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Drivers sue Ohio village over speed camera tickets

LUCAS, Ohio (AP) — Dozens of people are suing the northern Ohio village of Lucas over the use of traffic enforcement cameras.

The Mansfield News Journal (http://ohne.ws/18hgzw2 ) reports that seven attorneys with clients challenging $100 speeding citations have combined their case into a single lawsuit. The more than 60 plaintiffs include nearby residents, out-of-state drivers and three businesses.

The lawsuit charges that camera speeding ticket enforcement is unconstitutional because of lack of due process, that the village didn't follow state public notice requirements, and that rules governing Ohio mayor's courts weren't followed. Some drivers claim they were ticketed when they weren't even speeding since the cameras went into operation in March.

"There is no indication as to how these cameras are kept up or how they are calibrated," said attorney Cassandra Mayer, who added that the system makes it difficult to appeal the citations.

The village has denied any wrongdoing and said those suing don't have legal standing.

Mayer said the Lucas lawsuit is similar to one against the Cincinnati-area village of Elmwood Place that led to a judge's order against camera use there this year.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman ruled in March that Elmwood Place's camera ordinance was unconstitutional and unenforceable, and blasted speeding camera enforcement as "a scam" that was stacked against the motorists. A similar lawsuit was filed against the village of New Miami near Hamilton in southwest Ohio.

Other Ohio courts, including the state Supreme Court, have upheld use of the cameras.

Supporters of traffic cameras say they are tools for stretching law enforcement resources to make communities safer. Opponents say they are being used to increase revenue at the expense of motorists whose rights are being violated.

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