Dec 26, 2007

Red-Light Camera Protest in West Toledo

Protest against red-light cameras in West Toledo (Toledo, OH) As I have mentioned before, there lurks deep within me the makings of either an anarchist or a libertarian, and when I saw this spontaneous protest against Toledo's red-light camera program, I must admit that I smiled. This is also a less destructive method of protest, unlike the actions of the Knoxville man who allegedly shot a red-light camera after he was photographed by the device.

This particular red-light camera is mounted at the corner of Secor and Laskey Roads in West Toledo, and is designed to document the actions of motorists driving north on Secor. My guess is that the creator of the protest sign was likely the recipient of an automated ticket, but the concerns about the infringement upon civil liberties of motorists admittedly are shared by many people who have never been ticketed in such a manner.

The Toledo program is expected to generate revenue of $2.2 million in revenue if a proposal by the Toledo Police Department is implemented. The plan calls for additional cameras and an increase in the ticket for a red-light camera infraction from $95 to $120. This is quite a bit of money drained from the local economy, and consumers who might be buying a new HD television set or a plasma tv lift instead send off checks to the government.

While this protest is hardly akin to the greatest moments in American political protest, it is indeed heartening to see individuals speaking out against the encroachment of the state upon the rights of citizens, especially in the crass, money-grubbing extortion known as Toledo's red-light camera program. Of course, I should also add that the sign-hanger could also face a $75 fine in Toledo for posting this illegal sign, as Toledo is quickly becoming the capital of the legislative creation of penny-ante infractions and misdemeanors.


Anonymous said...


I'm not a big fan of the red-light cameras. It may generate income for the city, but does has it lessened the amount of red-light infractions over the years?

-Sepp said...

"Toledo is quickly becoming the capital of the legislative creation of penny-ante infractions and misdemeanors."

THAT statement pretty well defines what our once proud city has morphed into. Toledo is becomming the newest "New Rome" Ohio which if anyone remembers was a corrupt little speedtrap / arrested for spitting on the sidewalk type of town.

OFAC said...


It's always encouraging to see people making an effort to at least draw attention to a problem. Especially with how cold it was last night, and these signs being up all over the city. That's dedication.

historymike said...


Chief Mike Navarre released statistics that seem to point to a reduction in accidents in Toledo at such interections, but cities such as Washington D.C. and Seattle show increases in traffic accidents.

It all comes down to who one chooses to believe.

historymike said...


Thanks for the New Rome link. I had forgotten about this notorious speed trap.

historymike said...


Where else did you see them?

OFAC said...

Saw some at Douglas and U. Hills and Front and Main. Supposedly some out on the trail and on Alexis as well.

Lisa Renee said...

Shaun Hegarty on Fox did a story on this tonight. It appears there are quite a few of these signs out there.

Nice job in breaking the story.


Omar said...

HAHA now that is awesome

thanks for posting the pic

Anonymous said...

It's funny that the camera didn't get a picture of the person(s) placing the sign. Maybe Big Brother isn't able to watch quite as effectively as he thinks he can.

Anonymous said...

Worth a look-see to see if there is a conflict of laws.

In MI an ordinance adopted by a city pursuant to its authority under the Home Rule City Act, that allows the city to issue citations for civil infractions for disobeying a traffic control signal based on the photograph or video produced by an unmanned traffic monitoring device at a location other than a railroad grade crossing, conflicts with the Michigan Vehicle Code. Thus, such a city ordinance is invalid in MI.

Simply, a police officer must pull you over and write the citation.

The Screaming Nutcase said...

This guy probably should have stuck the sign over the lens...

steve said...

I take a nuanced view of the traffic cameras. I think that it might be a good idea, but it was just not implemented in the best fashion. If the object is public safety, then there should be some form of countdown accompanying the cameras so people are not forced to slam on their breaks - Like a sign that says "Light will change in x amount of seconds". If the object is city revenue, then the cameras should not be managed by a private company and the voters should have an opportunity to vote on whether they want such an invasion of privacy in the name of revenue or public safety.

OFAC said...

Not that it's necessarily a good thing to let a simple majority vote for the invasion of everyone's privacy, but it's interesting that this issue was never even voted on.

Aside from the privacy issues, there are a lot of issues with these cameras in regard to their legality, purpose, and correlation to traffic accidents.

Here's an interesting article from Albuquerque about how they've now banned such cameras:

microdot said...

I saw them for the first time when I was in Toledo in November for a week.
My Brother in Law pointed one out to me by Secor and Monroe.
Are they reliable? Has any one claimed to have been falsely ticketed by them?
Here, there are radars popping up all over. Usually there is a sign on the autoroute or highway telling you that one is coming up. I guess that is the French idea of a "fighting chance".
Unfortunately, there have been many misfunctions and wrong tickets sent out in the mail and here, you are given just a few days to pay them, you must pay first before you can contest them and if you do contest them, it costs you! So most people just roll over and pay. Sometimes though, the when a tractor in the Correze gets a ticket for going 120 kilometers an hour on the Peripherique in makes the news...
There is a guerilla movement destroying the radars all over France. So far no one has been caught and they have struck almost 1500 times in the last 8 months!

walleyeballer said...

"...the voters should have an opportunity to vote on whether they want such an invasion of privacy in the name of revenue or public safety."

Oh!Right! Great idea!
Let's vote on putting a camera up in your bedroom "in the name of revenue". No problem right? What part about the definition of "privacy" did you sleep through?

"THAT statement pretty well defines what our once proud city has morphed into."

Why are you being so negative? Can't anyone say anything nice about Toledo anymore? Our elected officials are just trying to make Toledo safe for everyone. Those 2 idiots on WSPD are always knocking Toledo. Why don't you leave all the negatives to them.

prime3end said...

Like G.W. said, the constitution is just a "g.d. piece of paper". This is just the start, tolerating this invasion of privacy will lead to even greater impositions on privacy and other rights by the state. As usual, the revocation of privacy rights will plays to your fears, claiming that such cameras are necessary to insure your safety. Whether they do or not, watch for them in new places as in the U.K. In the U.K. you are fair game for the cameras as soon as you leave your house.
"Those who give up their liberties for security, deserve neither". (or words to that effect)

The A-Hole Lawyer said...

I commented on this issue a few weeks ago.

The new signs are great, keep it up. Big brother too cheap and lazy to pay police for proper enforcement.

The A-Hole

Catmoves said...

"infringement upon civil liberties..."
Excuse me, but isn't driving a privilege, not a right?
If it is, then there is no infringement involved.
It's really a case of obey the traffic laws (put in place for everyone's protection) or pay a fine.
I firmly believe the bellyachers and whingers have been caught and ticketed for their lead feets.
So, if you really want to avoid tickets may I suggest you stop complaining and save a life?

GraphicsGuy said...

On another blog, I suggested copying the efforts of some folks in Cincinnati, East Cleveland and Steubenville - start an "Anti-Camera Referendum" (see at

GraphicsGuy said...

Maggie Thurber has been addressing this 'problem' on her radio show "Eye on Toledo" these past couple of days. She'll be on again Thursday night with an attorney from Steubenville discussing the constitutional matters and what Steubenville has done to stop the red/speed cameras.

For those that might want to find out a bit more about what we can do about these abuses, slide on over to Maggie's site: "Thurber's Thoughts" at

Nick said...

Red light cameras are first and foremost a money making scheme. If Chief Navarre and Toledo City Council are concerned about safety, why not install countdown signals at intersections, like Maumee has? I guess for Toledo, that keeps tripping over its own shoe laces time and time again, desperate times call for desperate acts.

Nick said...

Oh, and just as an aside, I DID get nailed by one of these cameras. So, as long as Toledo is out to snatch money from my wallet, I will ALWAYS VOTE AGAINST any levy that seeks a tax increase. This goes for the Toledo Zoo, TPS, or golden garbage collection. I encourage that all Toledo Citizens do the same. Maybe then our 'leaders' will try to serve its constituents instead of shafting them.

GraphicsGuy said...

Anyone that has contested their red light camera or speed camera citation*:

I am doing some research and would appreciate any and all information about your experience in fighting your camera 'ticket'. The more details you can provide, the better.

Please send your 'hearing' experiences to

If you know of someone that has had a hearing, attempting to fight their camera ticket, please have them contact me.

All information will be kept confidential.

GraphicsGuy said...

In addition to needing 'hearing' experiences, I also seek anyone that has recently got one of these citations and HAS NOT sent in the money or requested a hearing."

Mr. Hill said...

everything here looks at least 1 year old. Is there new updates? Also, where do I look to find protests against all of the surveilence cameras. This seems like a definite infringement on our constitutional rights.I do not want those knuckleheads to follow my progress through town, besides probably being able to identify everybody in your automobile.please respond to

dennis said...

"red light camera paintball" is fun

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