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Speed cameras are a scam, Ohio judge rules

A judge in Ohio says what so many have been thinking, but never expected to hear from a judge. He described them as "nothing more than a high-tech game of 3-card Monty."

The wise judge.
WLWT-TV/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Many believe that speed cameras were invented by Fagin.

They perch there in all arrogance, waiting for the next sucker whose pocket they'll pick.

Some localities have come to admit that they don't reduce accidents. Arizona took the decision to remove its highway speed cameras altogether.

Baltimore's were so riddled with errors that they were removed recently too.

Who could forget the recent, poetic incident in Baltimore when a speed camera decided (with the help of a human police officer) that a stationary car was speeding.

The chorus of suspicion surrounding these dubious objects has now been joined by one of the last people you'd suspect: a judge.

As WDTN-TV Ohio reports, Judge Robert Ruehlman this week declared that speed cameras were "a scam."

He vehemently criticized the authorities of Elmwood Place, Ohio, a village that installed speed cameras and then began to bathe in revenue as divas bathe in champagne.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that the judge also described the cameras as "nothing more than a high-tech game of 3-card Monty."

In the first month of the cameras' activity, Elmwood Place sprinkled 6,600 speeding tickets, each of which generated $105.

Oddly, there are only 2,000 residents in the whole of Elmwood Place.

Locals decided this resembled backstreet robbery and so went to court, also offering the legal defense that the cameras were installed without displaying the appropriate public notices to warn people this was coming.

The judge ordered the village to just stop it with the speeding tickets.

The village, perhaps concerned that its pockets might cease to bulge, is to appeal his verdict.

The attorney for the plaintiffs, Mike Allen, however, told the Columbus Dispatch: "This is the first time that a judge has said 'enough is enough'. I think this nationally is a turning point."

There is, perhaps, still a long way to go before the nation's local authorities will decide to forgo such as easy money-spinning device.

In the meantime, please think of the poor people of Dayton, Ohio. There, if you have two unpaid tickets, the city can now legally tow your car away.

How's that for justice?