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Hey, David Betras, "Lights! Camera! Action!"

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published February 3, 2008

Two years ago almost to the day, Youngstown Atty. David "I never met a camera I didn't like" Betras told a gathering at Cedar's Cafe in downtown Youngstown that the Girard traffic camera was illegal and that he intended to take the the fight against it all the way to the top, if necessary.

Betras was participating in a debate sponsored by Vindy.com, The Vindicator's website. On the other side were individuals and city officials who believe that Girard has the right to enforce traffic laws in such a manner.

The attorney's opposition to the camera triggered snide comments about his never having met a camera he didn't like — with the exception of the one in Girard. Nonetheless, he spent more than a year fighting the city.

But the fight came to an end last week when the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in favor of Girard. It said the practice of using a camera to enforce traffic laws and the subsequent levying of fines are legal.

Thus the question: Will Betras take this fight all the way to the United States Supreme Court?

After all, he had talked about this issue being of national importance. Although he never admitted it, he could see himself portrayed on national television as "David" taking on "Goliath."

But for now, the Ohio Supreme Court has spoken. Betras, who has admitted to having a lead foot when he drives, should just slow down as he's going through Girard. 



1Mike(13 comments)posted 8 years, 5 months ago

Dave has never "paid up" on the dinner he promised me if I debated him at Cedars.
I even called that legal show on the radio for advice and Harshman said he would take my case. Still....no dinner.

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2DavidBetras(18 comments)posted 8 years, 5 months ago

Hey Mike, as to dinner i always pay. Call my office and ask to speak with me.
Hey Bert, as to the Ohio Supreme Court they ruled I am done with this issue. I told everyone in the debate if they ruled in favor the fight is over. They are the ultimate rulers in state issues, I do not see the U.S. Supreme Court addressing this issue.
I will debate Bert on any issue anywhere at anytime. In my view, Bert is only right about fifty percent of the time which is lower than my eighty percent of the time.

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3DavidBetras(18 comments)posted 8 years, 5 months ago

Voters may have final say on speed cameras in Nov.
Matthew Benson
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 13, 2008 12:00 AM

Don't like speed cameras? You may get a chance to vote on it.

A state Senate panel approved three measures Tuesday, including two for the November ballot, which would limit or outright ban the camera-based system that Scottsdale was first to use on its portion of Loop 101 in early 2006. Now, Gov. Janet Napolitano would like to take the technology statewide with as many as 170 mobile, stationary and red-light cameras over the next five years.

The measures apply only to state roads, so they don't affect municipal photo enforcement on local streets. But the stakes are still high considering the more than 1 million paid citations that are expected to initially result under Napolitano's speed-camera expansion. It could net the state $90 million in fiscal 2009 and nearly $125 million the following year, critical to Napolitano's plan to close a $1 billion state budget shortfall.

Legislative critics object to the link between traffic enforcement and state coffers.

"It's just a revenue generator," Sen. Robert Blendu said of photo enforcement. The Litchfield Park Republican, who voted to limit photo enforcement, said technology is no substitute for manpower.

"If it's safety we're worried about, I want a patrol officer out there - a real one."

But Lt. Robert Ticer, a lobbyist for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, told the Senate Transportation Committee that photo enforcement frees DPS officers to focus on bigger threats, including drunken drivers. He pointed to a nine-month study that found reduced vehicle speeds and crash rates on Loop 101 as a result of photo enforcement.

"The fact of the matter is: Don't break the law, and you won't get a ticket," said Sen. Rebecca Rios, an Apache Junction Democrat. "Photo-radar tickets aren't issued. They're earned."

Rios, a member of the Senate panel, voted against speed-camera limits.

But GOP committee members remained skeptical, and each of the anti-photo-enforcement measures passed by a party line, 3-2 vote. One measure, Senate Bill 1470, would bar the system on state roads. It's mirrored by a ballot proposal, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1032, that would be put to Arizona voters in November.

A third measure, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1033, would require that a traffic study be conducted to determine speeds on any road planned for photo enforcement.

Under the proposal, only motorists traveling faster than 85 percent of other vehicles on the section of road could be ticketed. The measure also is slated for the ballot.

Each proposal is sponsored by Sen. Ron Gould, a Lake Havasu City Republican and chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.

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4Mike(13 comments)posted 8 years, 5 months ago

You are grasping David. Thinking of moving to AZ??

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5DavidBetras(18 comments)posted 8 years, 5 months ago

No but if enough people are interested about this issue it can be a ballot issue. The supreme court ruled and if the public deems it ok then that is fine with me

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6DavidBetras(18 comments)posted 8 years, 5 months ago

Hey mike cat got your tongue?

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