Ohio Judge: "It is a Scam That Motorists Can't Win."
“Elmwood Place is engaged in nothing more than a high-tech game of 3-Card Monty, (sic)” Ruehlman wrote, referring to a card game used by con artists.
And with that phrase, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman stopped a six-thousand-ticket-per-month operation.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the tiny village of Elmwood Place near Cincinnati, Ohio was partnered with speed-camera firm Optotraffic to write three tickets a month for every man, woman, and child residing within the municipal limits. Optotraffic received $41 of every $105 ticket. At the village boundaries, the speed limit drops from 35 to 25mph — a tactic used infamously by “the corruption capitol of Ohio”, New Rome. Unlike that now-defunct municipality, however, Elmwood Place doesn’t have a kangaroo court and outsized police force to do their dirty work. They simply sit back and let the private partnership with Optotraffic rake in over three hundred thousand dollars per month in fines.
No longer. Judge Ruehlman brought a halt to the proceedings with a permanent injunction. Elmwood Place plans to appeal, of course. This may be the start of a genuine legal dialogue about speed cameras in Ohio — or it may simply be a rare sensible and ethical act from the state’s judiciary. Let’s hope it’s the former.
I read the comments with great interest, as I helped get rid of New Rome in 2005 and sent more than a few letters about Linndale as well. (Nope, never had a ticket in either) The comment about pedestrians is specious; Linndale patrolled an interstate highway, which did not allow pedestrians. The other point that I need to reinforce is that if it REALLY is about safety, won't they continue to write tickets even with the profit motive removed? (Hint: No, they will not)
When I was working in Louisiana, one of the towns with a heliport (I think it was Cameron) had a speed trap where the limit dropped to 20 AND it was a perpetual school zone, even if it was at 2 am on a Saturday in summer. They also had a cop sitting there at all times from what I could tell. From all the accounts of coworkers, many towns in La use such speed traps for revenue. Now don't get me wrong, I actually support strict enforcement of speed limits, and I have no philosophical problem with cameras. But when it is set up for the purpose to be broken or nonsense zones created (like school zones in the middle of the night or 20 mph limits on open roads), then it is simply govt abuse & corruption.
These cameras are unconstitutional. I always felt it but couldn't figure out why until my wife came home one day and said I might get a ticket because she was stuck in traffic, in the middle of an intersection that has red light cameras and the light turned red before she was through. I thought, "why me" when I realized it reads the plate and the cars are in my name. And then it hit me: if a COP had pulled her over it would have been held against HER LICENSE. A cop is one way, a machine is another way? The law is the law. These cameras are unconstitutionally vague. (Never did get a ticket) John
About a year ago, for idle fun, me and a buddy made what we call the Fly Snipe. We used a DVD 20x burner laser (the thing cuts electric tape, marks wood, lights tissue paper on fire) with some double-AA's. With a strong IR filter and 'sighted in' it was the best fly-swatter I ever had. You'd see a fly on the wall and BWWZAAP suddenly fly have no wings. Reason I bring this up is Fly Snipe would inadvertently be an ideal weapon against pernicious cameras of all kinds - it would burn the CCD in them, especially with all those optics in the camera to focus the beam more. And you can fry the camera from long ways away if you want, after all its a frick'in laser. Heck, it'd burn through the shutter if the camera had a mechanical one. Given how pervasive cameras are becoming, and how corrupt they are used, Fly Snipe would be an antidote of sorts.