New traffic Dragon camera has motorists breathing fire - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

New traffic Dragon camera has motorists breathing fire

Newburgh Heights police (Source: WOIO) Newburgh Heights police (Source: WOIO)
NEWBURGH HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) -

Depending on your viewpoint, you either love or hate traffic cameras.  Cities that use them love them for the revenue they generate.  People ticketed hate them for any number of reasons.  

One of the brand names of the newest units is the Dragon Cam, and it's got people breathing fire.  It is a hand-held unit, and because an officer is actually operating it, it gets around a rule aimed at pole-mounted units that said an officer had to man each camera to make a citation stick.

If you've driven south on Interstate 77, you may have seen an officer standing on the Harvard Avenue Bridge.  He's using a Dragon camera.  It records your speed, takes a picture of your license plate, and if you're going too fast, in about a month you get a ticket in the mail.

The village expects to generate $600,000 from its cameras this year, and that is after the company that processes the tickets and provided the unit takes its cut of $33 a ticket.  So are the cameras about profit, or about safety?  You can probably guess what Newburgh Heights Mayor Trevor Elkins thinks.

"When our cameras are in use, people are traveling at slower speeds and when people are traveling at slower speeds, there's less accidents and less likelihood of an accident and there's greater likelihood that somebody can react to an accident if there is one."

Now here is the kicker.  The officer doesn't have to witness the violation.  He can be doing a crossword puzzle.  The tickets are legal just so long as he is there.

So how fast is too fast.  More on that tonight at 11 on Cleveland 19 news.

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