ELECTION 2014: Ohio, Missouri, Arizona locales to get say on ticket cameras

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Voters in locales in three states will get a say next week on what they want to do about automated enforcement.

Through the 2013 fall elections, voters in 27 of the 30 cities around the country that were given the opportunity to decide the fate of ticket cameras in their communities chose to forbid the money-making tool.

On Tuesday, Nov. 4, ballots in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, will include a question on whether to effectively end the use of red-light and speed cameras. There are more than 50 cameras scattered around the city.

Issue 35 on the citywide ballot would require police officers to be present at camera sites to witness violations and pull over offenders.

Opponents say the measure’s passage would be the death knell for the ticketing program that generated more than $6 million for the city in 2012.

Supporters say the cameras don’t improve safety on roadways. Instead, they say the cameras are a money grab.

If approved, Cleveland would become the sixth Ohio city to outlaw use of the enforcement tool. Cities that have already taken action are Cincinnati, Ashtabula, Chillicothe, Garfield Heights, Heath and South Euclid.

Also in the Cleveland area, voters in the city of Maple Heights will get their say on the use of automated enforcement. Issue 99 on the city’s ballot would also require police to witness violations at camera sites and issue tickets themselves.

In Missouri, St. Charles County voters will decide the fate of red-light cameras in the area. St. Peters is the only city in the county now using red-light cameras.

Proposition Red Light Camera will ask voters whether law enforcement throughout the county, including city police departments, should be prohibited from using photo enforcement to issue tickets.

Voters in Sierra Vista, Ariz., will also make a decision on the use of ticket cameras snapping photos at five intersections around town. Proposition 408 on the local ballot will ask voters whether the use of red-light and speed cameras should be banned within the city.

In 2013, the cameras raised an estimated $1.3 million through the issuance of 6,094 citations.

If approved, the city’s contract with Redflex to operate the cameras would terminate without penalty. The contract is set to expire in 2016.

For more 2014 election coverage from Land Line, click here.

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