Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ohio Court Rebukes Optotraffic

An Ohio judge has issued a scathing ruling shutting down a speed camera program run by Maryland based speed camera contractor Optotraffic and the town of Elmwood Place Ohio.  Elmwood made news after introducing the cameras to issue $105 tickets to vehicles accused of traveling only a few miles per hour over the speed limit.

Judge Robert Ruehlman issued an injunction prohibiting further enforcement of the town's speed camera ordinance.  "Elmwood Place is engaged in nothing more than a high-tech game of 3-card Monty" and that "It is a scam motorists cannot win".   Among the issues cited was that Optotraffic (a division of Sigma Space Corporation) was receiving a percentage of each ticket issued, but was responsible for the calibration of the equipment.  In addition, the ruling stated that the ordinance "fails to provide due process guarantees".  Motorists could contest citations at an 'administrative hearing', for which they were charged $25 in advance.  Such cases were heard by a 'hearing officer' rather than a judge with no assurance the fee will be returned if successful.  "However, the hearing is nothing more than a sham" the ruling states.

Read the Ohio Court Ruling

Optotraffic had already received a $500,000 cut of the town's $1,500,000.00 speed camera ticket haul by the time of the ruling.

We previously reported that Optotraffic had mistakenly moved the town of Elmwood Place Ohio to Maryland by sending out thousands of citations listing the violation locations in Maryland.  One town council member left little debate about the town's motive when he was quoted by WLWT NEWS "There's no denying raising revenue is what prompted this," said Councilman Jerald Robertson. "We are in very bad financial shape."  

Additional Coverage:
Local 12
WCPO
Fox TheNewsPaper.com