Ohio judge favors camera speeding ticket refunds

A sign advising motorists they may be monitored by traffic cameras remains in place Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, in Elmwood Place, Ohio, after the cameras were removed by a ruling from Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman. Judge Ruehlman is set to rule on Jan. 23 whether fines collected by the village must be returned. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
A sign advising motorists they may be monitored by traffic cameras remains in place Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, in Elmwood Place, Ohio, after the cameras were removed by a ruling from Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman. Judge Ruehlman is set to rule on Jan. 23 whether fines collected by the village must be returned. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

CINCINNATI (AP) — A judge in southwest Ohio says a Cincinnati-area village should refund speeding tickets from traffic cameras, but it can wait until after its appeal of class action-status is resolved.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman (ROOHL’-muhn) ruled Thursday that Elmwood Place should pay back fines and fees totaling nearly $1.8 million. He says the village is also liable for attorney fees.

But he said he won’t make a final order until the village’s appeal of his approval of class-action status for thousands of ticketed motorists is decided.

Ruehlman last year ordered the village to halt camera use, calling it a scam.

Several other lawsuits are pending in Ohio. Supporters say cameras stretch police resources and make communities safer. Foes say they are revenue-raisers that violate drivers’ rights.

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