In what looks like a reasonably solid victory against the automated-traffic-ticket-profit industry, the 8th Circuit Court has deemed Cleveland, Ohio’s red-light and speed-enforcement camera system unconstitutional.
Multiple sources, including FOX8, are reporting the decision. A Columbus motorist challenged the system in 2007, noting that the system did not permit him to contest the ticket in Cleveland’s Municipal Court. Instead, he was forced to consult a “hearing officer” who appeared to be part of the for-profit system.
The court agreed, stating that
[T]he power to adjudicate civil violations of moving traffic laws lies solely in municipal court.
This doesn’t mean that the cameras are coming down — rather, a new system will have to be devised that allows victims of the automatic taxation machines to have their day in court. Most of them won’t take it. But this is still America, and things like this still matter. Now if only some court somewhere would make a ruling about the traffic camera companies’ favorite trick: cutting yellow lights to three, or even two, seconds down from the traditional five.