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Courts and Crime

Cleveland suspends red light camera ticket appeal process
Decision follows the state court ruling that Cleveland's process is unconstitutional

Kevin Niedermier
In The Region:

The City of Cleveland is suspending its appeals process for red light camera tickets while it reviews this week’s state appeals court ruling calling the system unconstitutional.  The court sided with a Columbus man who challenged a Cleveland red light camera ticket.  As WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports, the ruling is not against Cleveland’s cameras, which are still in operation, but rather, the way the city handles appeals.

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The state court says the city violates Ohio’s constitution by forcing red light camera appeals to be decided by a hearing officer the same way a parking ticket is challenged. State law says a red light ticket challenge should be handled by a municipal court just like a ticket from a police officer. Russ Rader is with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a red light camera proponent. He believes Cleveland could fix its problem by simply setting up a streamlined muny court process to handle red light violation appeals. But, Rader says giving red light camera citations the same weight as a parking ticket is a common practice.

“In most states red light camera citations are issued to vehicle owners and are treated as civil offenses rather that moving violations.  There are no driver’s license points assessed, there are no insurance implications, things like that. Where this Ohio case fits in the bigger picture, is that litigation surrounding red light cameras today usually turns on things like this, very narrow questions of how the municipal law fits with the state constitution.”  

Rader says federal constitutional challenges to red light cameras, like privacy issues, have all been decided in favor of the automated ticketing devices. It’s still not known if Cleveland will appeal this week’s ruling to the Ohio Supreme Court. The high court will hear a similar case out of Toledo.




Listener Comments:

"Russ Rader is with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a red light camera proponent."

IIHS represents auto insurance companies. The companies use red light camera violations to raise insurance premiums. IIHS was explicitly caught doing this Florida.

The once senior traffic engineer for IIHS is Richard Retting, the father of the red light camera in America, who now reaps the money directly from Brekford Corporation,

Posted by: Brian Ceccarelli (Apex, NC) on January 25, 2014 8:01AM
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