By Tim Yovich
A councilman expects three or four companies to bid to install the radar system.
WARREN — A city councilman believes he has the support of fellow lawmakers to pass legislation instituting an automated camera system for catching speeders.
The legislation will go before council tonight. Councilman Bob Dean, D-at large, chairman of council’s traffic and safety committee, said he will ask council to waive a second reading and move for passage.
Asked Tuesday if he has enough votes, Dean responded, “From what I hear, I would say yes. I’m pretty confident it will pass.”
Dean said council got its questions answered about such systems during an April 21 presentation by Maryland-based Traffipax Traffic Safety Systems.
The legislation would allow the administration to seek bids for a system. Deans said he believes three or four companies will make proposals.
The legislation also calls for the penalty for speeding to become a civil rather than criminal fine.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in February that using the cameras did not violate the constitution if the fines are civil.
The systems use an unmanned radar unit that identify speeding vehicles and photograph the license plate number of the vehicle. After the data are checked by the police department, the citation is issued.
The fine, Dean explained, will be $150 for those going under 12 miles an hour over the posted speed limit, and $250 for those going more than 12 miles an hour over the limit.
Where the radar units will be located will depend on the input from the company, police department and council and administration.
City police officials have said the cameras can be used where enforcement is difficult, such as areas where there is no room to place a police vehicle off the side of the road. Also, the manpower normally used to catch speeders can be used in other law enforcement activities.
In addition to slowing traffic in areas such as school zones, Dean pointed out, money from the violators will help go toward erasing an anticipated $1 million deficit in the general fund budget later this year.