Youngstown moves forward with traffic cameras - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown moves forward with traffic cameras

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - Cameras are a controversial approach to cracking down on speeders.

Municipalities near and far have been accused of using traffic cameras as a way to generate thousands, even millions, of dollars for their communities.

Councilman John Swierz says that's not the purpose for Youngstown.

"I think from the beginning, city council has indicated that we're not looking to make money off this thing. We're hoping we don't make any money," Swierz says. 

Wednesday night, city council unanimously approved an amendment to an ordinance that allows for the use of traffic cameras.

The city plans to get 10 cameras from the Arizona-based Redflex company. Eight would be stationary and two would be mobile.

Police Chief Rod Foley says cameras are used every day to solve crime.

"We use cameras to solve bank robberies, we use cameras to solve shop lifting. You name it, we solve it with cameras," Foley says.

The intent is for them to be used in school zones and only during school hours.

In a couple of weeks, city leaders will meet with members of the Redflex company to discuss the results of a study that will determine exactly which school zones should have the cameras."

However, they may need to re-adjust those plans due to the fact that four Youngstown schools will be closed next year.

"Volney Rogers had a large straight away and a lot of speed complaints so that was obviously going to be one of the places that we would push for depending on what the final study said," Foley explains. "Then we found out several months ago that school was going to be closed."

Once the cameras are in operation, Redflex would view the infractions digitally then send the violations to Youngstown. Then a city police officer has 30 days to review the citation to make sure it is a justifiable ticket.

The penalties range from $100 to $150 depending on how far over the speed limit the car is traveling.

Traffic offenders would also have an opportunity to challenge their tickets.

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