New Mobile Speed Cameras Hit Cleveland Streets

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CLEVELAND -- Drivers, get ready for your close-up.

There are a handful of new mobile traffic cameras in Cleveland. The city's traffic director said it is about safety, but a state lawmaker thinks it is really about the money.

In 2013, the city of Cleveland brought in $6 million in revenue for 23 cameras, according to the mayor's office. Today, there are about 40 cameras.

Thursday, the city set up six units:

  • 4050 Superior Avenue
  • 2416 East 55th Street
  • 2150 St. Clair Avenue
  • 3219 Detroit Road (sign posted as of Thursday evening)
  • 4123 Pearl Road (no signs as of Thursday afternoon)
  • West 114th Street and Edgewater Drive (camera off - not working)

"The portable camera units are a visible reminder for people to slow down and drive safely," Cleveland Public Safety Director Martin Flask said in a news release.

"Ultimately, the goal of Operation Safe Streets is to save lives and prevent injuries," Flask said.

"I think there is some maybe in that. But I also think there is some cash involved," said State Representative Bill Patmon.

Patmon is talking about revenue for the local governments. Each ticket from these cameras cost $100. He believes the legal process is also unfair for drivers who want to dispute the alleged violation.

"The whole process is kind of fixed, if you will. The only witness is the camera. You can't face the camera and question it," Patmon said.

Three cameras had to be shut down just hours after being debuted. The city said two did not have proper signs warning drivers and one at Edgewater Drive had technical issues.

So what happens for the drivers who got a ticket from one of the two machines that were taken off-line because of lack of signage?

The city says they asked Xerox to dismiss those tickets.

The city said in a news release that two cameras will be back up once the signs telling drivers the cameras are there are installed.

The camera on Edgewater Drive will be fixed and moved to an undetermined location, according to the city's news release.

Patmon is supporting House Bill 69 that would outlaw automated speed cameras in Ohio, except for in school zones.

"I don't think they are necessary. If anything, we need to expand our police department. We want to make our city user-friendly. I'm not quite sure this does it," Patmon said.

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