Tue March 12, 2013
Judge: Elmwood Place can't collect from camera speeding tickets
Elmwood Place has received a second blow to its traffic enforcement cameras. A Hamilton County Judge ruled Tuesday the village cannot collect fines from any traffic violations the cameras recorded in the past.
Just last week Judge Robert Ruehlman said Elmwood Place had to stop using the cameras.
Police Chief William Peskin says the village will appeal.
In case you're wondering if you'll get any money back from Elmwood Place, Peskin says the village will not pay plaintiffs of the lawsuit until there is a ruling on the likely appeal. Other motorists will have to file a separate lawsuit. He says the cameras patrol the roads so his officers can make use of limited resources to cut down on crime.
The cameras have been the subject of a lot of controversy. Monday a group of lawmakers promoted a statewide ban on the devices. As reported by WVXU's Mark Heyne, State Rep. Dale Mallory says the cameras are an example of big brother gone wild in a budget crunch.
Elmwood Place started the Automated Speed Enforcement Program on September 1, 2012. Since then, court documents show, the village has issued thousands of tickets. The fine for speeding is $105 and there's a $25 fee if you request an administrative hearing. Over a six month period, Elmwood Place is capable of collecting more than $2 million.
Optotraffic, LLC. owns the cameras and gets 40 percent of the revenue. Cameras are located on Vine Street near a neighborhood and a school zone.
A group of plaintiffs filed suit alleging the village ordinance violates the Ohio Constitution. Judge Ruehlman found it fails to provide due process.