11/8/2008Ohio: Anti-Camera Voter Referendum Push Expands
Voters in Toledo and Chillicothe, Ohio now want the chance to ban red light cameras.
Following this week's successful voter referendum banning photo enforcement in Cincinnati, residents in two more Ohio cities are looking to oust red light cameras and speed cameras. The sponsors of the Cincinnati initiative are now exploring the possibility of putting ticket cameras on the ballot in Toledo. In Chillicothe, more than 17 percent of the city's 13,000 registered voters has already signed a growing online petition demanding camera removal (view petition).
"The undersigned will take action to elect new city council members therefore removing all those responsible for this unconstitutional act unless the said members make motion to remove and terminate this contract the city signed with Redflex Traffic Systems immediately," the petition states.
The possible consequences of the revolt were not lost on city leaders who are expected to discuss the issue at an upcoming city council meeting. One of the camera system's main supporters, however, blamed residents for the program.
"Sadly, the majority who oppose council actions don't speak until after the ordinance has passed," Council President Bob Shoultz wrote to the Chillicothe Gazette. "Council has always wanted to hear from citizens and know their view on all the issues they consider before the final vote. Yet that rarely seems to happen."
Citizens Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes (COAST) is the group that teamed up with the Cincinnati branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to secure 14,015 signatures to put the camera ban on Cincinnati ballot. The same groups now want Toledo voters to have their say with a referendum that would be placed on the November 2009 ballot. Toledo has used photo ticketing since 2001, generating millions in revenue.