Bad news for Ohio cities that use speed cameras — the Ohio Supreme Court says they could lose state funding. But the short answer is that this doesn’t change things — at least not in Girard.
While many people have strong opinions on speed cameras, for the City of Girard, they’re highly effective.
John Kohl is involved in a class action lawsuit against Girard, arguing that drivers were wrongfully ticketed on Interstate 80 in December.
After hearing about the high court’s ruling, he said he’s glad others feel the same way he does.
“I’m not the only one that thought it was a money grab.”
For Kohl, it’s not about the concept behind speed cameras. He understands they can help communities, both with safety and finances. It’s the location, he said, that makes it a ripoff in Girard.
“How much safer is the City of Girard because a thousand motorists, some from who knows where, got a speed ticket from a camera on Route 80? I think it’s absurd.”
Absurd or not, Mayor Jim Melfi said the speed cameras aren’t going anywhere. He said the state can keep its money.
“The little bit of money they give us, they can certainly keep.”
The city office said its state funding has been slashed to around $125,000 a year. Melfi said they make that with speed cameras in a matter of months.
He said it’s a low blow from the state, but they’ll survive.
“It’s a state rep who probably got a ticket or one of his friends got a ticket breaking the law, speeding, and this is their way of retaliation.”
Melfi recommended that drivers “slow down and follow the law.”