Ohio judge’s claim that speed cameras are a ‘tech game’ scam fuels national debate about devices

Speed camerasChances are if you live in a state with speed cameras, you or somebody you know have been issued a ticket for an infraction allegedly caught by one.

Well, an Ohio Judge is calling them a scam.

Referring to them as “nothing more than high-tech game of 3-card Monty,” Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Ruehlman condemned the cameras in Elmwood Place, a small community of about 2,000 located within the county of Cincinnati, according to the Cincinnati Inquirer.  

Since July, when the ordinance to allow cameras took effect, Elmwood place has collected more than $1.5 million in fines from the cameras.       

The Cincinnati Enquirer said 13 states, as well as the District of Columbia, have high-speed cameras in operation. And Ohio has 13 jurisdictions that allow them.

In 2011, the city of Baltimore reportedly collected some $36 million from 904,000 tickets issued.  

The Ohio village, like most municipalities who use the speed cameras, argue that the devices are for were for safety to slow speeders and not to rake in money. But about half of collections do go to village operations, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.  

The speed cameras have become a topic of national debate with growing complaints ranging from limited if any means of recourse for the public to dispute the citations to faulty systems.

A city-wide probe of the cameras in Baltimore initiated by a motorist who was issued a speeding ticket even though his car was stopped at a red light, found that the camera operator had issued tickets wrongly in 5 percent of the cases.    

According to reports, a city in southern Maryland was sued for allegedly issuing tickets without a review and letting a speed camera system issue hundreds of inaccurate tickets.

Exactly what impact Judge Ruehlman’s ruling on the speed cameras will have isn’t yet clear, but it definitely fuels the need for a closer look at the devices and the overall process.