Speed Cameras: Keeping you safe, or cash grab?

DAYTON — Every day cameras are catching driver after driver, speeding in Dayton. A single camera led to nearly 6,000 tickets in just three months.

News Center 7′s Kayla McDermott has been busy looking into where the money from those tickets goes, and if they improve safety like they promise.

The speed cameras are catching people and costing drivers. Speeding is a major concern for people around the city.

“They are doing too much and I ain’t trying to get hit and I’m still young. They need to slow down,” Mykela Jones, of Dayton, said.

The cameras are designed to slow people down. There are 13 of them on different blocks around the city to capture drivers going over the speed limit.

Robert Brown, of Dayton, said, “I’ve almost got hit by a car five times. They’d be running a red light. They don’t watch me.”

Over the summer a local traffic coalition called the Wayne Avenue Traffic Safety Coalition asked Dayton Police for the number of tickets at the Wayne Avenue location.

A major with Dayton PD sent them an email stating there were around 20,000 violations within three months from those cameras.

Willie Morris said, “I think anyone that’s driven on Wayne can use the same description I would. It’s wild.”

When News Center 7 reached out Tuesday morning to the Dayton Police Department, they claimed 20,000 citations were not issued. After four email exchanges and further emails, they provided numbers Thursday afternoon showing the number of citations from that camera during those months was closer to 6,000 on Wayne Avenue.

News Center 7 asked about the discrepancy and learned a “watch your speed” sign did capture more than 20,000 people speeding on Wayne Avenue, but that speed sign is not part of the photo enforcement program.

Drivers who have their license plate snapped and are issued citations must pay a pretty pricy ticket.

Tabby Arnold, of Dayton, said she’s gotten too many tickets and had to pay around $100.

The ticket citations cost $85 per fine. But, if they are not paid by the due date, a $25 late fee will be added. Last year, the fines brought in nearly $2.9 million.

When asked what Tabby Arnold thought the city did with the money, she said, “I don’t know. I don’t even want to know. Probably nothing that’s benefiting us.”

Dayton Police said collections from the non-school zones are sent to the Department of Transportation for road maintenance. Money collected from citations in school zones is sent to the police department to enhance school safety initiatives.

The cameras have been around for a couple of years, and they have mixed reviews.

Jerria Bunch, of Dayton, said, “Well, they can be a little annoying.”

Arnold said, “Nah, not a fan at all. I feel like they should get rid of it.”

However, Dayton Police said the cameras are working. It has seen a 25% decrease in deadly crashes and a 20% decrease in injury crashes.

“I just tried to think about the safety that the city is trying to establish with speeding cars. I don’t even think about them. I’ve just tried to follow the rule,” Bunch said.

McDermott also reached out for the number of citations issued from the dozen other cameras around the city. We’ll have those numbers for you as soon as we have them to share.

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