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More Red Light Cameras Needed

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 409 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 07 2013 at 9:27pm
From MJ:
Court rules against traffic cameras; Ohio considering ban
By Jackie Borchardt

Staff Writer

COLUMBUS —

The days of red light and speed cameras at Ohio intersections could be numbered.

A Hamilton County Court judge ruled Thursday that a traffic camera ordinance in a small village near Cincinnati is invalid and unenforceable. Lawmakers are also proposing a state law banning all traffic cameras in Ohio.

Only 2,188 people live in Elmwood Place, according to the 2010 census, but cameras have caught more than 20,000 drivers speeding through town since cameras were installed in September 2012. Civil citations issued for the violations have generated about $1.5 million, according to Police Chief William Peskin. Peskin said the village has kept about $900,000, with the rest going to Maryland-based Optotraffic.

In his decision, Judge Robert Ruehlman noted the lack of signage to warn motorists and that cameras are calibrated only once per year by the for-profit camera operator.

“Elmwood Place is engaged in nothing more than a high-tech game of 3-card Monty,” Ruehlman wrote. “It is a scam that motorists can’t win.”

There’s no state law on the books allowing or prohibiting cameras that detect speeding and red-light violations.

Bipartisan legislation has been introduced to prohibit the traffic cameras in Ohio. Bill sponsor Rep. Ron Maag, R-Lebanon, said sending millions out of Ohio has been a poor business decision and that money would be better spent on law enforcement and public safety.

“For $800,000, you could have two or three officers sitting there, who could protect people from all other mayhem,” Maag said.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in 2008 in favor of allowing the cameras, arguing the cameras operated as an extension of local law enforcement. But the court did not address the method of ticketing vehicle owners instead of drivers. Citations are not reported against a motorist’s driving privileges or insurance.

“To me it’s un-American — you are guilty until proven innocent vs. innocent until proven guilty,” Maag said.

Dayton collected about $2.4 million from camera citations in 2012. Dayton keeps about $55 of the $85 civil citation and sends the rest to Phoenix-based RedFlex Traffic Systems. RedFlex also operates cameras in Hamilton, Middletown, Springfield, Trotwood and West Carrollton.

Springfield issued 6,638 citations in 2012 and generated $287,784 from paid tickets. Hamilton uses speed cameras mounted on an SUV and 20,782 citations were issued between March 31, 2010 and Jan. 31, 2013, generating $958,636. In the small Butler County community of New Miami, police have given more than 9,700 violations since installing two mobile speed cameras in the village Oct. 1 and collected more than $210,000.

Middletown’s 14 red-light cameras — located at eight “high accident” intersections in the city — generated $186,580 for the city’s general fund in 2012.

A 2011 study conducted by Dayton city officials showed the number of traffic accidents dropped by a combined 23 percent compared to the year before each intersection received its camera.

“It’s not pleasant but that’s how behaviors change,” Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said. “People have said since they got them, they’ve slowed down and that’s the point.”

Biehl said the number of officers has declined nearly 20 percent since 2007 and cameras are one way to increase effectiveness of a smaller force.

“To not utilize this technology, particularly in this era of significant decline of sworn police officers, means we’re going to need to respond to more auto accidents that take our time away from more critical public safety duties.”

Maag said cameras contribute to more accidents than they prevent because drivers slam on the brakes to avoid citations, citing research collected by the National Motorists Association. The Wisconsin-based nonprofit, which also opposes seat belt laws, boasts a study claiming insurance companies support cameras because they cause crashes and, in turn, enable them to charge higher insurance premiums.

Springfield Police Sgt. Brett Bauer said the number of rear-end accidents might increase, but the cameras reduce the number of injury-producing accidents.

Staff writer Ed Richter contributed to this report.


Ohio communities with traffic cameras

Akron: Speed

Ashtabula: Red light, speed

Cleveland: Red light, speed

Columbus: Red light, speed

Dayton: Red light, speed

East: Cleveland Red light, speed

Elmwood Place: Speed

Hamilton: Speed

Middletown: Red light

New Miami: Speed

Northwood: Red light, speed

Parma: Speed

Springfield: Red light

Toledo: Red light, speed

Trotwood: Red light, speed

West Carrollton: Red light, speed

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

States that have banned speed cameras

Arkansas*, Maine*, Mississippi*, Montana*, Nevada*, New Hampshire*, New Jersey, South Carolina*, Texas, Utah, West Virginia*, Wisconsin*

*also prohibits red light cameras

Source: Governors Highway Safety Association

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 16 2012 at 9:59am
Well.....another article from the Journal on red lights...

Speed, red-light camera fill city coffers
Officials say they have help improve safety on the roads.

Middletown’s 14 red-light cameras — located at eight “high accident” intersections in the city — generated $186,580 for the city’s general fund in 2012.

Middletown, who also contracts with Redflex, issued 5,033 red light camera citations between Jan. 1 through Dec. 8. This is up from the 4,620 red light camera citations issued in 2011. The red-light camera program started in 2005 and has been very controversial.
The city receives 55 percent of the $100 fine if there are fewer than 150 paid citations per intersection in a month. That is increased to 70 percent if the number of paid citations per intersection exceeds 150 a month.
However, the city has seen a jump in revenues generated in 2012 over 2011. From Jan. 1 through Nov. 30, 2012, the city has generated $186,580, which is already up from the $164,031 for all of 2011.
When the program began in 2005, the city generated $133,000 in revenues from the cameras. However, that decreased over the next two years. The city saw its fewest revenues in 2008 and 2009 when it changed camera vendors. In 2008, $55,800 was generated and in 2009, only $51,912 was generated for the city. However, in 2010 revenues nearly quadrupled as the cameras generated $201,636, but dropped again to 2011.
Over the eight years of Middletown’s program, the red light cameras have issued 32,214 citations that has generated more than $1.04 million for the city’s General Fund and over time, the number of citations have decreased as motorists learn to slow down at these intersections. Police have also moved cameras to other locations as crashes have decreased in previous intersections. In addition, police believe there has been a “ripple-effect” as officer-initiated citations have also seen a decrease from 2010 to 2011.
In the past two years, the number of citations issued at the eight monitored intersections has dropped by 750.
In 2010, the cameras recorded an average of 448 red-light violations a month at all intersections. The monthly average dropped to 385 in 2011.
Earlier this year, Middletown police Maj. Mark Hoffman said the program had been “effective.”
He also said police have also learned why some intersections have more crashes than others. Some of the contributing factors include older, smaller traffic signals, traffic signal poles not be as visible as others and trees blocking traffic signals. When those issues are addressed, police said, the number of crashes went down, allowing the city to remove the cameras from certain locations.
Hoffman said camera placements are evaluated by police every three to four years. Police officials can determine based on statistical data if cameras should remain, move to another location or just be removed.

NOW, WHAT'S INTERESTING IS THAT THE MAJORITY OF THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT REVENUE WITH A SPATTERING OF SAFETY TALK. ACCORDING TO THE CITY AND THE COPS, IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT SAFETY WITH REVENUE TAKING A BACK SEAT. DOESN'T LOOK LIKE IT TO ME IN THIS ARTICLE. I THINK THE CITY AND THE COPS ARE GIVING A AS THEY TELL US IT'S ABOUT SAFETY. TOO MUCH AUTHORITY IN OUR PRIVATE LIVES WITH THIS PROGRAM. IMO. TIME FOR THEM TO LESSEN THE INTRUSION AND BACK OFF.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 06 2012 at 3:39pm
"I know this is not popular with most people on here"



"I feel it is greatly needed. Middletown needs to have more Red Light Cameras installed at the intersections of Ohio 122 and Dixie, and Ohio 122 and Towne Blvd. And all along Towne Blvd from Ohio 122 south to the Wal-Mart. And at the I-75 & 122 Interchange"

DON'T THINK THEY CONCENTRATE THE CAMERA LOCATIONS TO THIS EXTREME. I BELIEVE THEY HAVE TOLD US THAT THE POLICE TAKE THE HIGHEST ACCIDENT INCIDENT RATES (OR WHERE THE MOST FINE MONEY IS TO BE MADE) TO DETERMINE CAMERA LOCATION. APPARENTLY, THERE HASN'T BEEN ENOUGH ACTIVITY AT THE LOCATIONS YOU HAVE SUGGESTED.

"Now if the money from those cameras could to straight to the Street Maintenance fund, we might actually have decent roads"

"But I know that is wishful thinking"

INDEED. I BELIEVE THE CITY'S SHARE OF THE RED LIGHT REVENUE IS AROUND 30%. THE COMPANY KEEPS MOST OF THE FINE MONEY. NOT EVEN CLOSE TO HELPING PAY FOR FIXING AS MANY POOR STREETS AS THIS TOWN HAS. OUR PERCEPTIVE CITY LEADERS, PAST AND CURRENT, HAVE LET THE ROADS GET TO THE POINT WHERE IT WILL TAKE DECADES TO FIX THEM.....EVEN IF THEY STARTED PLOWING MILLIONS INTO THEM NOW. WON'T HAPPEN. OTHER PRIORITIES. WE'VE GOT A DOWNTOWN TO GROW, A S. MAIN ST. DISTRICT THAT NEEDS ATTENTION, BUILDINGS TO BUY AND SPECIAL PROJECTS FOR THE FRIENDS OF CITY HALL.....AND THAT AND PAYING THE UNION SCALE WAGES AND BENNIES FOR THE CITY WORKERS TAKES MOST OF THE BUDGET MONEY. NONE LEFT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE MAJORITY WHO LIVE HERE.

































I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote over the hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 06 2012 at 11:58am
Years ago we used to be able to turn right on red at 122 and Towne Blvd. Then they 'improved' the intersection and we no longer could turn right on red. In 80's we had federal grant money to put up 'right turn on red'sighs to save gas during the gas crisis.Does any one remember that? All the turn right on red sighs have disappeared.They seemed to be save when we had grant money but not any more!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote ktf1179 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 06 2012 at 8:31am
I know this is not popular with most people on here, but I feel it is greatly needed. Middletown needs to have more Red Light Cameras installed at the intersections of Ohio 122 and Dixie, and Ohio 122 and Towne Blvd. And all along Towne Blvd from Ohio 122 south to the Wal-Mart.  And at the I-75 & 122 Interchange. I cannot count how many cars, and semi-trucks that I see that keep making right turns on red at those intersections, and the countless amount of people just blow past an obvious red light. 

Now if the money from those cameras could to straight to the Street Maintenance fund, we might actually have decent roads. Smile But I know that is wishful thinking.
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