7/11/2014Ohio Lawsuit Accuses Speed Camera Company Of Exploitation
East Cleveland, Ohio resident sues American Traffic Solution for exploiting a poor community with speed cameras.
A former candidate for city council in East Cleveland, Ohio is suing speed camera vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) for $5 million. Vidah Saeed filed suit in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas last month accusing the Arizona-based firm of depriving her of her constitutional rights.
"The defendant American Traffic Solutions Inc's street cameras have deprived me of my pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the following ways," Saeed wrote. "I'm in fear of a man-made device capturing my image falsely, creating unnecessary mental and emotional distress that can contribute to paranoia or wandering thoughts... I don't feel that I, my family, and the community in which I chose to live are treated equally and fairly as citizens of the United States as not all areas have the street light cameras."
ATS issued Saeed a ticket demanding that she pay $100 after her car was photographed at the intersection of Hayden Avenue and Mayfair Avenue where she says there are two different speed limits just before and after the camera location, creating a speed trap.
"Defendant American Traffic Solutions Inc seems to be engaging in a discriminatory practice," Saeed argued. "The practice of placing these cameras in strategic poor communities such as East Cleveland to potentially drain them of their own resources is a discriminatory practice."
Saeed argued the cameras bring ridicule on her city, scare away business, diminish property values and make it a less safe place to live by taking jobs away from police officers.
A number of court challenges to speed cameras in Ohio are on hold pending the resolution of cases before the state Supreme Court. A class action suit against Garfield Heights was formally placed on hold last month pending a decision on the class action lawsuit Lycan v. Cleveland (view appellate case), which seeks refunds for tickets issued in a program that has already been ruled unlawful. In oral arguments last month, several justices were openly skeptical of claims made by the city of Toledo and by Redflex regarding the legality of the ticketing operation.