CLEVELAND - Are Cleveland streets less safe since speed and red light cameras were removed?
Fox 8 News examined crash statistics at six camera locations during a four-month period both before and after Clevelanders overwhelmingly voted to get rid of the cameras in November. The review found no spike in crashes. Numbers remained mostly flat at the sampled locations, indicating safety was not affected by the lack of cameras.
Between November, 2013 and March, 2014, there were zero crashes at camera locations at 5500 St. Clair Ave., 6500 Lorain Ave. and 10600 Clifton Blvd. The numbers remained unchanged between November, 2014 and March, 2015, after cameras were removed.
During the same time period, crashes at the intersection of Chester Ave. and East 71st Street dropped from two to zero. Crashes at Shaker Blvd. at Shaker Square increased from zero to one, while the number of crashes at East 152nd and St. Clair Ave. increased from three to eight.
The cameras generated about $6 million in annual revenue from tickets. City of Cleveland leaders, including Mayor Frank Jackson, had lobbied to keep the cameras citing safety concerns.
Fox 8 News asked the mayor’s office for a response to the findings. City spokesman Daniel Ball sent a statement saying, “The city’s position has always been that the photo enforcement program positively influenced driver behavior. That being said, City of Cleveland voters have decided not to continue program operations and we have respected their voice.”
Camera vendor Xerox began removing equipment on March 30, according to the city. Cleveland stopped issuing camera-based tickets on November 4th.