2 area cities sued over traffic cameras

Traffic Cameras Ohio
Speed cameras aimed at U.S. Route 127 in New Miami, Ohio, Feb. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

MASON, Ohio (WDTN) – 2 more cities are being sued over traffic cameras.

A Cinncinati-based attorney Michael A. Kelly has filed the lawsuit against Trotwood and West Carrolton.

Allen said the newest lawsuit is an effort to end to what he calls an unfair process to fighting ticket charges.

Several other cities, including Dayton and the Villages of Elmwood and New Miami are also facing pending cases for the same devices.

Many officials believe its a question of safety, but Allen said cities are simply using the cameras as a source of income.

“It’s about raising revenue and you know, municipalities are hurting and the smaller the municipality, the more they’re hurting. I get that. But, this is not the way to get yourself out of a budget crunch– is to put these speed cameras up and these red light cameras and expect to make money from them.”

In his filings with Montgomery County, he claims traffic cameras violate the right to reasonably address the charges .

He said cities like Trotwood and West Carrollton are robbing citizens of their rights for a profit of millions.

From 2009 to 2014,  the city of West Carrollton made more than $500,000.

Meanwhile, Trotwood has made about $2,000,000 from 2006 to 2014.

This year, they’ve already collected $35,000.

Allen, a former police officer, said cities, police departments and the vendor, Red Flex need to be held accountable.

“It’s real simple. If you, if you’re a police department and you want to affect public safety and you want to catch speeders, put a trained police officer out there with a radar unit or a laser unit,” he said.

Allen believes if officials take up his solution, drivers can face the ticketing officers, who will have to prove their devices were accurate and calibrated before, during and after its usage.

Drivers like Austin Troxell believe in Allen’s solution.

The West Carrollton citizen was ticketed for $100 twice at the same intersection of Central Road and Alex Bell Road for a rolling stop.

He said if an officer gave him that ticket, he’d be more willing to pay it and believe he’d been speeding.

“I want the the systems to be decommissioned, pure and simple,” said Troxell.

Next week, the Ohio Supreme Court will hear the Walker case, which will determine if speed camera cases should be heard in municipal courts.

Local legislators are considering a bill that would address these traffic camera issue; one solution proposes to keep the cameras near school zones provided an officer accompanies the device.

Michael Kelly is optimistic about the outcome of these cases and legislative process.

He thinks he has a good shot to win another case.

His previous lawsuits against the villages of Elmwood Place and New Miami ended with the shut down of all cameras.

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