Written By: Ishton W. Morton – September 18th, 2019
In 2013, Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman ruled fixed, unmanned speed cameras are unconstitutional. Since then similar rulings has been given in the village of New Miami.
The 20th, century is defined as the period inclusively from January 1st, 1901 through December 31st, 2000. Also, it has been theorized that the 20th Century saw more technological and scientific progress than all the other centuries combined since the dawn of civilization.
Amidst these technological and scientific progress is a simple devise also known as the speed cameras.
However, shortly after the turn of 20th, century Christopher Smitherman, then President of the Cincinnati Branch NAACP became the architect of an instrument that was brought before the citizenry that will banned speed cameras in Cincinnati. It was an enormous fight, but the citizenry voted with us and thus speed cameras in Cincinnati was banned.
As recent as Tuesday, September 17th, 2019 the banned speed cameras in Cincinnati are back on the table before Cincinnati City Council.
Seemingly predicated on whom one speak on the surface it looks like the idea once thought of to be so extremely unappealing, that it was banned by an amendment to the city charter, now seems to be gaining traction. However, if this was to materialize residents are likely to vote on whether they want to see speed cameras on Cincinnati streets.
Presently, Christopher Smitherman is Vice Mayor for the City of Cincinnati and Chair Council’s Law & Public Safety Committee. On Tuesday September 17th, 2019 reach-out to the Vice Mayor Office regarding banned speed cameras in Cincinnati seeking a comeback. Ironically, at the time of my call the was being discussed be for the Law & Public Safety Committee.
Subsequently, Smitherman is against the banned speed cameras in Cincinnati seeking a comeback.
Still the overwhelming on speed cameras continues to be much the same. There is an enormous strong belief amongst the citizenry the speed cameras will impede due process.
Understandably, due process is the legal requirement that the state must respect all legal rights that are owed to a person. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due process violation, which offends the rule of law.
Also due process has been frequently interpreted as limiting laws and legal proceedings substantive to due process so that judges, instead of legislators, may define and guarantee fundamental fairness, justice, and liberty.
Also, with the use of speed cameras witness will be removed from the equation. Meaning, someone who has knowledge about a matter cannot be questioned. In law a witness is someone who, either voluntarily or under compulsion, provides testimonial evidence, either oral or written, of what he or she knows or claims to know.
According to a News-Bite on WCPO TV9 News, “The right to avoid self-incrimination, that’s out the window. The right to due process and the right to have real people sitting in a witness chair saying things out loud that you can then cross-examine, that’s out the door.
These interpretation has proven to be extremely controversial. It’s difficult to understand exactly what Landsman really want. At one point it seems that he is advocating for speed cameras only in school zones and another he all over the place. His thoughts are not completely organized.
Additionally Landsman said to WCPO, “It makes a big difference whether or not we are enforcing our traffic laws, our speeding laws and getting people to slow down, which at the moment is a life-and-death thing. People are getting hit every day and many of them are children. Some of them are not walking away from these crashes.”
Apparently Cincinnati City Councilman Greg Landsman is advocating for the comeback of speed cameras. He has said, “They can, in specific areas like school zones, rec centers, where kids are, they can slow people down if we can get a change to the charter.”
Landsman added, he’s seeing more support for speed cameras in certain areas as the city deals with a high number of pedestrians being hit by vehicles. Also, “We are seeing at least one person hit a day in the city of Cincinnati.” Really!! This can not accurate.
The way the charter is written now, an officer must operate the camera and write the ticket to the driver. The idea proposed for the change is that the officer will still operate the camera but could automatically send the ticket to the driver without making a traffic stop.
Finally, Landsman said, “ultimately, something like this really does require voters to decide for themselves if they want to see this change.”
For all practical intent a change to the city charter will require the issue to be placed on the ballot.