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Published: Wednesday, 1/12/2005

Sylvania Township: Red light camera project on hold

A temporary 'stop sign' is halting Sylvania Township's plan to install cameras to catch speeders and those running red lights along Central Avenue.

While township officials OK'd Redflex Traffic Systems' plan to install cameras along Central and at other locations in the township to help enforce traffic laws, the Ohio Department of Transportation is saying 'no' to Central, which is a state highway.In a letter to the township, Michael Stormer, a district planning engineer with ODOT, wrote that the state department is reviewing the "application and effectiveness of these devices as well as the legal and maintenance ramifications of their installations." The letter said no installations will be allowed until "a formal policy is adopted by ODOT."

Township Police Chief Joseph Valvano has written to Gov. Bob Taft's office asking that the decision be reconsidered.

The township is suggesting that it be viewed as a pilot program for townships that have state highways running through them, said Brad Peebles, township administrator.The chief pointed out in his letter that Central Avenue is where approximately 40 percent of all township traffic accidents occur.

Trustees earlier had approved a contract with Redflex and had established a civil fine of $100 for running a red light or speeding at an intersection patrolled by cameras.

The project has now been put on hold.

Although locating the cameras at other locations was part of the plan, the emphasis was to get them at a number of places along the 5 miles of Central in the township.

The plan had been for about eight cameras to be installed by Redflex Traffic Systems, the company which administers the program in Toledo.

The specific location of the cameras was to be determined by Redflex officials after a study of police accident reports.

"Safety is the No. 1 issue," the chief said.

Under terms of the agreement with the city, the company will absorb all of the costs of the system and keep 75 percent of the revenue.

Those ticketed would have the right to appeal and trustees were gathering names of local attorneys who would serve as hearing officers in those cases.

The tickets would be a civil action, without reports to the state that could add points toward suspension of a driver's license or be used to increase insurance rates.



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