far fewer of these violations would have had to have been meted out.
"If you pay attention to the rules, then you have zero issues," Bell told the newspaper.
He added that red-light traffic cameras save lives. When he was fire chief, he was a proponent of the program and remains so today.
It hasn't been without its critics, though. The Blade points out that the program has faced a considerable number of legal challenges, one of which made its way to the Ohio Supreme Court in 2008. Justices ultimately upheld the program, and since then, traffic cameras in the metropolitan area have become more ubiquitous.
"We added 11 cameras at six intersections last year," said Shirley Green, safety director and Toledo deputy mayor. She told the newspaper that the places in which more cameras were added were due to the high number of traffic violations that occurred there.
Several other states that have had red-light camera programs in place are now scrapping the program. Detractors say that they have often led to tickets that motorists did not deserve, as some people have been issued citations for stopping a few feet over the stop line at an intersection.
How costly these tickets are varies from region to region, as violators not only have to pay for the citation but may see their auto insurance rates affected as well.