Route 23: 20 miles south of Columbus, entire town

South Bloomfield, OhioJul 01, 20002 Comments

The Village of South Bloomfield is located about 20 miles south of Columbus. It is well known to people who travel between Portsmouth, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio, as a speed trap. 35 mph enforcement starts at the 35 mile marker, about 3 miles north of town and ends about 3 miles south of town. The Ohio Revised Code allows 35 mph in the commercial district, but the 35 mph extends beyond the "downtown" commercial district.

Though I am still trying to find complete information, it is possible that either through lack of clear knowledge of Ohio traffic law or a South Bloomfield ordinance, police have been known to write tickets to motorists legally entering intersections on yellow lights. There is apparently a good deal of confusion in Ohio about yellow light enforcement. According to some case law, and at least one judge who explained the law to me after dismissing a case when the charging officer did not show, it is legal in Ohio to enter an intersection on yellow and exit on red. Motorists do however, lose the presumptive right of way in case of an accident.

Until very recently, South Bloomfield, a town of 1200 residents, had a police force of approximately 15-20 part time, full time and auxiliary police, including a K-9 unit. It is also possible that there are some problems with training and standards for operating K-55 radar units. Due to fiscal reasons, the entire police force was recently laid off. However, a number of the officers will apparently volunteer time in order to maintain their eligibility status with other police departments. According to a 1996 Columbus Dispatch article, South Bloomfield derived over 50% of its revenue from traffic tickets.

Hapless motorists caught in South Bloomfields speed trap can plead not guilty in Mayors Court and have the matter transferred to Circleville Municipal Court. The Judge in Circleville is clearly interested in applying and upholding traffic law as it is written in the Ohio Revised Code and established by legal precedents.

I thought the Ohio supreme court outlawed mayors courts I.E. declared them unconstitutional ?
#1Mar 22, 2010Report Abuse
They are still called "Mayors Court" however they have to use a magistrate to hear the cases. This is because they do not have a vested interest in the finances of these towns.
#2Feb 08, 2012Report Abuse

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