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New traffic cameras activated in Dayton as program continues to generate controversy

New traffic cameras activated in Dayton as program continues to generate controversy (WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Five new traffic cameras activated in Dayton as the program continues to generate controversy.

Dayton Police say the cameras are keeping drivers safe, but communities are pushing back saying the cameras are sneaky and prey on the poor.

Driver Nate Boyd has mixed feelings about traffic cameras.

“I believe people should slow down, but I also believe it's another way of getting money from the people,” Boyd said.

Since starting citations in November, the City of Dayton generated more than $700,000. Each ticket is $85.

“I need my money for bills, not no traffic tickets,” Boyd said.

As more cameras go up, public anger grows. They’re now at 7 locations throughout the city.

Monday night, dozens packed a NAACP town hall, debating if the program's for safety or profit.

Lawyer Christopher Finney is against the cameras.

“Who are we penalizing with this? It's the people struggling to make ends meet,” Finney said.

He think's voters should decide on the program's future, helping create a ballot initiative to change the city's charter. A tactic used in other Ohio cities.

“Once it's on the ballot it passes by huge numbers,” Finney said.

Dayton Assistant Police Chief Matt Carper defends the cameras.

“It's far from a gotcha program,” Carper said.

Since installation, Dayton police say there have been 84 fewer injury crashes to-date in 2018. Dayton police says they're getting results.

“It does change driver behavior and it absolutley reduces traffic crashes,” Carper said.

That may not be enough to sway public opinion. Boyd says the bad outweighs the good.

“People's gonna do what they're going to do, drive fast and everything like that, I think its' glways some kind of way of getting money from the people,” Carper said.

The new cameras have been installed at Third and James H McGhee Boulevard, also at Linden and Smithville.

At these locations for the first month, they’ll issue warning tickets after that you'll have to pay up.

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