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Cincinnati Branch of the NAACP


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A few Questions, Answers and Facts about the
Red Lights Cameras.

A ticket by camera is a civil offense, not a criminal misdemeanor.   Yes, correct. 

Does this mean a ticket does not add points to your license?   No points.  At least that's the way it works now.  This may change later.  Also, not sure what effect it will have on insurance rates.  Not sure. 

If so, it's more about a revenue stream to the city, and less about enforcement of traffic laws.   Yes, exactly.  This came up in Cincinnati only at budget time.  High-ranking police officials have said this is not a safety issue.  It is all about revenue. 

How does the system deal with a person driving another's vehicle?   Owner is ticketed and liable. 

The May 5th presss release from WeDemandAVote.com states:
    You will not be able to face your accuser your only accuser will be a camera   A little contorted.  Issue is that you cannot subpoena witnesses in your defense.  Also, it appears the state has to present no evidence and cannot be subjected to cross examination (such as on calibration of equipment).  You are presumed guilty unless your defenses rise to the level of defeating the ticket. 
    You lose your right to a speedy trial .  Not clear. 
    You lose due process .  See above.  Presumed guilty, no right to confront accusers w/ subpoenas.     
    You have to pay a ticket before an appeal .  In Cincinnati ordinance and regulations, bizarre but true.
    You lose your presumption of innocence until proven guilty .  See above

These points are rights in a criminal accusation, not civil.  They should not apply to a civil case.  Would not a rational person prefer a civil instead over a criminal charge?  How do I respond?   It is not just a civil process, but a summary civil process in front of a City magistrate.  It is a sham of a pretense of due process.  In reality, it is a cash register ringing up cash for the City. 

Things to Think about.  If a store camera captures a shop-lifter, or a parking lot camera captures a car thief, or the sidewalk camera captures n blind assult from the rear, and it ultimately results in a conviction, no one disputes that is valid, admissible, incriminating, and in fact wonderful evidence to have.  There is no real person accuser.  Why is this different when that same method of evidence is used for traffic violations?   In every other circumstance, someone must present the video evidence.   The private companies have created this structure where that silly idea of due process is just discarded because it is expensive to administer.  This is about generating cash for cities.