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TRAFFIC CONTROL Red light camera use moves to city council



Published: Tue, July 12, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Traffic enforcement companies are making their pitches to city council.

WARREN -- City council will take up two safety-related issues Wednesday: traffic cameras and smoke alarms.

Councilman Robert Dean, D-at large, is requesting a third and final reading on an ordinance to provide for use of automated cameras, which would impose civil penalties upon red light violators.

These cameras would be set to nab speeders and those who go through red lights, recording vehicles at and near traffic lights.

The city sought proposals from companies interested in a contract to install the equipment and review the data at the company's expense. Revenue from fines would be shared. The company would bill the driver for the infraction.

William "Doug" Franklin, safety-service director, asked council members to be on hand today for a presentation in the council caucus room by Redflex Traffic Systems of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Redflex says it has contracts with 71 cities worldwide in 10 countries and is the largest provider of digital red light photo enforcement services in North America, with contracts in 56 cities and towns across 11 states.

City officials in June got a demonstration from another company, Nestor Traffic Systems of Rhode Island, on how many red light violators could be caught using a traffic camera.

Nestor has about 20 contracts across the nation. It says its video-based intersection monitoring system provides automated enforcement of red light running violations. A built-in safety feature predicts potential red light violations and triggers an emergency extension of the red light signal for crossing traffic to help prevent collisions.

High-collision areas

The city since May has been looking at automated cameras for the intersections that have the most collisions and red light infractions. The traffic areas of photo enforcement would be marked with signs.

Backing the legislation are council members Dean; Virginia Bufano, D-1st; Alford Novak, D-2nd; Gary Fonce, D-at-large; and Hartman.

The Ohio Legislature is considering legislation that would ban cameras installed at intersections unless a law officer was present to hand out tickets.

In other matters, new legislation introduced by Councilwoman Susan Hartman, D-7th, would prohibit landlords from leasing, or continuing to lease, any dwelling -- or part of a dwelling -- that doesn't have at least one smoke alarm on every floor.

Further, the alarm or alarms must be hardwired into the home's electrical system.




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