I have mixed feelings on this.I believe that if people were not speeding or running red lights then they would not be getting fined,so its their own damn fault they got fined. At the same time people should be able to face their accusers. And maybe I watched Robocop movies one too many times but I believe that law enforcement duties should be carried out only by law enforcement not private companies and machines.
Judge: Town's speeding cameras are '3 Card Monty' scam
Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman on Thursday ruled that the village's ordinance violated due process. He issued an injunction barring its enforcement.
There have been numerous legal challenges across the U.S. to red-light camera laws but observers said this is the first ruling they know of striking down a municipality's speeding-camera law.
"Speed-camera cases have been litigated but we have not come across one where a judge has said, 'Stop this,'" attorney Mike Allen, whose firm brought the case, told MSN News on Friday. "I think it's going to touch off a firestorm around the country. I really do."
Calls and emails by MSN News to Elmwood Place village officials and police Chief William Peskin were not immediately returned on Friday. Allen said he expects the village to appeal.
Ruehlman sprinkled colorful language in his ruling striking down Elmwood's "automated speed enforcement program," which is carried out by Optotraffic, a Lanham, Md.-based company, under a contract with the village. Optotraffic gets a 40 percent cut of the revenues from fines it collects.
The two cameras installed in town reportedly resulted in 6,600 speeding citations — three times the village's population -— at $105 a pop in the first month after enforcement began in September.
The judge, who heard arguments in January, found that the ordinance fails to provide due process to people receiving a notice of fines in the mail. He said the village doesn’t have a sign warning motorists that traffic cameras are in operation, as required by state law.
To challenge the $105 fine, a motorist has to pay $25 for a hearing that is "nothing more than a sham!" the judge wrote. At the hearing, he said, the "witness" for the village testifies from a report produced by the company that owns the speed-monitoring unit. Since the "witness" was not present when the alleged violation occurred, he or she can't be cross-examined, Ruehlman wrote.