12/5/2006Speed Camera Challenge Sent to Ohio Supreme Court
A federal judge asked the Ohio Supreme Court to rule on the ability of cities to operate photo enforcement programs without state sanction.
A US District Court Judge has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to rule on a question pivotal to the use of photo enforcement in the state. Judge David D. Dowd wrote the court to ask if a city on its own authority can issue a civil fine for something defined in state law as a criminal offense.
The question comes from two cases before Dowd that argue speed cameras and red light cameras undermine the due process and other protections found in the US and Ohio state constitutions. Dowd, a federal judge, had earlier ruled in a case that cities could do so. A county judge disagreed and issued a ruling based on state law rejecting Dowd's reasoning and striking down Girard's speed camera program.
In response, Dowd has nullified the sections of his ruling dealing with Akron's authority under state law to issue civil fines for traffic violations and has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to resolve the dispute.