Toledo red light camera lawsuit going before OH Supreme Court ne - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toledo red light camera lawsuit going before OH Supreme Court next week

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The fate of the City of Toledo’s red light and speeding camera program is on the line.

Next week Ohio’s Supreme Court will take up a challenge to how Toledo fines drivers caught on camera.

New numbers show since going up in 2001 the cameras have generated about $12.5 million in revenue.

The red light camera lawsuit could affect all of Ohio.

There are several of these lawsuits filed in municipalities across the state, but the one from Toledo is the first to make its way up to the Supreme Court.

Critics call the cameras a money grab, but the city says it’s about safety.

Next week a punitive class action lawsuit challenging the cameras will be heard by the Ohio Supreme Court.  The lawsuit originated in Toledo after a Kentucky man got a ticket in Toledo.

Last year a state appeals court ruled that Toledo is denying drivers their day in court.

Andy Mayle says the ordinance the cameras operate under is illegal.

"If they're going to allege that somebody broke the law they’ve got to file that allegation in court and prove it before a regular judge,” says Andy Mayle, the Fremont attorney arguing against the city on Wednesday in Columbus.

"There's an abundance of opportunity to be heard in these cases,” says Adam Loukx, the Law Director for the City of Toledo.

Loukx says there has been a 39 percent decline in fatalities at Toledo intersections since the cameras started going up 13 years ago.

This year citations are down 31 percent, according to Toledo Police.

"It's a real public safety issue,” says Loukx. “I would love it if we didn't bring in a penny because no one was violating or creating dangers on our roadways.”

According to the City of Toledo Finance Department, the cameras generated $3,099,512 in revenue in 2013.  This year through April, Toledo has collected more than $630,000.  Since the program began in 2001, the cameras have brought in a total of $12.5 million in fines.

If the camera program is not allowed to continue after the State Supreme Court makes its ruling, Mayle says the city will have to refund everyone in Toledo who paid a fine.  Loukx says to wait and see.

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it,” says Loukx. “I certainly don't want to comment on what's down the road."

The Supreme Court in Columbus will hear oral arguments in the Toledo case on Wednesday.  We are told not to expect a decision for several months.



 
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