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Thread: Judge: Town's speeding cameras are '3 Card Monty' scam

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    Judge: Town's speeding cameras are '3 Card Monty' scam

    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.
    Last edited by jamesrage; 03-09-13 at 05:34 AM.
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    Re: Judge: Town's speeding cameras are '3 Card Monty' scam

    It's an honesty issue. the radar are set by a company that makes money every time a person is caught speeding, and no one but that company ever tests the machines to make sure they're accurate. It's very easy to reset the radar to give a false reading of higher than the actual speed of the vehicle, and the accused person is sent the fine immediately without even having a way of finding out the name of the person who calibrated the radar, without ever being allowed to send their own experts to test the radar to make sure it's giving an accurate reading. As honesty issues go, when 3,000 people say "no i wasn't speeding" and anonymous (who makes money every time a person is accused of speeding) says "yes you were" It is wildly unlikely that 3,000 people were lying and anonymous was telling the truth.

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    Re: Judge: Town's speeding cameras are '3 Card Monty' scam

    We had a government back in the 90s who instituted "photo-radar" on our provincial highways. The photo-radar was set up in unmarked vans on the side of highways that measured the speed of cars and if speeding it took a pic of the car an license as it passed. It got to the point where accidents were occurring because some drivers were slowing down or slamming on their brakes anytime they saw a van on the side of the road. Eventually, when the government refused to remove them, the people removed the government and installed a government that eliminated the program.

    There are similar problems with red-light cameras, where some people are getting rear-ended in intersections when they don't progress through a changing light the way 99% of the driving public normally does because there's a camera there.

    The bottom line, in my view, is that there is nothing inherently wrong or right about a particular speed - there is little danger if traffic is smoothly flowing at an advanced speed but if one or more cars are travelling at a speed not consistent or close to those around them, whether too fast or too slow, then you have problems. To determine danger, you need actual law enforcement eyes on the situation. And the judge is right in this respect, almost all traffic "calming" laws are designed to generate revenue for the jurisdiction that institutes them and they have little incentive to reduce a cash cow once the money starts pouring in.

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    Re: Judge: Town's speeding cameras are '3 Card Monty' scam

    all they do is shorten the yellow light to in crease profits.

    This is illegal per federal laws and guidelines and results in accidents.

    AZ finally got smart and passed laws on min yellow light times to follow Fed DOT standards.

    This ended the profits and so ended red light scams.

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    Re: Judge: Town's speeding cameras are '3 Card Monty' scam

    Judges can be stupid too. Next?
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    Re: Judge: Town's speeding cameras are '3 Card Monty' scam

    I object to camera tickets but based on different reasoning. The act of speeding or running a red light is a moving violation not a registration violation. Many vehicles are opperated by more than one person. If the owner was not the opperator, then they are being falsely accused. For example, a city bus may be caught speeding, yet the city did not speed, the bus operator did. If the vehicle owner was wise they would go to court and demand that the camera company prove that they were in fact the vehicle operator at the time of the alleged crime. If the camera company fails to do that, then simply sue them civily. Is it not a crime of libel to make false criminal charges? The vehicle owners should then sue the camera company for massive damages, costing the camera company far more than they make from fools that readily pay these tickets. The jury will likely contain many folks that really hate this camera company, thus the awards may be quite large.
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    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: Judge: Town's speeding cameras are '3 Card Monty' scam

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    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.
    The two statements in red above are the only problems I have with that kind of enforcement. Once they get that straightened out, they'll be back in business.

    I have no problem with independent companies providing that service.
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    Re: Judge: Town's speeding cameras are '3 Card Monty' scam

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    I object to camera tickets but based on different reasoning. The act of speeding or running a red light is a moving violation not a registration violation. Many vehicles are opperated by more than one person. If the owner was not the opperator, then they are being falsely accused. For example, a city bus may be caught speeding, yet the city did not speed, the bus operator did. If the vehicle owner was wise they would go to court and demand that the camera company prove that they were in fact the vehicle operator at the time of the alleged crime. If the camera company fails to do that, then simply sue them civily. Is it not a crime of libel to make false criminal charges? The vehicle owners should then sue the camera company for massive damages, costing the camera company far more than they make from fools that readily pay these tickets. The jury will likely contain many folks that really hate this camera company, thus the awards may be quite large.
    Unless the photographs are taken of the driver, they are not moving violations. They aren't stupid.
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    Re: Judge: Town's speeding cameras are '3 Card Monty' scam

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    The two statements in red above are the only problems I have with that kind of enforcement. Once they get that straightened out, they'll be back in business.

    I have no problem with independent companies providing that service.
    It seems that to be a legal speeding ticket in Ohio that the ticket document must be signed by the issuing officer and presented to the defendent upon the infraction. The ticket must describe the operator, including the ID presented. I can find no provision for exceptions to this rule in Ohio law.

    http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Leg...ic/Traffic.pdf
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    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: Judge: Town's speeding cameras are '3 Card Monty' scam

    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieD View Post
    Unless the photographs are taken of the driver, they are not moving violations. They aren't stupid.
    They have no idea who was driving. They have no face recognition technology. The ticket is issued based on the license plate number of the vehicle and mailed to the address on record for that vehicle registration. If it is not a moving violation then what is the charge?
    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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