Well, we knew the relight cameras were coming, and some of us doom and gloomers predicted speed cams would follow. Well we were wrong, the speed cams are coming at the same time as redlight cams!
I guess its time for me to get one of those anti-photoradar plate covers.... I just wish they had one that did anti-laser and anti-photo all in one plate cover.
Green light for traffic cameras
City targets speeding as well as stop signals
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Olivera Perkins and Mike Tobin
Plain Dealer Reporters
Cameras will start clicking photographs of cars speeding and running red lights in Cleveland by August.
City Council voted 16-5 on Monday to approve a controversial plan to install red-light cameras at 30 intersections throughout the city. Six of those cameras will do double duty and also nab speeders.
But there's more. Cleveland will install six speeding-only cameras at other intersections, plus have six "mobile" cameras in cars or vans that are moved among locations.
The cameras will snap pictures of cars running red lights or speeding. After police review the photos, the city will mail $100 tickets to the car owners.
The violation jumps to $200 for cars caught speeding more than 25 mph over the limit, or speeding in a school or construction zone.
The plan passed Monday night was substantially different from an earlier proposal by Mayor Jane Campbell.
The new provisions include making sure vehicles with mobile cameras are marked, limiting the number of cameras and ensuring that council has final say on where they are placed.
"It is not a blank check to write tickets, but a very limited program," said Councilman Jay Westbrook, who helped craft the plan.
Still, several council members expressed reservations. Councilwoman Dona Brady, for example, voted against the plan because she said her residents were "vehemently against it."
The city has not chosen where cameras will be installed. Officials say they will pick the sites based on traffic flow and accident rates.
"We're not trying to trick anyone," said Public Service Director Mark Ricchiuto. "This is for obvious violators who are clearly running red lights or speeding."
The city hopes to generate $2 million this year from the traffic cameras.
Campbell initially said the plan would produce $6.5 million when she introduced it in March as part of her budget, but council members complained that would require a huge number of tickets and thought the target was unrealistic.
Several groups also claimed the mayor was more interested in generating money for the city's tight budget than reducing the number of traffic accidents. In the past two months, Campbell has continued to emphasize safety, saying the cameras would reduce accidents.
The city has selected Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services, better known as ACS, to operate the cameras. The company will provide the equipment and pay for the installation.
Cleveland will pay the company a flat fee, which must be negotiated, and keep any revenue beyond that. The city will not pay the company until the cameras generate enough money to at least cover the fee.
For the red-light cameras, sensors will be installed in the pavement, past the stop line. If a car passes over the sensors when the light is red, a camera snaps a picture of the car's rear license plate.
One second later, another picture is taken of the car passing through the intersection.
The speeding cameras record the speed of cars and snap a picture of the license plates of those exceeding the limit.
The vendor's employees and police officers will review the photographs. The police then will issue a ticket to the car owner, regardless of who was driving the car.
In deciding how much over the speed limit a car has to going to be issued a ticket, officers who review the photos will use "the same discretion" they now use when catching speeders, Westbrook said.
Because the pictures will not identify the driver, red-light and speeding citations will be considered civil, not criminal, infractions, so no points will be assessed to the owner's license.
City officials plan to have the first of the cameras installed within three months.
There will be a one-month testing period. For the ensuing two weeks, people who run red lights or speed will be mailed warnings.
The city plans to have all the cameras up and running by the end of the year. [/url]