On May 28, I testified before an Ohio Senate committee regarding Senate Bill 342, which would curtail the use of red light and speed cameras to detect and fine reckless drivers. I told legislators that my family suffered serious injuries and my unborn son was killed when a driver ran a red light 32 years ago, to emphasize that tragic consequences can result when someone ignores a light. The presence of cameras encourages drivers to drive more safely.
After I spoke, police officials from Cleveland, Dayton, Newburgh Heights and Columbus stated that the use of cameras has greatly reduced the number of violations and made their communities safer. State Sen. Bill Seitz said the cameras indicate that “Big Brother is here” and suggested the next step would be for the police to use drones so they could look into the windows of his home.
Senate Bill 342 requires that a police officer must be present with each camera, but cameras are unnecessary when an officer observes a violation. Cameras keep the streets safer and allow police manpower to be focused elsewhere.
A preferable bill, Senate Bill 345, would not require police presence, so camera use could continue, with restrictions to prevent abuse by localities. Voters need to contact their senators and let them know now that S.B. 342 is a bad choice.
Not the arena
Whether or not one believes the University of Akron is something to be proud of, there is one item in the news that disturbs us, a proposed sales tax hike for Summit County. In this proposal, not only would safety forces receive benefits, but UA would get a new basketball arena.
We do not feel it is our duty to pay for a new arena for the university when neither it, nor the city of Akron, would contribute. Taxpayers would foot the bill. It certainly doesn’t impress us that the university would be a part of this. We certainly want no part of it.
Michael and Margaret Willett
As I read Bob Dyer’s column on the proposal to increase the sales tax in Summit County from 6.75 percent to 7 percent, I had to pause because even 6.75 seems rather steep to me (“Not among the lowest of the low,” June 10).
Having just moved to Ohio from Texas, I thought the Arlington, Texas, sales tax rate of 8.25 percent was very high. However, Texas does not have any state or local income taxes.
I guess 8.25 percent is very reasonable compared to Ohio, where one must also pay state and local income taxes. I hope the proposed increase will be voted down.