Last week a judge in Hamilton County, Ohio, ruled that speed cameras in a local community just north of Cincinnati are illegal:
Hamilton County Judge Robert Ruehlman's emphatic and colorful decision was adorned with capital letters, bold print and exclamation points. In it, he said two speed cameras in the village of Elmwood Place, which were installed last year and caused considerable controversy in the community, violated drivers' "due process guarantees" under the Ohio Constitution.
"Elmwood Place is engaged in nothing more than a high-tech game of 3 CARD MONTY," Ruehlman wrote. "It is a scam that the motorists can't win."
He wrote in his opinion that even when drivers request a hearing to contest the $105 fines, "the hearing is nothing more than a sham!" The judge said any driver who comes in for a hearing will effectively have to argue against a written report "produced by the company that owns the speed monitoring unit." There is no ability to cross examine, Ruehlman wrote, while stressing the financial stake the company has in the tickets.
Another issue Ruehlman brought up is the issue of calibration of these cameras:
"The device was not calibrated by a certified police officer, but rather it was calibrated by Optotraffic, the corporation that owns the device," Judge Ruehlman wrote. "Remember, Optotraffic has a financial stake in the game."
Regular radar guns are calibrated by police officers, who have no financial gain off of tickets. Here the calibration is done by someone with a direct financial stake, so that is motive to lie and falsify documents.