RUTLAND — The Village of Rutland will implement a new speed enforcement program throughout the village similar to the programs implemented in a number of nearby villages, according to a news release on Wednesday.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 918 people were killed in Ohio in vehicle crashes in 2014, over double the number of murders that occurred during the same time period, according to the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services.
The police department will begin using new LIDAR technology that includes a camera mounted to the handheld LIDAR device utilized by a police officer. Pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) 4511.093 (B), (1)&(2), a local authority has the ability to use traffic law photo monitoring if an officer is present and personally witnesses the violation. Since a full-time police officer will witness, capture, review, and issue the citations, the LIDAR program meets these requirements, as well as all other statutes of the Ohio Revised Code.
The police department will focus on speeding throughout the village. Village Council voted to approve the program on Feb. 22, which will allow the police department to utilize the technology. The unit allows an officer to capture a photo of the violation, and after later approval by a supervisor, issue the violation by mail. The officer still has the authority to conduct a traffic stop and issue a uniform citation, however if the camera captures the violation, the citation will be mailed to the registered owner of the vehicle, with fines to start at $115.
A major advantage to the civil violation is that points will not be accessed to the driver, nor will it be reported to the driver’s insurance as with a uniform traffic citation.
The village will begin the program on March 6, with a 30-day warning period. Citations issued during this period will not include a fine, but rather serve as notice that the program is underway. After the warning period, violators will have 30 days to pay the fine by mail, internet or phone. Failure to pay the violation will result in the citations to be sent to collections. Registered owners of the violating vehicles may attend an administrative hearing as authorized ORC 4511.099 to contest the charge. The law states that a person who is issued the ticket may contest the ticket by filing a written request for an administrative hearing to review the citation. Citations may be contested through due process as approved by the Ohio Supreme Court earlier last year.
Programs of this kind are being implemented in multiple cities throughout the nation. Studies from the National Highway Safety Administration and the Governor’s Highway Safety Association consistently show that programs of this nature reduce the number of crashes, injuries, fatalities, and crime. “It is the goal of the village to maintain a safe community both for our citizens and motorists,” according to the news release.