Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Ohio Supreme Court’s resolving of traffic camera issue

  Parts of a controversy that’s actually nation-wide may soon be resolved at least in this state when the Ohio Supreme Court hears arguments over the legality of traffic cameras Friday.

  A Cleveland Plain Dealer article yesterday related that “while the case specifically involves the city of Toledo, the court's ruling will affect drivers across Ohio and every community that uses cameras as traffic cops  --- Toledo appealing a ruling in the Sixth District Ohio Court of Appeals that said the method that city used for processing the tickets deprived motorists of due process and equal protection under the Ohio and U.S. constitutions. (Docket for Walker v. City of  Toledo )
 A Columbus Dispatch article back in January reported “appeals courts in Toledo and Cleveland had ruled that city ordinances making red-light and speed-camera violations in-house administrative matters illegally deprive municipal courts of jurisdiction to handle moving traffic violations.

 Cleveland’s case, meanwhile, is a certified conflict between. Jodka v. City of Cleveland, 8th Dist. No. 99951  and Walker v. City of  Toledo, 6th Dist., No. L-12-1056.  
 In the case of Pruiett et al. v. Village of Elmwood Place et al., here in Hamilton County, following the First District’s subsequently dismissed both its appeal and a motion for reconsideration this past May, the Supreme Court similarly unceremoniously denied jurisdiction last October.

  An NBCNews article back about the same time as the Dispatch’s heralded "Lights, cameras, reaction: Resistance builds against red-light cameras," noting, "A rarity 15 years ago, red light cameras have become ubiquitous in many U.S. cities. Communities in 24 states and Washington, D.C., now use the cameras to try to decrease illegal -- and sometimes deadly -- traffic violations. Supporters say it's worked…… Critics of red light programs worry about the Big Brother aspect of using cameras instead of cops, and many are saying the cameras, systems & procedures behind them -- generally run by private companies -- have spread not because they make streets safer, but because they mean profit for cities and companies.

  Cincinnatians, by the way Mr. Twain, were the first voters in the country to decide whether their municipality should be able to use cameras to catch drivers running red lights -- favoring a ban on such cameras  six years ago.
[ See Charter Art. XIV, City of Cincinnati ]

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