From: gpsman on
Hamilton rolls out area's first 'speed van'

By Janice Morse • March 31, 2010

HAMILTON - It's a new twist on an old adage: You can't outrun a police
radio—or a police speed-enforcement camera.

Thursday, Hamilton, the Butler County seat, becomes the first
community in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to begin using
such a camera, officials said.

The department is rolling out its new, unmanned speed-enforcement van,
which an Arizona company, Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., supplied at no
cost. In exchange for the equipment and for administering the program,
Redflex reaps a chunk of the $95 fine collected from violators; the
city gets 52 percent of the amount.

For the first 30 days, officials will send out warning letters to
registered owners of vehicles captured on the van's camera, which is
linked to radar and a computer. The camera's shutter is rigged to
photograph only vehicles that blast through school zones and other
targeted areas by at least 9 mph over the limit.

"We're not out to nit-pick drivers," said Sgt. Craig Bucheit, city
police spokesman. Instead, the goal is to improve community safety, he

Starting May 1, citations will be mailed, giving alleged violators
three choices: paying the fine, signing an affidavit listing another
person as the driver or requesting a hearing to fight the ticket.

Violations are not put on the vehicle owner's state driving record and
also are not reported to insurance companies. But failure to pay the
fine could be reported to a credit bureau, officials said.

Such cameras have been controversial in some states because of privacy
concerns and questions as to whether they're really effective in
improving safety - or just good at generating revenue.

"There's always a vocal minority who are opposed to this type of
enforcement of traffic laws," says Redflex spokeswoman Shoba
Vaitheeswaran. But she points out that red-light and speed-camera
technology has been in use for at least 20 years in the U.S. - longer
in Europe - and has withstood court challenges.

Further, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says these
programs work.

Speed cameras are being used in at least 13 states, including Ohio and
Arizona, where all state routes are monitored, the Institute says.

"Automated speed enforcement can substantially reduce speeding," the
Institute says, noting its studies in Maryland, Arizona and the
District of Columbia found a 70 percent to 95 percent reduction in
drivers exceeding speed limits by at least 10 mph.

Because the van is unmanned, officers can focus on enforcing other
laws instead of being tied up running radar, Vaitheeswaran said.

In Hamilton, the program comes at a time when there are 25 fewer
officers on the streets because of budget cuts, notes Police Chief
Neil Ferdelman.

"Is there a financial element? Sure, there is," he said, but the more
important objective is to save lives.

- gpsman
From: richard on
On Thu, 1 Apr 2010 12:00:13 -0700 (PDT), gpsman wrote:

> Hamilton rolls out area's first 'speed van'
> By Janice Morse �E March 31, 2010
> HAMILTON - It's a new twist on an old adage: You can't outrun a police
> radio�Xor a police speed-enforcement camera.

They should check Ohio law first.
It has already been ruled that no such cameras can operate on any US or
State highway. On their own city streets is ok.