Traffic cameras set to debut in Girard

For the first few days, those who are caught speeding will receive warnings.
GIRARD -- The mayor says that drivers have already gotten the picture.
Two weeks before video cameras will be used to nab speeders, drivers are obeying the speed limit.
"Look, they are already slowing down," a smiling Mayor James Melfi said Tuesday, as he looked out his office window and watched the flow of traffic. "People think the cameras are installed. They are paying attention to the speed limit."
Jerry Lambert, safety-service director, met with officials from Traffipax of Columbia, Md., Tuesday afternoon to discuss the dates the cameras will be installed.
The video traffic cameras are scheduled to be set up July 25, Lambert said.
"A few days before the video cameras are set up we will be putting signs up alerting people that we are using video cameras," Lambert said.
He added that for the first few days those who are caught speeding will receive a warning letter.
Slowing down
Both Lambert and Melfi said the video cameras are needed to keep the city's roads safe.
"People were driving just way too fast out here and we needed to do something to slow things down," Melfi said, adding that the city's police department does not have enough officers to do traffic patrol on every shift.
The city will not have to pay anything to have the equipment installed. The city's contract calls for Girard to receive 70.6 percent of each ticket issued and Traffipax will get 29.4 percent, Lambert has said.
Council approved an ordinance last month allowing the use of video traffic enforcement in the city. A few councilmen objected, saying the city should wait and find out if state officials pass legislation banning cameras installed at intersections unless a law officer was present to hand out tickets.
The Ohio House of Representatives voted 73-24 on May 18 to approve the measure and forward it to the Senate.
Councilman Frank Migliozzi, who voted against the ordinance, has said that he hopes the cameras don't hurt area business.

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