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Courts and Crime


The traffic cam debate moves to Ohio's high court Wednesday
Toledo case challenges the constitutionality of the red-light cameras
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


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M.L. Schultze
 
Courtesy of Redflex
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Ohio’s traffic cameras have come in for a beating over the last few weeks in Columbus as state lawmakers have considered three bills that would govern, limit or eliminate their use. On Wednesday, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, it’s the Ohio Supreme Court’s turn.

 

LISTEN: The traffic cam debate

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Like a lot of Ohio cities, Toledo has a contract with a company to install automated traffic cameras that snap pictures of drivers who speed and run red lights.

And like a lot of other Ohio drivers, Bradley Walker got a notice of a violation; he paid a $120 penalty back in 2009.

He later sued, saying the 2003 city law authorizing the cameras is unconstitutional because the program is overseen by an administrative hearing officer, and traffic violations should come under the jurisdiction of the courts.  Toledo responded with a claim of home rule. It also says that the administrative decisions can still be appealed to the courts.  

Walker says the city is undermining the courts. He lost his challenge of the traffic cams at the trial court level, but won on appeal.

Toledo argues that the traffic cams are a parallel to other enforcement. It’s joined in that argument by Redflex and other traffic cam companies, the Ohio Municipal League and the city of East Cleveland.

Walker has the support of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the tea-party backed 1851 Center for Constitutional Law.

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