Hamilton woman willing to spend hundreds for day in court

HAMILTON, Ohio - A Hamilton woman allegedly caught speeding wants her day in what she calls a "real court" to contest a notice of liability she received while driving through New Miami.

Lara Rodeffer was driving down South Riverside Drive to pick up her daughter from a friend's house in New Miami last November when cameras allegedly caught her speeding.

She went to New Miami's town hall to contest the $95 ticket and came away even angrier than when she went in.

"I wanted to go the appeal immediately because I didn't believe I had been speeding and wanted to find out what my rights were," said Rodeffer.

She says the 60 people who crammed into the Town Hall weren't treated uniformly.

"Some people who [had] eight or nine tickets, those people were told they only had to pay one of them and anyone who had one ticket, it didn't matter what the circumstances were, they didn't care, they just said you were found liable," continued Rodeffer.

Rodeffer then said the information on the back of her notice of liability improperly directed her to the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas.

New Miami is in Butler County.

"Had a real officer pulled me over I feel like we could have discussed the circumstances," said Rodeffer.

"For people who speed this is an issue because they're being caught by a company in Maryland," said New Miami police chief Kenneth Cheek. "So, the only people who are complaining are the people who are speeding who think they are allowed to speed."

Cheek was referring to Optotraffic, a private company in Maryland that operates the speed cameras for New Miami. The information the cameras collect is sent via satellite to the company that processes the information, sends it to the local police department for approval, and then a fine is sent in the mail from out of state to the accused speeder.

New Miami receives about 60 percent of the money collected from the fines.

Cheek acknowledged that fines were not collected on every ticket.

"If you pay this we'll dismiss a couple," said Cheek explaining why those with more tickets didn't have to pay for every one.

Rodeffer plans to take her ticket to the Butler County Court of Common Pleas even if it means paying well more than she would have if she had just paid the initial fine.

"The makers of the cameras or the company that installs them don't have to show up to defend them or anything. I just think it's not fair," said Rodeffer.

New Miami began employing speed cameras on Riverside Drive and Hamilton-Eaton Road in October.

Elmwood Place, another community employing private company contracted speed cameras, has come under scrutiny recently for its use of those cameras and recently had to dismiss hundreds of tickets due to a camera malfunction.




View New Miami speed cameras in a larger map

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