July 29, 2014

Elyria
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Cleveland police deploy portable speed cameras

CLEVELAND — Cleveland police have deployed portable speed cameras to go along with permanently installed devices trained on passing motorists.

The city has deployed its most recent round of speed traps to five thoroughfares citywide.

After the deployment Thursday, the city said two locations did not have required signs warning drivers that they were entering a speed enforcement zone. Citations from those cameras will be dismissed until crews resolve the issue.

The Northeast Ohio Media Group reported a third camera was shut down to be moved to a new location because trees obscured the cameras.

The portable cameras are self-contained and do not require a police officer to stay with the unit. They can be deployed to locations where fixed pole cameras cannot be constructed.

“Ultimately, the goal of Operation Safe Streets is to save lives and prevent injuries,” city Safety Director Martin Flask said in a statement.

Cleveland City Council approved the expansion in May, and city officials have said the move is intended to improve safety rather than raise money.

Each ticket triggered by the devices costs the driver $100. Some of that money is used to pay a monthly fee to the contractor.

The portable camera unit devices are part of the broader automated photo enforcement program, which Flask said launched in 2005 and netted the city $6 million in tickets last year.

That number could increase in the years to come, as the city plans to eventually have 15 portable cameras deployed.

Because  they’re portable, they can be moved to different locations, which Department of Public Safety project manager Larry Jones II said would happen as often as every three days.

Another advantage is the devices operate without the use of an officer. Flask said that will save the city about $500,000 in salary and benefit costs annually.

Flask said there’s about a 10-day process from the moment the picture is snapped to the issuing of a ticket.

Ticket information is examined by the contractor, compared with the Department of Motor Vehicles and then sent to the Cleveland Police Department, which issues the ticket.

  • Mark B

    I would be real funny if the kids who do ghraffitti all over cleveland would make a habbit of painting the lens of the cameras. Nothing more than a money grab by the city

  • Joe Smith

    Should be camera on every officer all during their shift to watch what they are doing, it would only be fair.

  • hottamomma

    since we got these, then an officer shouldnt be allowed to give out speeding and red light tickets any longer. only fair. my tax dollars r for the officers not the machines. i want my money back