Girard council approves manned speed camera program


GIRARD

City council voted Monday to adopt a manned speed camera program.

The cameras, which will be provided by a private company, snap a photo of speeder’s license plate. The car’s owner will later receive a ticket in the mail. The citations will be civil, which means they will carry fines, but will not count against the speeder’s driving record.

Because of an Ohio law effectively outlawing unmanned speed cameras, the hand-held cameras must be operated by a police officer. That officer has discretion about whether to pull the driver over or not.

Police Chief Jeffrey Palmer said he believes the cameras would improve police efficiency. He noted that the city police department has shrunk to 16 officers, though a city ordinance mandates 21, and said the department rarely has the manpower to devote officers specifically to traffic patrol. During any given shift, there are two officers on the road, Palmer said.

Under state law, a driver must be at least 10 miles over the speed limit to receive a fine from the cameras. That fine cannot be more than what court costs would have been for a non-civil violation.

Girard council approved a $100 flat fee for speeders under normal circumstances and $150 fee for speeding in a construction zone. There will also be $25 or $50 fees for late payments.

Motorists will have the option to appeal the citations via an administrative hearing.

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