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The use of traffic cameras remains a controversial topic in towns and cities throughout the country. Opponents question their legality while those in favor of them tout their life-saving potential. Some states have gone so far as to ban them entirely. While it remains to be seen whether there will ever be a nation-wide consensus or court ruling, here is a look at two opposing viewpoints.

A court in Ohio ruled in 2014 that one town’s use of traffic cameras was unconstitutional as it denied ticketed drivers a right to due process, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The Fifth Amendment to the Bill of Rights gives citizens the right to face their accusers in a court of law, question witnesses and present evidence in their defense. When tickets were issued as a result of a traffic camera, a written report from the traffic camera company was the only opponent they faced.

As a result, legislation was passed in Ohio in the following year requiring a police officer to be present next to a traffic camera in order for a ticket to be given. However, the controversy is not over. Many of the citizens who were given tickets prior to the court ruling are now seeking to have their money returned. The municipality is arguing that that is not possible since a portion of the money collected went to the private company that operated the cameras.

On the other side, people who have been victimized by speeding drivers want more cameras. In fact, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, legislation has been introduced in New York that would increase the number of cameras permitted in the city and would allow them to operate 24 hours a day. The bill calls for cameras to be placed at each school in New York City, bringing the total up to 2,000. The city currently has 140 cameras in use. Given the number of children and cyclists operating in New York, safety advocates hope that the bill will pass.

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