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Ohio cities back Toledo

Associated Press • Jan 29, 2014 at 12:46 PM

After a string of rulings against traffic cameras, cities that use them are urging the Ohio Supreme Court to uphold the automated speeding and red-light enforcement.

Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton and East Cleveland all are part of legal briefs filed in recent days supporting Toledo’s cameras. An appeals court ruled last year for a motorist ticketed in that northwest Ohio city. His lawsuit contends Toledo’s system usurps municipal court jurisdiction and violates motorists’ rights by giving them limited ability to contest camera citations.

A brief filed jointly by the Ohio Municipal League, Columbus and Dayton warns that the Sixth District Court of Appeals ruling “has set a dangerous precedent that could lead to immense disruptions in city administrations throughout Ohio.” It says the case could potentially affect “every Ohioan who drives or owns a vehicle”

The Ohio Supreme Court upheld speeding cameras in a 2008 Akron case, and traffic cameras have withstood other court challenges in the state.

But last year, a Hamilton County judge ordered a stop to speeding cameras in a Cincinnati-area village, Elmwood Place, calling them “a scam” against motorists. Last week, another state appeals court ruled against Cleveland’s traffic camera system on grounds similar to the Toledo ruling, while Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman said Elmwood Place should pay some $1.8 million to ticketed motorists if an appeals court upholds class action status.

In the Toledo case, driver Bradley Walker didn’t argue directly against camera use, but said the system lacks the required due process to allow motorists their day in court.

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