1/9/2005Cincinnati Photo Radar Program All About the Money
The Cincinnati Enquirer explains in an editorial how the Cincinnati city council needed photo radar to balance the budget.
In an editorial explaining the benefits of photo radar, the Cincinnati Enquirer explains the evidence that the city council approved the photo radar contract in a desperate attempt to balance the budget. Previously, the paper had quoted Councilman Pat DeWine, who had voted to support cameras initially, as follows:
"We can all talk about public safety with a wink and a nod, but it's not true. If it were about public safety, we would be doing it some other time. It seems to me to be a way out of City Council making the tough decisions we should make to balance the budget." Another council member, Laketa Cole, said, "We're encouraging citizens now to break the law to pay for human services."(12/14/04).
We can all agree that speeding and red-light running seriously endanger other motorists and pedestrians, but those were not the reasons council voted last month to contract for new "Photo Radar Enforcement" devices. December is white-knuckle budget time. Council needed to find new revenue fast to save social service programs and balance the 2005-06 budget. It was estimated ticketing by cameras could generate at least $6 million over that two-year budget cycle. A council majority led by Democrat David Crowley pushed for the cameras, despite Mayor Charlie Luken's misgivings and the Police Department's warning last August that if the cameras are used just to generate money, "it will be doomed to fail."Source: Focus traffic cameras on safety (Cincinnati Enquirer, 1/7/2005)
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