A judge is completely relieving a small Ohio town of two controversial speed cameras after a lawsuit was brought against them when $1.5 million in fines were issued over the course of a month.
TheBlaze reported about the Elmwood Place camera system in March, where one small business owner told us he had some customers who were issued fines by the system say they would never come back.
“They can go across the river to another small business …in a more friendly town,” David Downs, owner of St. Bernard Polishing Co. where one speed camera was located, said.
Hamilton County Judge Robert Ruehlman ruled at the time the camera system were against Ohio’s constitution and were “a scam.” At this point the camera systems were shut down, but the equipment remained in place.
This week though, Ruehlman said not only had his order been violated, but he added that the cameras were to be officially removed and impounded, according to WLWT-TV.
Here’s more from the outlet on the this latest news:
On Thursday, Ruehlman found that his order was violated in several ways. First, the cameras were turned back on, although Elmwood Place Police Chief Bill Peskin testified that they were only used to collect speed and traffic data — not to collect license plate information or issue new tickets.
Peskin also testified that he told people that they did not have to pay their tickets when they came to the police station.
“Many people did show up, trying to pay their citation to us,” Peskin said, “and we told them that the program was to be suspended and they didn’t have to pay the citation.”
But tickets were never meant to be paid to the village. The traffic camera company collected the citations, and apparently continued to collect money sent in after the judge’s March order.
There was testimony in court that some $48,000 was collected, with a percentage of that money passed on to the village per the speed camera contract. Optotraffic did not have a representative in court Thursday.
The equipment to be stored at the village’s expense won’t be returned until the $48,000 that was collected by the company is returned to those who paid, according to WLWT.
Watch the outlet’s report:
Earlier this week, the Ohio House approved a proposal to ban speed cameras in the state.