CINCINNATI - An Ohio judge rebuffed an argument Thursday that using traffic cameras make law enforcement more efficient, stating sharply that violating motorists' rights isn't the American way.
Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Robert Ruehlman cited authoritarian regimes such as Cuba and North Korea as expedient, while saying the U.S. democratic system ``can be messy.''
``But it's a nice mess to have,'' Ruehlman said.
The Cincinnati-area village of Elmwood Place wants the judge, who in March ordered a halt to its camera use, to rule against motorists who are seeking nearly $1.8 million in refunds of speeding fines and fees. Attorneys for the motorists say Ruehlman should order the refunds without a trial, since he has already compared the speed cameras to a rigged card game.
Ruehlman said he will issue his decision Jan. 23.