Cleveland voters to decide fate of traffic cameras

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CLEVELAND - Should they stay, or should they go?

Even with two council members absent for a vote at city hall Wednesday, Cleveland City Council voted unanimously to put traffic camera legislation on the November ballot; meaning voters will decide if they should disappear forever.

At $100 a fine for running a red light, it's pretty hard to find a driver who wouldn't want to see these cameras go away.

Councilman Joe Cimperman of Ward 3 believes his constituents will vote it down, and he says he will follow suit.

"....because they do not do what they're supposed to do. They were supposed to make life safer, sure they slow people down, but you see an increase in the number of rear end collisions and you see people speeding as soon as they pass the cameras," said Cimperman.

Dozens of red light and speed cameras are positioned throughout the city to catch violators and send tickets through the mail to the vehicle's registered owner.

The tickets have generated over 5.1 million dollars in 2014 alone.
In the past, city leaders have said it's not about revenue, but about safety.

But many disagree, including members of a grass roots effort called the "Camera Removal Team," who say the cameras violate a driver's right to due process.

Maryanne Petranek said, "People have to prove their innocence, because they're automatically assumed guilty."

More than 6-thousand signatures had already been gathered to get the camera issue on the ballot.

But while in support of the people, Councilman Jeff Johnson of Ward 10 questions the validity of the petition.

Johnson said, "They don't allow for stale signatures, meaning more than a year for candidates, but for some reason that loophole allows for issues so some of these signatures go back as far as 2010."

Support it or not, the days of the traffic camera may be numbered.