Infrastructure

Dayton, Ohio’s Traffic Camera Debate Will Continue Without a November Vote

A petition by the Dayton NAACP to allow voters to decide the fate of the controversial cameras failed to garner the support it needed.

by Dayton Daily News / August 28, 2018
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(TNS) — Despite the Dayton NAACP’s efforts, voters will not get to decide this November the fate of the city’s traffic cameras.

The organization’s president, Derrick Foward, said Monday night that the group fell short on the number of signatures needed for a petition.

For months, the Dayton chapter of the NAACP has voiced concerns because they said the traffic cameras are located in some of the county’s poorest areas.

Foward said he is concerned those communities are being targeted unfairly. But when it came time to gather signatures to put this issue to a vote, they didn’t get enough.

“It definitely ends our ballot initiative here this year. We fell short. I mean, it’s very simple, we fell short,” Foward said.

NAACP members began collecting signatures in May. The goal was to gather 5,000, but Foward said they did not come close.

“The community did not show up in the numbers we expected," he said. "Each one of our circulators came back and said it’s a mixed bag. Some people want the cameras, some people don’t want the cameras.”

Roshawn Reynolds works at a barber shop on West Third Street. One of the mobile cameras is set up across the street.

“I say get rid of them,” Reynolds said, though he admits it’s because he just doesn’t want a ticket. While he’s noticed other communities also have traffic cameras, that doesn’t bother him.

Forward said others have expressed something similar to him.

“A lot of people said, ‘well, I’m not concerned if Kettering has them or not ... I’m concerned about what’s happening inside my own community.’”

Dayton police have said the locations are based on crash data, and that cameras are working to make communities safer.

“We’ve had many conversations with the city of Dayton. The data does support where the cameras are being placed. But our position was slightly different than what the data has shown,” Foward said.

In the future, Foward said those conversations will continue. And he’s not ruling out another try at a ballot initiative.

©2018 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.