CINCINNATI - The controversial speed cameras that have raked in about $1.5 million in the Village of Elmwood Place could be deemed illegal pending a judge's decision in court.
Elmwood Place residents are enraged after speed cameras have dispensed $105 citations in the small, economically-struggling village for about six months. Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman is scheduled to make a decision about whether the speed cameras are legal on March 7.
Attorney Mike Allen urged Ruehlman to shut down the program during a hearing in January. Allen said the cameras have generated $1.5 million for the Village of Elmwood Place and that the system is about revenue generation rather than public safety.
Since installing two traffic cameras that record vehicle speed in September, Elmwood Place has been issuing citations at a rapid pace: 6,600 in the first month, or three times the number of village residents. The Chief of Police in Elmwood Place says the speed cameras are still operational in the village.
If Ruehlman rules to shut down the cameras, Allen said in January that he will consider asking that the decision be retroactive. Such a decision could mean anyone who paid a fine could receive a refund. Allen said he believes the appeals process for people who receive a ticket from the speed cameras does not allow for testimony from anyone other than the person who received the ticket.
Since the cameras' installation, 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.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the date of the judge's decision. We regret the error.