Pickerington's developing plan to install red-light cameras at intersections along state Route 256 seems to have hit a speed bump.

Pickerington's developing plan to install red-light cameras at intersections along state Route 256 seems to have hit a speed bump.

Since April, the city has been working on a plan to install a photo red-light and speed-enforcement system at the intersections of state Route 256 and Interstate 70, Refugee Road, state Route 204 and Diley Road.

However, the Ohio Department of Transportation does not allow red-light cameras to be installed on traffic lights the state agency owns, including those at the I-70 interchange.

"Those lights there are actually maintained by ODOT and ODOT does not have the statutory authority to place red-light cameras at those locations," agency spokesman Scott Varner said. "The ability to have those red-light cameras to fine people and then collect revenue from that is at a local level. For us, it would have to be a statewide issue."

Pickerington City Council service committee chairman Brian Wisniewski said this week that eliminating that intersection from the potential program could reduce the number of violations spotted by the cameras by as much as two-thirds.

That kind of change, he said, could reduce the usefulness of the program to the point it may have to be scrapped.

Since April, the city has been working with Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems to develop the traffic enforcement system.

Redflex is the company that administers Columbus' photo red-light enforcement program. Columbus has 20 red-light cameras and has been operating its program since March 2006. If Redflex continues to work with Pickerington, it could become the first central Ohio city outside of Columbus to use the cameras.

If the plan is approved by council, Redflex would install the cameras at no charge to the city. Pickerington police officers would review the photos and tell Redflex which vehicle owners should be cited. The city and company would share the fines.

However, if the number of cameras is reduced, it may not be financially advantageous for Redflex to participate.

"The reason we don't get billed is because they are getting a pretty hefty portion of the ticket revenue," Wisniewski said. "If we are not able to put cameras up at those intersections, the number of potential violations drops drastically.

"They are in it to make a profit," he added. "I don't know how that will affect Redflex and if they will still have a desire to do business with Pickerington or not."

Pickerington Police Chief Michael Taylor said he was surprised by ODOT's position but remains hopeful that the system will eventually be up and running.

"I still want them, but I don't know if the company will pursue it with this issue out there," Taylor said. "If they are willing to still do it, I'm certainly all for it. My job is to provide safety and that certainly would help."

Redflex's local representative, Joe Moore, could not be reached for comment.

Even with the restrictions from ODOT, Wisniewski said the city is far from making a decision on the red-light photo enforcement program.

"From a service committee perspective, we need to make sure we understand all the implications of putting red light cameras up," he said. "So from my perspective, we still have a ways to go before we can make a determination about that. This is a lot more complicated issue than it may appear on the surface."