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Appeals filed against injuction of Elmwood Place speed cameras

Questions on fines linger

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ELMWOOD PLACE, Ohio - The village of Elmwood Place on Friday appealed a Hamilton County judge's ruling requiring it to immediately stop using robo traffic cameras.

The operator of the cameras, Optotraffic, also filed an appeal to rescind Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman's ruling, which found the village's law invalid and unenforceable and a violation of driver's due process rights.

Attorney Mike Allen urged Judge Ruehlman to shut down the program during a hearing in January. Allen said the cameras generated $1.5 million for the Village of Elmwood Place and that the system is about revenue generation rather than public safety.

Beyond questions surrounding the injunction against speed cameras raised by Monday's lawsuits, those with outstanding tickets are in limbo as well.

Drivers are still being summoned to Elmwood Place to contest speed tickets handed out before the injunction. Because a decision was never directly requested for those who received tickets, Ruehlman's office stated it would not give an opinion on whether or not those fines should be paid.

Instead, Ruehlman's office referred questions to his decision, specifically the passage stating the ordinance being "invalid and unenforceable."

In addition, state representatives are filing House Bill No. 69 to "prohibit the use of traffic law photo-monitoring devices by municipal corporations, counties, townships, and the State Highway Patrol." The law would apply to both speed limit and traffic signal light cameras.

"This is a speed trap," said State Representative Dale Mallory (D), one of the co-sponsors of the bill.

Fellow State Representative, Ron Maag (R), agreed, saying the cameras "a scam, a money grab."

Since the cameras' installation in Elmwood Place, there have been petition drives, a councilman asking the mayor to resign, calls on Facebook and other social media to boycott the village, and a lawsuit that alleges violations of constitutional rights. Other communities, such as Cleves, who are considering cameras, said those plans are on hold until the legality of the cameras is decided in court.

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