Toledo requests to keep red light cameras - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Toledo requests to keep red light cameras

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Red light cameras are the focus of another bill moving through Columbus.  Some Ohio lawmakers do not like the cameras  and do not want cities using them.

Toledo’s mayor is fighting to keep his cameras on city street corners.

Back in 2001, Toledo put up 18 cameras; the city has added cameras and the mayor says the streets are safer.

You can find these cameras at dozens of intersections around town.

Some drivers, like Princess Walker, do not like them and think the cameras are sneaky.

Walker told 13abc, “If I’m really speeding, I’d rather get pulled over than for that light to keep clicking and I not know I’m speeding.”

State lawmakers see these cameras as a trap and a money grab.

Drivers feel they have no choice.  “If I get a ticket or anything I just pay my ticket and keep going,” says Brandy.

So lawmakers are looking for ways to turn off the red light cameras by either limiting them to school zones or making sure a police officer mans a photo-monitored intersection 24-hours and day.

Mayor D. Michael Collins (I) bristles at that idea. “It’s not reasonable  it’s not possible,” he says.

Mayor Collins is so upset about that plan he sent a letter to the a senate committee considering that change.

Collins argues an officer on every corner– all day–  would “…end the ability of Toledo to use speed cameras.”

Toledo police estimate the cost  of having 24-hour police command at each photo-monitored intersection would be $14-million a year.

Says Collins, “That”s a quaint way of killing it.”

Toledo believes it has home rule authority to post cameras for the public’s safety.  Some drivers, like Mark Berlacher,  understand that.  He told 13abc, “Ii don’t really see a downside to have the traffic lights in the city.  I think it makes the intersections safer.”

Toledo police says citations are down 31-percent this year indicating drivers are changing their habits and proving they control whether they get a ticket.

Driver Tory Durham says, “When  you break the law that’s what you get, right?”

There is a new bill in Columbus that would require cities to:

  •      install camera signs…
  •      conduct safety studies before installing cameras
  •      lengthen the yellow-light times…
  •      and have officers review all camera violations.
Toledo does all of that so the city believes the its red light cameras should be left alone.

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