Protests surrounding Cleveland's traffic cameras as citizens pre - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Protests surrounding Cleveland's traffic cameras as citizens prepare to vote on the issue

Signs give some warning of upcoming cameras, like this one near East 71st Street and Chester Avenue. (Source: WOIO) Signs give some warning of upcoming cameras, like this one near East 71st Street and Chester Avenue. (Source: WOIO)
The traffic camera on Chester Avenue near East 71st Street. (Source: WOIO) The traffic camera on Chester Avenue near East 71st Street. (Source: WOIO)
Protesters met Tuesday to encourage people to vote in November. (Source: WOIO) Protesters met Tuesday to encourage people to vote in November. (Source: WOIO)
Dozens of protesters turned out Tuesday afternoon to speak out against traffic cameras. The group gathered at East 71st Street and Chester Avenue.They want a yes vote on Issue 35 to get rid of what they're calling money grabbers. Organizers got more than 13,000 people to sign petitions to get rid of red light and speed cameras.

"These cameras go against the basic American values of due process and the separation of powers. You don't have the same procedural rights as you would if you get one of these camera tickets from a real police officer," said Jason Sonenshein.

"I'm a big supporter of keeping the traffic camera," explains Councilman Jeff Johnson.

The City of Cleveland has 65 traffic cameras. 50 are non-mobile. The rest are mobile, and move to new locations every few weeks.

Officials including Councilman Jeff Johnson tell us they're there to keep people safe.

The cameras bring in at least $5 million a year. That's no more than one percent of the city's annual budget.

"Because people are not getting citations because they're changing their behavior is actually one of those cases where the money decreased over the years, explains Councilman Johnson.

Johnson says the money goes into a general fund for city services. But people protesting the traffic cameras aren't buying it. They want the cameras gone.

"This was a way to raise revenue without a public vote," says Sonenshein.

“Are the cameras working. Are they really deterring the traffic violations? I think not," said Marva Patterson.

Bike Cleveland is supporting the traffic cameras, saying it keeps cyclists safer.

Voters will head to the polls November 4 to decide whether the cameras should stay or go.

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