From the Cincinnati Enquirer:
A judge has ordered a southwest Ohio village to stop using speeding cameras, saying they violate motorists’ rights to due process.
Butler County Judge Michael Sage also granted a motion for class action status, meaning thousands of drivers could seek refunds from the village of New Miami.
Dan Sewell, from the AP, has more details (via Ohio.com):
It was estimated in court Tuesday that more than $1 million has been collected from more than 10,000 drivers, although some may have been ticketed multiple times. An attorney for the village indicated an appeal was likely. The village had contended it had the right under state law to use the cameras to ticket motorists, with a compelling interest for safety.
Questioning attorneys during more than two hours of legal arguments, Sage wondered aloud whether the speed camera system in the village, along a busy highway just outside this county seat city, were like taxing people for driving through. The cameras have been used for more than a year in the village of some 2,200 residents; the lawsuit charged that the system bypassed courts and made it difficult for motorists to challenge the $95 citations.
“The court has great concerns about due process in this case,” Sage said. “This is a fundamental value in our system.”
Motorists can challenge citations, but in an administrative system the judge said favors the village and police, which he said have “a vested interest” in collecting the revenues. Sage said he could reconsider his ruling if New Miami changed the speeding cameras system to allow motorists to challenge tickets in court.
We will have more information as this story develops.