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Old 2008-10-03
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Exclamation Forget Due Process. We値l Just Wing It.

NMA Article: Forget Due Process. We値l Just Wing It.

gavelcourt

If you need any further proof that cities with red-light cameras don’t care about motorists, check out this article from the Chillicothe Gazette on the Chillicothe, Ohio ticket camera program.


They’ve decided to start issuing citations without having any system in place for people to challenge unfair tickets:


As Chillicothe’s red-light cameras became active this morning, the manner in which ticket appeals will be handled remains unknown.


Chillicothe City Council’s finance committee members were reluctant to hire additional hearing officers to handle appeals, and the municipal court judges told Mayor Joe Sulzer they didn’t have the time.


So the city has time to collect money from fines, but it can’t be bothered to care about people with tickets that they may not deserve?


The traffic appeals process worries Whiz Detty, who received a warning ticket for making a right-on-red turn during the red light cameras’ probationary period.


“I had no idea who to call, because I wanted to let them know the camera shouldn’t be taking pictures of people making right-on-reds, as long as they’re going slowly,” he said. He didn’t want to call the police department, figuring they were busy and the letter he received was only a warning. So he called Mayor Sulzer’s office.


“The mayor’s office didn’t have a clue who I should call and eventually had me call the company,” Detty said.


Detty was given a number for Redflex traffic systems’ Dayton office, where he was told he probably shouldn’t have received anything in the mail, but also that there was nothing wrong with the system.


“They told me the system didn’t need any adjustments,” he said. “But they also said it didn’t look like an infraction and then they said “but I’m not an officer or a judge.”


Have a problem with your red-light camera ticket? Just call the camera company and they’ll tell you everything’s fine. Case closed.


Those with citations have three options: They can pay the fine, mail in stating they weren’t driving but provide the name and contact information for the person driving, or appeal the citation. Detty’s concerned many people will choose the latter option.


“My concern is that the court system is going to be inundated with people who need to fight these,” Detty said. “As soon as these fines start rolling up, it’s going to turn into a fiasco and there’s no system set up.”


Who needs due process anyway? Just call this toll-free number and talk to a representative of a company that profits from you being found guilty:


People with questions about the appeals process must call a toll-free number and speak with a Redflex representative in Scottsdale, Ariz., because there is no local contact within Chillicothe to explain the process. [Chillicothe Police Captain Tom] Hewitt said Redflex representatives should be able to answer all the questions, though.


The city of Chillicothe, Ohio should be embarrassed. They clearly value money over justice.


Are You A NMA Member? If not, read about the benefits and then join!


Forget Due Process. We’ll Just Wing It.


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© 2008 NMA
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