Red-light cameras violate the Constitution
- I fully support our legislators who are trying to do away with red-light cameras.
I served as a police officer for 12 years. I received one of these tickets in Columbus a few years ago. I wasn’t even driving my truck when the offense took place. I decided to fight the ticket and found out that I had to pay my fine before receiving any hearing. This is a constitutional violation of the right to due process.
I made a written request for a motion for discovery. No evidence was turned over to me. This was a violation of my right to examine evidence and prepare for trial.
I paid my fine and went to the hearing. An attorney who was hired by the city (and most likely paid by the red-light-camera fines) heard my case.
We reviewed a video showing my truck running a red light from behind. I agreed that it ran a red light but asked the hearing officer and the officer issuing the ticket to identify the driver of the vehicle. They could not.
Our constitution requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt before conviction of any offense, traffic or criminal. I was found guilty and advised that all they needed was a preponderance of evidence (meaning 51 percent) suggesting that I was the driver.
I thought to myself: This is wrong. How could this be? Then I found out that the tickets they write are not real tickets. When someone allegedly runs a red light, the city sends the violator what looks like a ticket, but is really a summons to a civil trial.
Basically, the city is suing the driver for running a red light. However, a plaintiff can’t sue someone successfully unless he can show damages or loss, and there is no way on earth that the city can show a loss or damage if someone just happens to run a red light and no accident occurs.
This is why these red-light cameras need to be banned. They violate due process and line the pockets of the politicians with residents’ money.
Must admire and compliment ex-policeman Vickers for his calm and intelligent manner of explaining this.
Ashamed to say that while I have always respected the need for compliance of the law in order to have a civilized society, it seems there is nothing about this entire thing which even remotely sounds legal. Instead, this is an abuse of political manipulation against our own people for what purpose?. . . . to show how much this insane Ohio legislature can get away with? They wantonly change the rules to suit devious ends, but it always has a cost to the people and a benefit to themselves.
This is disgusting. Jan)