Traffic Camera Meeting

14 Aug

Councilman Bill Brownlee held a community forum last night about the traffic cameras in Maple Heights. Residents came out to get answers to their questions, to voice their opinions and to learn more.

Your meeting was very informative. Thank you for all your effort.

Questions from the community were answered by a three member panel.

Councilman Bill Brownlee
City of Maple Hts

Bill was elected to City Council in November 2013. Since then he has been most vocal on budgetary issues in Maple Heights. He and his family have lived in Maple since 2011.

Chief John Popielarczyk
Maple Hts Police Department

John has been the acting Chief since May of this year. He has been with the department since February 1990 and served in the detective bureau.

Mayor Trevor Elkins
Village of Newburgh Hts

Trevor has been Mayor since 2012. Prior to that, he was the village’s fiscal officer. His village has been running a traffic camera program with Optotraffic since September of 2013.

The meeting was attended by fifty to sixty residents and business owners. Most of the meeting was spent answering questions that were submitted by residents prior to the meeting. Councilman Brownlee compiled the list and seperated them into categories. Here was the agenda for the meeting:

Locations

  • How were the locations picked for the cameras?
  • Why are the cameras not more spread out? Why two right next to each other?
  • Why are all the cameras on the east side of Maple?
  • Are the locations listed anywhere?
  • Why is the speed limit 25 on these 4-lane roads?

Citations

  • What is the maximum speed you can go w/o getting a ticket? I was told one person got a ticket for going 27 mph in a 25 mph zone.
  • Can these be appealed? How can I get out of it? What if I think it is not my car in the picture?
  • Will I get points on my license?
  • Do the citations need to be paid? Will I get arrested?
  • What’s the distance to/from will the camera snap the picture?

Optotraffic Contract

  • Is the city under a contract and did we have to put up money to get this program started?
  • Out of one ticket how much money will the city receive?

Notification Issues

  • Is there a dedicated webpage that lists information about the traffic cameras (locations, type of camera [speed, red light, fixed or portable, etc], amount of the fine, process of appealing the ticket and whether it’s an administrative process)? If no dedicated webpage, why not? and also If not, when will there be?
  • Why weren’t the “photo enforced” warning signs larger and colored (such as orange)? Are the signs placed 100 feet from the actual camera?
  • In Cleveland, once a camera becomes operational, there is a grace period where alleged violators only receive a warning (not a ticket). Various other communities do the same. Why didn’t Maple?

Impact

  • Won’t the cameras hurt local businesses? People will avoid the cameras.
  • How much money is the City going to make?

Legal Issues

  • How reliable are the cameras? Are they calibrated?
  • Don’t you need to have lines on the road to be legal?
  • Is it legal? What about “facing your accuser”?
  • What is happening with the petition drive?

Questions from the Audience

For the last twenty minutes, members of the audience asked any remaining questions. There were also some comments from the audience about the traffic cameras in Maple Heights.

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