6/18/2008Ohio: Petition Drive Threatens Red Light Camera Push
Threat of a voter referendum on red light cameras forces Cincinnati, Ohio mayor and city council to back away from ticketing plans.
Voter outrage over a red light camera proposal may have stopped Cincinnati, Ohio's photo ticketing plans in their tracks. On Monday, officials postponed city council consideration of an ordinance authorizing photo enforcement until the deadline for a voter referendum on the issue has passed. Yesterday, Mayor Mark Mallory announced his intention to veto that ordinance should it come up for a vote, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
"I'm not convinced that they achieve their stated goal," Mallory said.
The reluctance to enact the ordinance comes as an initiative to force a vote of the public on the camera issue gathers momentum. Earlier this year, a group of citizen activists from all ends of the political spectrum banded together as the "We Demand a Vote" coalition to propose an amendment to the city charter that would ban the use of red light cameras and speed cameras. Coalition members include regional chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Republican Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and others.
"These cameras have not proven to be effective in limiting accidents," Price Hill Civic Club Vice President Pete Witte said in a statement. "But they have proven to be a money grab by both governmental jurisdictions as well as the companies that own and operate the cameras."
By May, the group had gathered 2000 signatures. A month later, they had 5500. They will need another 3400 valid signatures by August to qualify for the November ballot. View the full text of the petition.