There's only one thing better than fighting the man, and that's watching the man fight himself. A Hamilton County, Ohio judge has ruled against an ordinance that allowed the village of Elmwood Place to install speed cameras. The town of just 2,000 people has already seen the cameras generate some $1.5 million in fines since they were installed last July, and USA Today reports Judge Robert Ruehlman believes "Elwood place is engaged in nothing more than a high-tech game of Three-card Monty," adding, "It is a scam the motorist cannot win."

Preach it, preacher man.

Ohio has 13 other jurisdictions that use speed cameras, and a total of 13 states and Washington, D.C. use them to enforce traffic laws. Elmwood Place began handing out $105 citations shortly after the cameras were installed, and local residents reacted accordingly, with many simply avoiding the village all together. Local businesses say revenues are down and lawyer Mike Allen has stepped in to represent drivers suing the village. "It is obvious that the village of Elmwood is motivated by financial considerations and not public safety," he said.

Allen's victory marks what could be the country's first specific constitutional challenge to speed cameras. That is, whether or not a driver's due-process rights are violated by getting a ticket in the mail.



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  • 508 Comments
      rmt_1
      • 1 Year Ago
      As strange as it may seem, the judge may have helped to save Elmwood Place from self-destructing by ruling against their speed cameras. By turning Elmwood Place into a speedtrap, people will start to go out of their way to avoid going anywhere near there, thus not do any business there and destroy the tax base for the village. I wonder just how many ghost towns in America today exist primarily because of short-sighted decisions by town leaders, which ultimately killed local businesses?
      xspeedy
      • 1 Year Ago
      The real scam is that profits are more important than saffety. Often times the yellow lights are reduced to drive fine revenue. The term "revenuer" is really accurate, even today.
      chibblitz
      • 1 Year Ago
      Village of Elmwood Park suck big one, I"m glad the judge ruled in favor for the people who got ticketed. People should avoid coming to Elmwood Park completely and see all of them face financail crisis, because they deserve it , you pricks!
      scottcamaross
      • 1 Year Ago
      They say it's for safety. We all know that's a lie! It's to generate more revenue for the county.
      Egon
      • 1 Year Ago
      Since I happen to reside in the same area code as Elmwood, I've had the pleasure of viewing the local media coverage of this kerfuffle as well. From what I've seen so far, and despite Elmwood Place's pathetic attempt at a whitewash about these cameras being "in the interest of public safety", the reality is that this is a desperate money grab by a down-on-its-luck municipality. This is mainly evidenced by the fact that they're not hanging points on your license. Instead, a refusal to pay results in a trip to the kangaroo mayor's court and the camera company going after your credit rating instead (really classy, no?). As a reasonable and intelligent internet blog reader, if you came to the conclusion that this was a grey area bordering on extortion, you wouldn't be missing the mark by much. The silver lining is that Judge Ruehlman hasn't blinked. After the original ruling, Elmwood took a rather defiant stance and maintained that fine collection would continue uninterrupted during the inevitable appeals process. Following that foot-in-mouth moment, the Judge quickly arranged a second hearing and stated in no uncertain terms that if the village continued the fine collection, he'd start locking up the mayor, clerk, council members, and anybody else that held his order in contempt. It was a beautiful thing to behold. The only sad thing so far is that the individuals most closely impacted by this are the residents and business owners within the village limits. To be fair, the town's a dump and I'd have no reason to go there anyway. But I (along with many others) are now specifically avoiding the town and its businesses and the presence of the unblinking eye of the speed cameras is slowly plowing under what little commercial development they have left. In any case, the story isn't over yet. And that's not a bad thing because so far it's been really fun to watch.
      sporty1jro
      • 1 Year Ago
      If the dollars from the fines of these tickets went to charity instead of the pockets of the government, not a single speed camera would ever be installed.
      rgsantaclara
      • 1 Year Ago
      An excellent way in which to make sure a motorist avoids your town!
      Mark
      • 1 Year Ago
      There are red light cameras here in NJ, and they have found that they cause more accidents than they prevent. When people see them they come to a screeching halt, rather than risk going through a yellow, and get rear ended by the people behind them. Plus, they weren't calibrated correctly and innocent people were getting ticketed. They are coming down.
      JAMES
      • 1 Year Ago
      It really is a scam! If you have someone too close to you, and you suddenly stop you could be rear ended. Try going through Estelline Texas where the one cop there really scams you especially if you have out of state tags. One day it will be drones and pictures taken from satellites. You can read a wrist watch now from satellites.
      rwikert
      • 1 Year Ago
      Small town near Pittsburgh tried something similar. They had a red light on their main street that only stayed on "yellow" for a second before turning red. Their police car sat on the side street and gave tickets for running the red light to gobbs of people. This scam continued for many months until it "caught" two State Police officials in their trap. The State dropped the hammer on these sleezebags.
      art
      • 1 Year Ago
      as I said to Bernice just a sec ago a ticket for going 22 in a 20 zone and a 105 dollar fine is robbery
      Maire1
      • 1 Year Ago
      believe me this is about the loss of revenue for the businesses not the ticketed drivers.
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