State Rep. Hearcel F. Craig (D-Columbus) today announced the recent House passage of House Bill (HB) 125, legislation to protect Ohio motorists from excessive traffic fines by specifying court jurisdiction over municipal traffic ordinances. The bill, joint-sponsored by Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), passed out of the House this week by 92-1 vote.

“I believe that House Bill 125 addresses a fundamental issue of fairness. Speeding tickets should be used to enforce the law, not just to bring in revenue,” said Craig. “This legislation will help ensure that our citizens are not falling victim to abusive, excessive fines, as well as predatory speed traps set up by rogue municipalities exploiting loopholes in state law.”

The Columbus lawmaker introduced HB 125 after at least one central Ohio village effectively went around state law and established a “civil-violations system,” in which traffic fines – some as much as $1,500 – are paid directly to the village.

House Bill 125 caps fines, fees and other charges that are in excess of or not included in the local municipal or county court’s schedule of fines and costs. The bill also specifies the jurisdiction of municipal and county courts over municipal traffic ordinances.

HB 125 now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

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