Speed Cameras Ruled Unconstitutional, City Has to Pay Back Ticketed Drivers

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A court ruling declared speed cameras or at least the process they engender is unconstitutional and the city that put them in must repay all tickets, according to Fox News. Speed light cameras are what you might see in a police state. They also take away due process. The court agreed.

The case was complicated and the decision was based on several court cases. The judge agreed with plaintiffs that it was unjust enrichment.

The cameras were put in by despots and a company made money from the practice.

Optotraffic, the private vendor that handled the paperwork, made more than a million dollars off 45,000 people over 15 months. The city wasted over $100,000 defending the cameras when citizens fought back with a class action lawsuit.

A group of three lawyers filed suit in 2013, arguing that New Miami’s automated ticketing ordinance gave vehicle owners no realistic opportunity to defend themselves against the demand for a payment of up to $180 that arrived in the mail.

The city must pay back $3,066,523.00 to people who were ticketed. Butler County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael A. Oster Jr.’s made the ruling.

“If the government has created an unconstitutional law/ordinance that has taken people’s money without affording them the necessary due process protections, should not justice demand, and the law require, restitution of that money to the people?” Oster asked at the opening of his ruling. “Once the complexities of the law are analyzed, the answer is simple: Yes.”

Speed cameras have nothing to do with safety. It was to make money and it’s theft. They are the modern day highway robbers.

The Ohio Supreme Court chose to not intervene because it’s so obviously true that it’s unconstitutional.

The New Miami officials tried to claim sovereign immunity but the fact that they violated citizens’ constitutional rights, the court would not grant immunity.

This ruling set by the court sets precedent and is good news for Americans all across America.

As a sidenote, many of the cameras are giving tickets to people who turn on a red without stopping for three seconds. The law says you have to stop, not stop for three seconds.

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46 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder what the ruling would be on cameras that are set up to ticket drivers who run red lights. How about speed cameras set up in school zones?

    • Speed cameras set up in Nassau County NY school zones were removed because it was found to be unconstitutional and the company running the cameras made millions. Not sure if they had to pay back the people who were ticketed.

        • If they are unconstitutional so are cameras in banks, Walmart, and other businesses. They can no longer use those photos or videos as evidence.

          • @jimbritttn The difference between using speed cameras to automatically send tickets and using video camera tape as evidence is that one has the chance to dispute tape evidence before being convicted of the related charge, but as with speed camera tickets one does not. That is why speed cameras that issue tickets were ruled unconstitutional.

  2. I believe that this was set up to make MONEY. THIS has less to do with safety than making money . If it’s safety that is paramount then MORE police officers should be stationed at a corner not a camera.speed limits should be lowered . In Chicago the timing on lights and cameras were rigged so the light went to from green to red much quicker and if you are doing the speed limit and the light changes from green to yellow ( caution) you still had several seconds to make it through the light all the way but after some rigging it made it impossible to make it through the light .

  3. The big thing is that the cameras just take pics of the license plates from behind…so then the ticket goes to the owner of the vehicle. Prove that it was me the owner driving the vehicle at that time.

      • That makes no sense that the registered owner is responsible for a ticket when they weren’t driving. When an officer pulls someone over they don’t ticket the owner they ticket the driver. I got a ticket for a swapped tag once they told me THE PERSON DRIVING IS RESPONSIBLE even though I had no clue the tag was swapped. The owner didn’t matter in that situation so why should the owner matter when a damn camera “catches” a traffic violation. I can understand you should be responsible with your belongings but it doesn’t sit right with me sounds like an excuse to ticket someone who wasn’t even around.

        • My daughter regularly drove a car registered in my name. I received a ticket for running a red light in a different county. It took me a minute to realize what was happening. There was a option for me to defend myself (thereby accuse her, yes I had to give her name and address) and they removed my name and sent her the ticket. I had to send in an affidavit that I was not the driver.

      • The owner of a vehicle is liable for damages, the driver is responsible for the operation of the vehicle. Your statement would mean that if someone driving my car got a DUI that I’d be charged too. The due process decision is based on the accusation against a person first, without probable cause to determine the person driving WILL be the person ticketed, hence it violates due process under the 6th amendment of the constitution. Not addressed but should be is the state is charted to to law enforcement to promote public safety, not generate revenue.

  4. The cameras aren’t unconstitutional, it’s the court just sending out a fine without giving the person a chance to defend themselves that’s unconstitutional.

    • I should add that of course you’re right but the cameras and the process can’t be separated in this case.

      • We are guaranteed the Right to confront our accuser in Court. How do you cross examine a camera?

        • So doesn’t that mean if I burglarize a store and it’s caught on camera and I’m identified by the video I can’t be charged because the camera can’t testify? Think it through. Cameras are not unconstitutional, especially when placed in places where the Supreme Court has ruled there is a much reduced reasonable expectation of privacy…like driving in a car in public. What was unconstitutional was the process used to issue citations and the fact that they held the registered owner responsible.

          • Caught on camera pulling a burglary is a picture of you. Traffic cameras only take pictures of the license plate. Not the driver or the occupants of the vehicle.

            • They get pictures of you. I was sent a picture of my face in the window and the licence plate with the ticket info from AZ. It was like a regular ticket. I could pay it or go to court. AZ would not have this same problem.

  5. I do agree with the thought that ticketing a car owner, when that person might not have been in the car, has to be unfair.

  6. We are guaranteed the Right to confront our accuser in a Court of Law. How do you cross examine a camera?

  7. In the meantime, I have gotten 3 camera tickets in NYC in the last 6 months. And the cameras are still in place…..Maybe someone can explain why it unconstitutional everywhere except the 5 boroughs.

  8. The death rate on US roads is not good at all. Speed is one of the fatal 4 contributions to all deaths on the road. Tell that to the victims families about constitution and stuff. Don’t they have the right to life?

    • Lowering the speed limit won’t have any effect, enforcing the speed limit would and so would respect for the law. During my daily commute to and from work, I run the expressway. The speed limit is 65 mph, I couldn’t count the number of vehicles that blast by me doing way in excess of the posted speed limit every day, including cops. I don’t have any issue with speed cameras because I don’t speed, if your not speeding you shouldn’t have any reason to worry about them.

      • Hi Wes, Dayshena, I agree with the lowering of the limit but as we have found in England, we cannot get compliance without enforcement. We also find its the only criminal act where the offender becomes the victim. When in Florida I had to ask a taxi driver to come off his cellphone (3 to 4 times worse than DUI according to research) and again, no compliance without enforcement. Best wishes,,,,

    • Cameras in banks and retail store do not send you tickets demanding money. Why is it so hard to understand the difference?

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