Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
BYLINE: By Andrew J. Tobias
Three people on Thursday filed a lawsuit in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court seeking to put a stop to Dayton’s automated camera ticketing program.
The lawsuit asks a judge to declare Dayton’s red-light and speed cameras unconstitutional and seeks class-action status. The plaintiffs are three Dayton residents whose vehicles were towed once the city last month began to enforce unpaid camera-issued tickets.
The lawsuit names the City of Dayton and RedFlex, the company owns and operates the city’s cameras, and seeks more than $50,000 in damages. It argues that the cameras are unconstitutional, among other reasons, because they bypass due process.
Attorney Mike Dyer, who is representing the three drivers, said he expects his case to succeed where others have failed because it is the first in Ohio to question using towing to enforce camera-issued tickets. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in 2008 the cameras are legal.
“I can’t imagine the judge looking at what they’re doing to people and saying this is OK. The city should be very ashamed of what they’re doing,” Dyer said.
City spokesman Tom Biedenharn declined to comment. City officials have said towing to enforce the cameras is legal, and that the cameras have helped reduce crashes.
The tickets issued by the cameras are different from traditional tickets in that they are civil violations, and not criminal citations. Instead of going to court, tickets from cameras go through a separate administrative process.
Copyright 2012 Dayton Newspapers, Inc.