Ohio Supreme Court OK's traffic camera judge
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 04 June 2013 13:16

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected a Cincinnati area village's effort to replace a judge in the litigation over its use of traffic cameras to cite speeders.

The state's high court said Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman has followed the law and didn't act in a biased manner. The village of Elmwood Place claimed Ruehlman was one-sided and cited derogatory language in his March ruling granting an injunction against camera use. He called the camera system "a scam" and "a sham" and compared the village's use of them to a con artists' card game.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Tuesday (http://cin.ci/11BPY5a ) that Ruehlman explained he often writes bluntly worded opinions.

"When I issue a decision, they are easy to understand," he told the court. "They may be a little colorful, but they are easy to understand.'

Village Police Chief William Peskin said Tuesday he hadn't seen the ruling and couldn't comment.

The village had contended Ruehlman used "extremely pejorative and unnecessary language" directed at Elmwood Place and the police chief.

Motorists sued the village after thousands of speeding citations were handed out within the first weeks of camera use. A private company operated the cameras under contract with the village of 2,200 residents, sending out $105 citations for those the cameras recorded speeding.

Critics charged that the cameras were meant mainly to raise money for the financially pressed village. Peskin and village officials said Elmwood Place lacked enough police manpower to combat frequent speeding through the tiny village by motorists on their way to and from Interstate 75 and to big employers nearby. Peskin said speeding had dropped and safety improved.

Use of traffic cameras for enforcement has been growing across Ohio and the nation, although there have been many challenges to them. The Ohio Supreme Court and other courts in the state have ruled in other cases that Ohio cities have been within the law in using cameras for enforcement.

Some Ohio legislators are seeking to have their use banned.


Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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