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Maverick, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 6391
Experience:  20 years experience as a civil trial and appellate lawyer
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I live in Ohio and my city is using v. Toledo as a means to

Customer Question

I live in Ohio and my city is using Walker v. Toledo as a means to throw out any defense people would have against police operated traffic cameras. Do they really have final say on all traffic laws or do they have to follow ORC?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 6 months ago.

Welcome to Just Answer! My name is***** give me a few minutes to review your inquiry. Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Maverick replied 6 months ago.

Which provision of the ORC do you say conflicts with the Walker case? Can you please further clarify your inquiry so we may better assist you? For example, the city cannot have final say on this matter if an owner of a vehicle proves he was not the driver at the time of the alleged infraction.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
4511.0911 2B "Each local authority shall clearly and conspicuously mark on the outside of the trailer, vehicle, or wheeled apparatus that contains the traffic law photo-monitoring device that the device is contained therein and that the trailer, vehicle, or wheeled apparatus is the property of the local authority". Would the city have to mark their cars that are using mobile traffic cameras or does Walker v. Toledo give them the power to do whatever they want which is what they are claiming.
Expert:  Maverick replied 6 months ago.

Thank you for the clarification. The Walker case does not address ORC 4511 so it cannot said to be controlling authority on that provision. Further, I did not see anything that would tend to indicate that Walker generally holds ORC 4511 to somehow be unconstitutional. So, you are correct that the city must still comply with .0911 2B. However, the statute does not indicate what the consequences would be for the city's failure to do so. Presumably, the ticket should be dismissed as the intent of the statute appears to be to provide drivers notice of the speed monitoring device. It appears that this issue would need to be taken to an appellate court to get a definitive ruling.

Walker's pertinent holding is that municipalities have home-rule authority under the Ohio Constitution to impose civil [as oppsed to criminal] liability on traffic violators through an administrative enforcement system [as opposed to exclusively a judicial forum].

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Customer: replied 6 months ago.
even though the cityis adressing it as a civil matter they still must follow ORC if Walker v. Toledo doesn't specifically mention it?
Expert:  Maverick replied 6 months ago.

Yes, that is correct. Take for example the following ORC provision:

(C) In the case of a traffic law photo-monitoring device that is used at an intersection to detect violations of section 4511.12 of the Revised Code based on the failure to comply with section 4511.13 of the Revised Code or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, the local authority shall not issue a ticket for a violation based upon evidence recorded by a traffic law photo-monitoring device when a vehicle makes a legal right or left turn-on-red-signal if all of the following apply:

(1) The vehicle can make the turn safely.

(2) The vehicle comes to a complete stop at any point prior to completing the turn.

(3) No pedestrians are in the crosswalk, or are about to enter the crosswalk, of any approach to the intersection the vehicle occupies while commencing or making the turn.

The city could not issue a ticket under the above circumstances using the Walker case as legal authority because the legislature creates the law and the courts typically can only interpret the law. The courts do however often create law as a result of interpreting a statute; but they cannot overturn the statute unless it is unconstitutional.