8/17/2007Cleveland, Ohio Issued Illegal Speed Camera Tickets
Cleveland, Ohio may be forced to refund millions in illegally collected mobile speed camera tickets.
Cleveland, Ohio has been using mobile speed cameras in violation of its own city ordinance. A hearing officer on Wednesday dismissed a pair of automated speeding tickets issued to Mike Besser after the South Euclid motorist presented evidence that the city never issued the required press release announcing its mobile cameras.
"The Director of Public Safety shall cause the general public to be notified by means of a press release issued at least thirty days before any given camera is made fully-operational and is used to issue tickets to offenders," Cleveland Ordinance 413.031 states. "Before a given camera issues actual tickets, there shall be a period of at least two weeks, which may run concurrently with the 30-day public-notice period, during which only 'warning' notices shall be issued."
Although the city issued a press release announcing the location of stationary cameras on October 14, 2005, it never provided a release notifying the public about its mobile speed cameras. In 2006, Cleveland raised $6 million in revenue from 85,861 automated tickets. Of this amount, $1.5 million came from mobile cameras.
In 2005, the California Supreme Court upheld a ruling that found red light camera tickets issued from an unannounced camera had to be refunded.