The $3-million in fines collected by an Ohio city for speed-camera-enforced infractions must be returned to the penalized drivers, an Ohio judge ruled February 8.

Butler County, Ohio Judge Michael Oster – whose popularity has no doubt spiked with the local population – found the locale’s use of speed cameras to enforce traffic laws was unconstitutional, thus upholding a previous verdict from 2014 that concluded speed-camera tickets were unlawful, reports CTV News.

The local township has said it will challenge the ruling, meaning a protracted legal battle is likely to ensue.

Nearly 45,000 drivers were issued speed-camera fines in only 15 months, demonstrating either that locals are lead-footed; or that the cameras are set to trigger at speeds only slightly above the posted limits.

Local police are now using hand-held instruments to check motorists’ speeds to avoid further legal complications from issuing speed-camera tickets.

A similar ruling was made north of the border late November 2016 by Quebec judge Serge Cimon, who found locally-issued photo-radar tickets were invalid.

(CTV News)