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Dayton NAACP Pushes For Ballot Issue To Eliminate Traffic Cameras

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The Dayton chapter of the NAACP has launched an effort to remove the City of Dayton's recently reactivated traffic cameras. Group members allegethe cameras unfairly target vulnerable communities in the Miami Valley.

 

 

The organization is aiming to collect 5,000 signatures on a petition to put the issue on the November ballot.

 

NAACP President Derrick Forward says the cameras disproportionately affect poor residents.

 

Of the seven traffic cameras currently operating in Dayton, six are located in zip codes with poverty levels over 35 percent, according to the most recent U.S. Census data.

“At the end of the day what we want is more law enforcement officers on the street," says Forward. "We don’t want devices capturing speed ... If we want a safe community, then we need to make sure we have more law enforcement officers.”

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Data from Montgomery County’s 2016 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Edit | RemoveThe Dayton Police Department has said the cameras are needed to prevent accidents, and that Dayton’s cameras are located at the city’s most dangerous intersections.

 

A 2016 national study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found cities with traffic cameras experienced 21 percent fewer fatal red light running crashes than those without them.

Dayton’s camera program originally began in 2003, but was shuttered in 2015 following the passage of a state law restricting camera use. That law was struck down last year, and the city revived the program shortly afterward.

 

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April Laissle is a graduate of Ohio University and comes to WYSO from WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio where she worked as a weekend host and reporter. There, she reported on everything from food insecurity to 4-H chicken competitions. April interned at KQED Public Radio in San Francisco, where she focused on health reporting. She also worked on The Broad Experience, a New-York based podcast about women and workplace issues. In her spare time, April loves traveling, trying new recipes and binge-listening to podcasts. April is a Florida native and has been adjusting to Ohio weather since 2011.