NAACP files petition to have Dayton red light camera issue placed on ballot

DAYTON — The Dayton Unit of the NAACP has launched a petition in hopes of having the use of Dayton’s red light cameras be decided by voters in November.

RELATED: NAACP targets traffic cameras; Dayton says ‘We have a speeding problem’

The organization started collecting signatures May 29 with the hopes of ending the use of red light and photo enforcement cameras without a police officer present, Derrick L. Forward, President of the Dayton chapter of the NAACP said in a release Tuesday.

RELATED: NAACP: Dayton traffic cameras punish poor people, ballot issue planned

Forward said 5,000 signatures need to be collected from residents of Dayton to get the issue on the ballot.

RELATED: Dayton to activate 5 red light cameras with 30-day warning period

“While we all agree that safety is a huge concern and must be dealt with swiftly to keep our seniors, our neighbors and our children out of harm’s way, let it not be at the expense of only the poorest communities in Montgomery County, Ohio,” Forward said in the release.

“If any of those other cities in Montgomery County were utilizing this technology – it probably would not be an issue. But when it appears that you're unfairly targeting only the poorest communities, that's where the NAACP has an issue.”

In a previous town hall meeting, the NAACP expressed concern over the use of the cameras and their potential impacts to local communities. The NAACP also expressed their intent to create this petition in the May 21 meeting.

During the same May 21 town hall, Dayton Police Department Assistant Chief Matt Carper said the cameras improve safety around the city, citing decreases in traffic violations at locations where the city installs red light and speed cameras.

“We all have an obligation to improve public safety. If we know that there’s … a technology out there that is proven to slow drivers down and reduce crashes, how can we not use that?” Carper said.