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Dayton City Commission votes to use new traffic camera technology

File photo: Dayton City Commission votes for new red light camera technology (WKEF/WRGT)

UPDATE- We talked with Emily Grey in Downtown Dayton as her and her daughter were going for a stroll. Grey says she's been cited by an automated traffic camera before.

"It's not fun getting a ticket in the mail. I've been there, done that," Grey said.

Dayton plans to use 10 fixed cameras, 6 hand-held devices and 2 portable trailer units, which will all have an officer present when in use. The city hasn't decided where it will put the 10 fixed cameras.

Dayton Police say the city has seen a 45 percent increase in traffic deaths in the last three years without any cameras.

Grey says she is all for their use.

"I've seen, when I lived in other places, how it does help people be more conscious of their speed because maybe they're (thinking) 'I never see an officer here.' But then they get a ticket in the mail and they go ''Oh, I'm going to be more conservative in my speeding,'" Grey said.

We also talked with Capt. Dan Heath. He’s the Operations Commander for the Trotwood Police Department.

That city has been using handheld cameras since November. State Route 49 has been a targeted area because officers were seeing a lot of aggressive driving.

"There's been a marked reduction in the speed of most of the people who frequent State Route 49," Capt. Heath said.

Capt. Heath says aggressive driving puts everyone at risk.

"I think most drivers out there have either witnessed it or been affected by (aggressive driving). It is extremely dangerous," Capt. Heath said.

The city issued about 600 tickets during a three-month period but the department says the tickets are working and people are slowing down.

There's still a case in front of the Ohio Supreme Court challenging the law requiring an officer to be present and verify each camera ticket.

"It's incredibly frustrating. It's an example of how the state doesn't pay any attention to the needs of communities. They preempt us pretty regularly and really don't know what they're doing in the statehouses," Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said.

There's no timetable but typically the court rules within 4-6 months of oral arguments.

They were held in January.

It will be a few months before Dayton gets its program up and running. The city has not announced if it will offer a grace period in the beginning.

"If you follow the law, you're going to be fine here but we want people to follow the law and we need to use every technology we can to make sure people are doing that and make our city safe," Whaley said.

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DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Dayton City Commissioners have voted for new red light camera technology, similar to the hand-held radar guns being used right now in Trotwood.

The new cameras are operated by officers and in order to issue a ticket, an officer has to be present. Officers will also have trailer cameras they can set up and operate. Dayton Police say they believe the new hand-held cameras will make the streets more safe. Police say since the red light cameras were removed two years ago, crashes have gone up 40 percent, and the number of deaths from crashes have doubled.

The hand-held radar gun will read your speed and take a picture of your car.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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