Activists file red-light camera petitionWritten by David Steffen | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Local activists presented a completed petition to the clerk of council at One Government Center on Aug. 19 that would limit the use of red-light cameras on Toledo intersections.
The movement officially began on Jan. 12, 2009. Activists presented 8,500 signatures of the requisite 4,625 in order to put the measure on the November city ballot. They seek to require the presence of a law enforcement officer to physically present a ticket.
“It’s a violation of the Fourth Amendment—the due process clause says you have a right to confront your accuser,” local activist Dave White said. “You can’t confront the camera.”
Activists began collecting signatures in winter. White estimated 95 percent of those they approached were receptive of the petition. Many are upset that icy conditions or a right on red could trigger the camera, with little chance for recourse.
“On a personal level, appeals are futile. When you talk to hundreds, stories abound,” said Scott Ross of Cincinnati. He worked to defeat the introduction of red light cameras there last year.
“It’s a cash grab,” he said. “It’s another opportunity for government to get into the pockets of the citizens they serve.”
Ross said red light cameras can increase rear-end accidents, as vehicles stop short to avoid a license plate snapshot. It can also encourage automated speeding tickets from the same cameras, as drivers race yellow lights to avoid a red light.
Ross and White are among a local group leading red light camera limitation. They said they are satisfied with their first step.
“I feel like I’ve gotten back a part of my liberties,” White said.
Ross said he’s happy to participate in the democratic process.
“I feel a sense of accomplishment that we, the people, are reminding government who serves whom,” he said.
Tags: red light cameras