COLUMBUS — Dozens of townships across Ohio would have the option of enforcing state traffic laws on interstate highways running through their jurisdictions under a bill awaiting Gov. Mike DeWine's signature.
“It's about public safety,” Rep. Haraz Ghanbari (R., Perrysburg) said. “In the end, it comes down to the citizens we're sworn to protect and serve. It doesn't matter the patch on the uniform, the badge on their chest, or what kind of cruiser they drive. When people are calling for assistance, they want a response.”
House Bill 206, sponsored by Reps. Ghanbari and Michael O'Brien (D., Warren), overwhelmingly passed the General Assembly last week after years of running into roadblocks. This time townships, counties, the Ohio Highway Patrol, and the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police were all on board, determining more eyes on interstates the better.
Current law already allows a handful of townships with populations above 50,000 to enforce state traffic laws on highways that are part of the national interstate system. In northwest Ohio that would mean I-75, I-475, and I-280.