CONTINUING COVERAGE:

Fatal ride malfunction at Ohio State Fair

Dayton plans to bring back speed, red-light cameras


An increase in traffic crashes and fatalities has Dayton police planning to bring back red-light and speed-detection cameras in the city.

Dayton police propose to use 10 fixed camera systems, six hand-held devices and two portable trailer units, restarting a controversial program that was shelved in mid-2015 after the state put tough new restrictions on the use of automated traffic cameras.

The Dayton Police Department will comply with state law and will only document and cite motorists for traffic violations caught on camera when officers are present at the equipment, said Dayton police Chief Richard Biehl.

DOWNLOAD OUR MOBILE APPS FOR LATEST BREAKING NEWS

The cameras will be in use part of the time, because the police department has limited resources, but traffic crash data clearly show that the cameras make Dayton’s roads safer, Biehl said.

“Camera traffic enforcement has always been a very effective way to control hazardous driving, and so we’re obviously making a recommendation to return to that,” Biehl said.

The Dayton Police Department’s photo enforcement program began in 2003 and ended in July 2015 after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a sworn officer must be present in order to issue tickets.

»RELATED: 5 things to know about Dayton’s red-light camera case

State lawmakers passed legislation placing that and other requirements on use of the devices, but some Ohio cities challenged the constitutionality of the law. Dayton is still fighting to get key components of the law struck down.

Critics have accused cities of using traffic cameras primarily to generate revenue, and some have claimed that they are unconstitutional because they skirt due process and other protections.

“I have always maintained that photo-enforcement cameras were more about money than safety,” Ohio Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, who sponsored the legislation restricting use of the technology, told this news outlet in the past.

But Dayton’s cameras continued recording until the end of 2015 for data collection.

»RELATED: Dayton to shut down traffic cameras   

The data showed big spikes in speeding and red-light violations at the intersections when the cameras were no longer used to issue citations, said Dayton police Detective Jason Ward.

Since 2014, crashes citywide increased 40 percent and traffic deaths increased 45 percent, according to Dayton police.

Police identified the top 25 crash intersections, and the police department plans to install fixed cameras at sites based on a three-year analysis of crash data, as required by state law, Ward said.

The mobile and hand-held devices are speed-detection cameras. The fixed cameras are expected to be a mix of speed-detection and red-light cameras.

Deployment of the hand-held and trailer traffic cameras will be based on residents’ complaints and when neighborhoods or officers request them, Ward said.

»RELATED: City wants to restart photo-enforcement traffic program

The cameras at fixed locations are expected to be operational and issuing fines for traffic violations roughly about eight hours each week per site, Ward said.

“That will be subject to staffing and operational considerations,” he said.

The first 30 days of the program are required to be a warning period, in which motorists will receive warnings in the mail instead of fines.

The city also will conduct a public awareness campaign to inform motorists about the reintroduction of the cameras and the locations of the fixed devices.

The camera technology will be used selectively because of resource and manpower limitations, Biehl said.

The program requires legislative action by the Dayton City Commission.

But commissioners have repeatedly said that the city became less safe when the traffic cameras were turned off.

Cameras change motorists’ behavior and get citizens to drive at safer speeds, said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Want a free cheese coney today? Here’s how to get one
Want a free cheese coney today? Here’s how to get one

Gold Star Chili will give away free cheese coneys for National Chili Dog Day today. The Cincinnati-based chili chain is offering a free cheese coney with the purchase of any regular sized drink. The offer is available at every Gold Star restaurant in Cincinnati, Dayton, Lexington, Somerset and Ashland. » RELATED: Oakwood’s iconic toy store...
Ford recalls 117K trucks, SUVs
Ford recalls 117K trucks, SUVs

Ford has issued a recall involving almost 117,000 trucks and SUVs. That’s because the company says the bolts in the seat, seat belt or seat belt buckle may break. If they fracture, the seat or the seat belt could fail in a sudden stop or a crash, the Associated Press reported. Ford said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries caused by the...
Facebook ads: How Facebook tracks more than your likes to target what you see
Facebook ads: How Facebook tracks more than your likes to target what you see

Tech watchers have lifted the veil from Facebook, giving users a glimpse of how the social media giant tracks nearly everything that interests its customers. >> Read more trending news  Facebook touts 1.32 billion active daily users and 2.01 billion monthly active users and the social media company knows that its users like more than...
Rick Perry duped by Russian comedians in prank call
Rick Perry duped by Russian comedians in prank call

Energy Secretary Rick Perry believed he was speaking to the Ukrainian prime minister in a phone call last week, but was actually speaking to two men who call themselves “Jerky Boys.” A spokesman for the Energy Department confirmed that Perry was prank-called, speaking to “two Russian pranksters,” according to...
Airline sued for death of giant rabbit

The owners of a giant 3-foot-long giant rabbit who died on a United Airlines flight are suing the airline, according to CBS News. The rabbit’s body was found after a flight from London to Chicago April 20. RELATED: Owners of giant rabbit that died on United Airlines flight threaten lawsuit CBS reports the rabbit, named Simon, was inside...
More Stories