Court rules against traffic cameras; Ohio considering ban

Published: Thursday, March 07, 2013 @ 5:55 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 07, 2013 @ 5:55 PM

Ohio communities with traffic cameras

Akron: Speed

Ashtabula: Red light, speed

Cleveland: Red light, speed

Columbus: Red light, speed

Dayton: Red light, speed

East: Cleveland Red light, speed

Elmwood Place: Speed

Hamilton: Speed

Middletown: Red light

New Miami: Speed

Northwood: Red light, speed

Parma: Speed

Springfield: Red light

Toledo: Red light, speed

Trotwood: Red light, speed

West Carrollton: Red light, speed

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

States that have banned speed cameras

Arkansas*, Maine*, Mississippi*, Montana*, Nevada*, New Hampshire*, New Jersey, South Carolina*, Texas, Utah, West Virginia*, Wisconsin*

*also prohibits red light cameras

Source: Governors Highway Safety Association

What do you think of proposal to ban traffic cameras in Ohio?

We asked our followers on Facebook what they think of red-light and speeding cameras. Join the converstation at Facebook.com/daytondailynews. Here’s some of the comments:

Brian Pugh: I have no problem with them. They are taking care of writing tickets and freeing up the police to do real work. Stop signs and speed limits are not a suggestion, they are the law that we all agree to live by.

Angela Coffey: The speed cameras are not above reproach. They should be banned or at least challenged.

Barry Takacss: I know when I see them I won’t do business near that intersection, buy gas or go to a restaurant.

Todd Shiverdecker: I know it has caused me to drive slower. Being afraid I will forget I am driving by one has caused me to slow down in general.

Melanie Gibson: Don’t break the law, and you don’t have to worry.

Umar Ali You do not have to remove the cameras, simply pass a state law where the length of a yellow light may not be shorter than a certain length of time and the cameras will become unprofitable.

Twana Downey: Got a ticket running a red light. It was well deserved and I paid my fine. I’m in favor of cameras.

Dougie Imfeld: I think lawmakers who want to ban them must have begun receiving fines because of them.

Sue Borror Strickland Firman: I honestly don’t see anything wrong with them. At least you don’t have a cop chasing you down to be gawked at by all passing by.

The days of red light and speed cameras at Ohio intersections could be numbered.

A Hamilton County Court judge ruled Thursday that a traffic camera ordinance in a small village near Cincinnati is invalid and unenforceable. Lawmakers are also proposing a state law banning all traffic cameras in Ohio.

Only 2,188 people live in Elmwood Place, according to the 2010 census, but cameras have caught more than 20,000 drivers speeding through town since cameras were installed in September 2012. Civil citations issued for the violations have generated about $1.5 million, according to Police Chief William Peskin. Peskin said the village has kept about $900,000, with the rest going to Maryland-based Optotraffic.

In his decision, Judge Robert Ruehlman noted the lack of signage to warn motorists and that cameras are calibrated only once per year by the for-profit camera operator.

“Elmwood Place is engaged in nothing more than a high-tech game of 3-card Monty,” Ruehlman wrote. “It is a scam that motorists can’t win.”

There’s no state law on the books allowing or prohibiting cameras that detect speeding and red-light violations.

Bipartisan legislation has been introduced to prohibit the traffic cameras in Ohio. Bill sponsor Rep. Ron Maag, R-Lebanon, said sending millions out of Ohio has been a poor business decision and that money would be better spent on law enforcement and public safety.

“For $800,000, you could have two or three officers sitting there, who could protect people from all other mayhem,” Maag said.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled in 2008 in favor of allowing the cameras, arguing the cameras operated as an extension of local law enforcement. But the court did not address the method of ticketing vehicle owners instead of drivers. Citations are not reported against a motorist’s driving privileges or insurance.

“To me it’s un-American — you are guilty until proven innocent vs. innocent until proven guilty,” Maag said.

Dayton collected about $2.4 million from camera citations in 2012. Dayton keeps about $55 of the $85 civil citation and sends the rest to Phoenix-based RedFlex Traffic Systems. RedFlex also operates cameras in Hamilton, Middletown, Springfield, Trotwood and West Carrollton.

Springfield issued 6,638 citations in 2012 and generated $287,784 from paid tickets. Hamilton uses speed cameras mounted on an SUV and 20,782 citations were issued between March 31, 2010 and Jan. 31, 2013, generating $958,636. In the small Butler County community of New Miami, police have given more than 9,700 violations since installing two mobile speed cameras in the village Oct. 1 and collected more than $210,000.

Middletown’s 14 red-light cameras — located at eight “high accident” intersections in the city — generated $186,580 for the city’s general fund in 2012.

A 2011 study conducted by Dayton city officials showed the number of traffic accidents dropped by a combined 23 percent compared to the year before each intersection received its camera.

“It’s not pleasant but that’s how behaviors change,” Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said. “People have said since they got them, they’ve slowed down and that’s the point.”

Biehl said the number of officers has declined nearly 20 percent since 2007 and cameras are one way to increase effectiveness of a smaller force.

“To not utilize this technology, particularly in this era of significant decline of sworn police officers, means we’re going to need to respond to more auto accidents that take our time away from more critical public safety duties.”

Maag said cameras contribute to more accidents than they prevent because drivers slam on the brakes to avoid citations, citing research collected by the National Motorists Association. The Wisconsin-based nonprofit, which also opposes seat belt laws, boasts a study claiming insurance companies support cameras because they cause crashes and, in turn, enable them to charge higher insurance premiums.

Springfield Police Sgt. Brett Bauer said the number of rear-end accidents might increase, but the cameras reduce the number of injury-producing accidents.

Staff writer Ed Richter contributed to this report.

Man shot in Harrison Twp. taken to hospital

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 1:02 AM

Montgomery County deputies are investigating a reported shooting that occurred late Tuesday night.

TRENDING: 2 dead in wrong-way crash on I-675; highway reopens

The incident occurred in the 4300 block of Fair Oaks Road around 11:55 p.m.

RELATED: Champaign County deputies find 29 pounds of marijuana after shooting 

The victim called 911 and reported he had been shot in both in legs. He said the shooter then ran out of the apartment.

Additional details are expected to be released this morning.

We will update this story as it develops. 

Major Wright Patt gateway to close for weeks starting today

Published: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 @ 9:43 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 5:17 AM

Major Wright Patt gateway to close for weeks

For the second time in less than three years, a major Wright-Patterson gateway used daily by thousands of commuters will close for three weeks, according to base officials.

Gate 12A, near the Air Force Materiel Command headquarters and off Ohio 444 in Fairborn, is scheduled to close today through Nov. 10.

Crews will repave the road into the gate entrance and exit, shutting traffic in both directions. The gateway was last closed in 2015 for a $920,000 security upgrade.

Motorists should expect delays, a project official said. Fourteen thousand commuters — counting those both in and out — travel the gateway each day, Wright-Patterson figures show.

During the work, two traffic lanes will be kept open to both the Hope Hotel and Convention Center and Ogden Avenue, which leads to a base pass and ID office, said Ronald E. Lee, 88th Civil Engineer Group chief project manager.

RELATED: Major Wright-Patterson gate to close for three weeks

The closure this time will mean Gate 15A, near Ohio 844, will be open 24 hours temporarily. An influx of traffic during the closure is expected at Gates 1A, off Springer Road, and Gate 26A, off Ohio 235 near Ohio 4.

Drainage problems caused potholes and eroded the roadway in front of the gate, where the $125,000 reconstruction project will install a new catch basin, drainage piping and mill out old pavement and repave the roadway, Lee said.

“We’re actually going to make pavement repairs outside the gate,” he said. “The gate itself is not going to be touched.”

RELATED: McCook Field had large influence on U.S. aviation history

Along with potentially causing heavier traffic for commuters to get on and off the base, a downtown Fairborn restaurant manager expected a sharp downturn in lunch patrons in the midst of the work.

“We’d see a big impact in a negative way,” said Kadir Kurt, manager of the Fairborn Family Diner and Restaurant on North Broad. He estimated 60 to 75 percent of lunch patrons drive from Wright-Patterson. “Our lunch business would go down a lot,” he said.

Matthew P. Owen, executive director of the Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce, said some businesses might temporarily experience a minor downturn, but Fairborn businesses closer to gates staying open could see an influx of customers, such as those exiting from Gate 26A onto Ohio 235, which leads into downtown.

“It’s three weeks, and I think people who are loyal to a restaurant or a certain business are going to find a way to get there,” he said. “We hope that’s the case.

“I would think that if I want to get somewhere and I want to patronize a business, you can get there,” he added. “You may take a little bit longer to get out, but you can get there.”

Wright-Patterson is the largest single site employer in Ohio with more than 27,000 employees and has a more than $4 billion estimated regional economic impact.

Police identify at-fault driver in I-675 wrong-way crash that kills 2

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 9:55 PM
Updated: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 11:22 AM

DIGITAL 911

Two people were killed and two people were injured in a three-vehicle, wrong-way driver accident on I-675 South in Centerville Monday evening.

  • 2 deceased identified as Melvin Bonie, 69, and Kalip Grimm, 18
  • Police say Bonie was the wrong-way driver
  • A third victim, taken to a hospital, was reported to be alert, fourth victim suffered minor injuries
  • Southbound I-675 reopened around 3 a.m.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Clark County teen killed in crash remembered at vigil

UPDATE @ 11:22 a.m. (Oct. 17)

Centerville police say Melvin Bonie, 69, was driving the wrong way on Interstate 675 South when the crashes occurred.

EARLIER REPORT

The wrong-way driver was north on southbound I-675 at Far Hills Avenue, glanced off one vehicle and hit a second vehicle head on, Centerville Police Officer John Davis said. 

Melvin Bonie, 69, and Kalip Grimm, 18, were killed in the crash, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

The  driver of the offending vehicle is one of the fatalities, police said.

RELATED: Wrong-way driver detection: Could new system save lives here? 

Around 9:20 p.m. Monday, the first calls about the wrong-way driver began coming into police dispatch, police said. 

>> I-75 fiery crash: What we know about wrong-way driver killed 

The second victim was in one of the southbound vehicles, he said. A third victim taken to a hospital was alert. A fourth victim suffered minor injuries, Davis said.

Police are speaking with that fourth victim for a witness statement. 

It's too early to speculate whether alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident. 

A Montgomery County coroner's investigator was on scene and a Centerville Police Department traffic accident reconstruction team was on scene for most of the night.

Southbound lanes were shut down during the investigation and were reopened around 3 a.m.

I 675 crash Video
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Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Monday, October 09, 2017 @ 1:48 AM
Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 1:17 AM

SCENE: Rollover crash on Riverview Avenue
SCENE: Rollover crash on Riverview Avenue

Check this page for a full list of crashes, disabled vehicles, construction projects and other hazards impacting your commute.

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

RELATED: Find the lowest gas prices in your neighborhood with our Pump Patrol

Major Highway Incidents

  • No incidents to report

Surface Street Incidents

  • No incidents to report

RELATED: Check for delays or cancellations before heading to the airport

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Alex-Bell Road will be closed for work on the Washington Twp. bridge over Holes Creek until Nov. 30. More information, including detour information, is available here.
  • A half-mile of Stroop Road in Kettering between Woodman Drive and Glenheath/Braddox intersection will be closed until the end of the year so a bridge can be replaced. .
  • I-70 eastbound Ramp to I-75 south, Lane closure on the ramp Oct. 19 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • I-70 east between I-75 and SR 202, Nightly lane closures Oct. 14 - 21 between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. These will become double lane closures between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. One eastbound lane will remain open.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west, Overnight RAMP CLOSURE Oct. 23 at 10 p.m. - Oct. 24 at 6 p.m. The official detour is: I-75 north to Second Street to I-75 south to US 35 west. 
  • I-75 north/Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East ramp closure March 28 - Oct. 21. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H McGee Blvd. to Us 35 east
  • I-75 between I-70 and SR 571, nightly lane closures between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. through Oct. 31. The northbound side will become a double lane closure between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • I-75 south between Needmore Road and Stanley Avenue, Nightly lane closure Oct. 18 - 20 between 10 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. One southbound lane will remain open.
  • Shroyer Road between Gainsborough Road and East Dorothy Lane will be repaved and reconfigured through at least October. Once the project is completed, Shroyer Road will be reduced to three lanes. 
  • SR 48 between I-70 and Phillipsburg-Union Road, Nightly lane closures Oct. 15 - 21 between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • The Webster Street bridge is closed as it is rebuilt. A detour will take drivers to Keowee Street to Monument Avenue. The project is scheduled to be completed in November. 
  • US 35 between Edwin C. Moses Boulevard and Germantown Street, Nightly lane closures Oct. 19 - 20 between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • US 35 eastbound Ramp  to I-75 north, Nightly RAMP CLOSURE Oct. 19 - 20 between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The official detour is: US 35 east to I-75 south to the turnaround a Edwin C. Moses and head back onto I-75 north.

MIAMI COUNTY 

  • I-75 between CR 25A (Troy) and US 36, shoulder closures through Oct. 31.
  • I-75 between CR 25A (Troy) and US 36, Nightly lane closures Oct. 16 - 21 between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. One lane will remain open in each direction.
  • I-75 between SR 571 and Northwoods Boulevard, Nightly lane closures Oct. 16 - Nov. 10 between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. These will become double lane closures at 9 p.m. One lane will remaim open at all times. 
  • West Peterson Road at Piqua Troy Road, ROAD CLOSURE through Oct. 21. The official ODOT detour is westbound: Piqua Troy Road to Statler Road to CR 25A north to Eldean Road to Piqua Troy Road. Eastbound: West Peterson Road to Troy Sidney Road to Statler Road to Piqua Troy Road.

CLARK COUNTY  

  • I-70 east ramp to I-675 north, RAMP CLOSURE through Oct.31. The official detour is: I-675 to SR 444 to I-675 north.

DARKE COUNTY 

  • SR 721 between Childrens Home-Bradford Road and Horatio Harris Creek, BRIDGE CLOSURE Oct. 2 - 23. The official detour is: SR 185 to SR 48 to US 36.
  • SR 722 between Emrick Road and US 127, ROAD CLOSURE Oct. 9 - 30. The official detour is: SR 726 to US 40 to US 127.
  • SR 705 between Lightsville - Northern and Cochran Road, ROAD CLOSURE Oct. 30 - Nov. 10. The official detour is: SR 49 to SR 119 to SR 118.
SHELBY COUNTY  
  • SR 29 between Cisco Road and West Russell Road, shoulder closures through Nov. 17. *There could be intermittent lane closures in this area between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • SR 219 between State Street and Taylor Road, Daily lane closures Sept. 27 - Oct. 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. One lane will remain open  for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers.
  • SR 66 between Mason Road and Dirksen Road, Daily lane closures Sept. 27 - Oct. 31 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. One lane will remain open for travel in each direction through the use of flaggers. 
  • SR 705 between McClure Road and North Kuther Road, ROAD CLOSURE Oct. 16 - 19. The official detour is: SR 29 to SR 119 to SR 66.