SB 97 – Traffic Violations Reporting (2013-2014)
Link to Bill:http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=130_SB_97
SB 97 permits emergency personnel in a public safety vehicle to report to law enforcement if a motorist fails to yield the right-of-way as current law requires. Emergency personnel may also report other traffic law violations occurring at the same time. After confirming the operator’s identity, law enforcement would be able to issue a citation to the motorist.
Primary Sponsors:Sen. Hughes (R)
Secondary Sponsors:Sen. LaRose (R), Sen. Patton (R)
Committee:Public Safety / Local Government / Veterans Affairs (S)
LSC Legislation Status:http://lsc.state.oh.us/coderev/sen130.nsf/Senate+Bill+Number/0097?OpenDocument
Our take on this bill:
While the goal of SB 97 to increase public safety is understandable, this bill ultimately goes too far. Giving emergency personnel the power to behave as law enforcement officers without the proper training to detect such violations is problematic. Officers would be issuing a citation based on hearsay from emergency personnel instead of witnessing the violation. Ultimately, this bill allows for law enforcement to issue citations based on word of mouth and raises due process concerns.
Passed out of the House Public Safety, Local Government and Veteran Affairs Committee on 11/21/13