2/5/2007Ohio Red Light Cameras Tickets Innocent Motorists
A ticket camera in in Cleveland, Ohio are charged two motorists with offenses that they did not commit.
A number of motorists in Cleveland, Ohio have caught the city's red light and speed cameras issuing bogus tickets. WEWS-TV cameraman Dave Hatala received a $100 ticket in the mail for, the notice claimed, driving 48 MPH in a 35 zone on Chester Avenue near 71st Street last July. Hatala was certain he had not been speeding.
In examining the photos, Hatala realized it was obvious that a vehicle in an adjacent lane was traveling faster than he was. WEWS reporter Duane Pohlman had Case Western University mathematics professor Chris Butler analyze the photographic evidence. He calculated that the camera had overestimated Hatala's speed by 8 MPH and, in fact, that the other car was the one doing 48 MPH.
The same camera accused Massillon residents Bill and Sue Faber of running a red light -- something they could not have done since they had not been in the city for six months. The red light camera photograph shows a Dodge sedan with an unclear license plate. That plate number listed on the ticket matches the one on Bill Faber's truck. Faber believes the city could not read the plate in the photo and just guessed what it might be.
"I always thought we were always innocent until proven guilty and now I find it's guilty until I can prove I'm innocent," Faber told WEWS.
WEWS reporter Duane Pohlman spent six months investigating the city's camera system and found the city stonewalled requests for documents related to its public safety program. The city issued more than 58,000 tickets last year generating $5.8 million in revenue.