The city of Dayton on Tuesday became the latest front in the legal assault on traffic cameras in Ohio.
Attorneys for eight drivers filed a lawsuit in Montgomery County against the city. Among the attorneys are some who successfully argued for court rulings stopping camera use in the southwest Ohio villages of New Miami and Elmwood Place.
The new lawsuit raises the same issues as earlier cases, charging that the automated traffic enforcement systems are an unconstitutional violation of due process rights and that they improperly bypass the courts.
Ghassan Deek, a law school student at University of Dayton and a plaintiff, said he was surprised last year to get a mailed citation for speeding because of a traffic camera.
“I didn’t even know they existed,” Deek said. “I got ticketed by a machine”
He didn’t believe he had been speeding and said it was possible someone else had borrowed his car. But because he was busy with school, he decided not to contest the ticket because “the burden of proof” was on him. Under Dayton’s system, ticketed motorists must pay the $85 fine first before they can appeal to an administrative hearing officer.
Dayton has used cameras for red-light enforcement for a decade, and added speeding cameras in 2011.