ELMWOOD PLACE, Ohio (AP) -- Businesspeople and residents of a southwest Ohio village have taken their opposition to new traffic cameras into court.
Elmwood Place officials didn't properly follow legal procedures in starting the camera enforcement aimed at speeders, according to a Hamilton County lawsuit filed Thursday. Twelve people who are suing also say the speeding ticket blitz that has followed is causing them harm, because the cameras are causing people to avoid the village and its businesses.
"A good thing for Elmwood to do is say, 'The people have spoken,' and end this," attorney Mike Allen told The Cincinnati Enquirer (http://cin.ci/TxJvZa).
Some 13,000 speeding citations were issued in the first two months or so after the cameras began. Elmwood Place has some 2,200 residents.
Village Police Chief William Peskin said the legal action wasn't a surprise, but declined further comment. He has said the traffic cameras are helping make the village near Cincinnati safer by deterring people from speeding through it.
Revenue from the $105 tickets is shared between the village and a for-profit company that installs and operates such traffic camera systems around the country. Other Ohio courts have upheld the camera use, which nearly always draws irate local reactions when municipalities install them.
The city of Dayton has used cameras to catch people running red lights for nearly a decade, but it caused a stir earlier this year when it began towing the vehicles of motorists who weren't paying multiple tickets.
People here complain that they have gotten citations for going only a couple miles per hour over the posted speed limit. People can challenge the citations that are mailed to them, but they face a $25 court hearing fee.
At one recent village meeting, there were calls for the village mayor to resign. She refused.
Allen said the lawsuit is a good way to take the issue "in front of a tribunal other than Elmwood."