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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Future of Cleveland's Traffic Cameras Up To City's Voters

Posted By on Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 4:33 PM

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Cleveland voters will decide whether to continue with the city's scheme designed to fleece money from drivers under the guise of public safety or whether actual humans are needed to determine if an infraction actually occurred.

After more than 13,000 people signed a petition to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, an amendment to the city's charter that would eliminate traffic cameras in Cleveland will be on the November ballot, per a story by NEOMG's Leila Atassi. The petition had more than double the amount of signatures needed to be placed on the ballot, Atassi notes.

At a special meeting of the Cleveland City Council today council members seemed dejected that citizens will have a say in the rules that govern them:

Council President Kevin Kelley told his colleagues Wednesday that state law requires them to honor the wishes of petitioners and approve the issue for the ballot — even if they "find the subject matter distasteful."

Some council members asked if they could speak against the issue. But Kelley told them to save it for Monday's regular council meeting.

Read Atassi's story here.

While you're at it, here's some further reading

-Chicago Tribune, July 14, 2014: "Red light cameras tag thousands for undeserved tickets"

Thousands of Chicago drivers have been tagged with $100 red light fines they did not deserve, targeted by robotic cameras during a series of sudden spikes in tickets that city officials say they cannot explain, a Tribune investigation has found.

-USA Today, March 18, 2014: "Red-light camera firms get heat over tickets"

Courts, government officials and motorists seeing red over traffic-light cameras are increasingly directing their fury toward the companies that sell the devices.

At issue: contracts that give companies up to half of ticket revenue and shortened yellow lights that catch more motorists.

-Cleveland.com, January 26, 2014: "Traffic enforcement cameras violate due process rights: Ohio Rep. Dale Mallory"

I firmly believe that red light cameras and speeding cameras are unnecessary and have failed the public. Originally instituted as a part of a “public safety initiative,” the traffic camera system has proven to be nothing more than a revenue-generating scheme designed to rob Ohioans of their living and violates the most basic fundamental rights of their due process.

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