Elmwood Place, Ohio has been issuing traffic tickets at a record-setting pace ever since it installed two traffic cameras that track vehicle speed back in September. The town issued 6,600 tickets in the first month, three times the number of people who actually live there. Elmwood Place has reportedly handed out $1.5 million in fines so far. Each of the citations carries a $105 penalty.
Town residents are understandably upset. There have been petition drives and one councilman has asked the mayor to resign. A lawsuit alleging violations of constitutional rights has also been filed. Arguments in the lawsuit continued on Thursday.
According to police, as many as 18,000 vehicles a day pass through the one-third-square-mile village, reports The Daily Mail.
Police Chief William Peskin was working with nine other full-time officers when he joined the force in 1998. Now he’s the only one. He said that he can’t deal with the speeding issue in town. Speeding was a hot topic in Elmwood Place after a pedestrian was killed and two children were injured.
“The cameras have worked out great for us,” he said, adding that estimated speeding violations are down to less than one percent of daily traffic compared with 11 percent before the cameras. “It's a byproduct of us trying to make the community safer,” Peskin said.
The lawsuit says the village failed to comply with Ohio law for public notice on its ordinance before putting the cameras in. The judge in the case agreed. “It's a scam that the motorists can't win,” wrote Judge Robert Ruehlman in his ruling. The cameras are now prohibited under a permanent injunction but an appeal is probably coming.
Source: (The Daily Mail)