Dayton has plan to bring back red light cameras

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Dayton has plan to bring back red light cameras

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This red light camera at the corner of Smithville and Patterson roads was one of several installed at Dayton intersections, dating back to 2003. The city suspended its program in 2015 because state law requires police officers to be present and monitoring the camera equipment in order to issue fines. MIKE CAMPBELL / STAFF

More traffic fatalities and crashes has Dayton police proposing to bring back red-light cameras in the city.

Dayton police propose to have 10 fixed systems, six handheld devices and two trailer, portable units. They presented it tonight to the Dayton City Commission.

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

However, the cameras continued recording until the end of 2015 for data collection. The cameras caught huge increases in speeding and red-light violations at those intersections with cameras, said Dayton officer Jason Ward.

Citywide since 2014, traffic fatalities have increased 45 percent, and crashes have increased 40 percent.

Police identified and will target the top 25 crash intersections. The city would install fixed cameras at sites based on a three-year analysis of crash data, as required by state law, Ward said.

Deployment of the handheld and trailer traffic cameras will be based on residents’ complaints and when neighborhoods or officers request them, he said.

The police department will have an officer present at the photo-enforced locations. The cameras at fixed locations will be recording and issuing fines for traffic violations 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 will conduct a public awareness campaign to inform motorists about the reintroduction of the cameras and the locations of the fixed devices.

MORE on Dayton’s red light camera issue:

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