Expansion of the Automated Traffic Enforcement Program

On Monday night, May 20, 2013 by a vote of 14-3, Cleveland City Council passed legislation enhancing the automated traffic enforcement program. The program is designed to help improve public safety – for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. It’s a program that can help change dangerous behaviors that can cause accidents, injury and even death.

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The Department of Public Safety and Cleveland Division of Police operate an effective Traffic Enforcement program that takes advantage of technology and personnel to raise awareness and educate drivers about their driving behaviors. Photo Enforcement is just one of the many tools the City of Cleveland utilizes to enhance the work of the Division of Police Bureau of Traffic. Photo Enforcement technology does not replace traditional methods of traffic enforcement; it complements conventional traffic enforcement strategies.

Traditional red light enforcement is often dangerous. Officers usually have to follow the offending vehicle through the red light ultimately endangering themselves as well as motorist and pedestrians. Further, the resources required to police intersections on a regular basis make it cost prohibitive. In contrast, photo enforcement using red light cameras requires the individuals who break the law to shoulder the cost of enforcing the program.

The expansion of the program includes additional locations for fixed pole cameras (listed below, approved by Cleveland City Council), the addition of some video surveillance capabilities, and an increase in the number and usability of mobile speed enforcement cameras.

Locations for cameras are based on the City’s CAD (computer aided dispatch) accident data and NOACA (Northeast Ohio Area wide Coordinating Agency) accident data as well as input from the Cleveland Division of Police and Cleveland City Council. City Council approves the locations for the Fixed Pole cameras.

Does the program actually work?

 During the first year of the program, the annual total number of citations for all cameras was 118,707. A significant drop in those citations was witnessed in sequential years:

2007: 118,707 citations

2008: 108, 391 citations

2009: 94,305 citations

2010: 83,588 citations

2011: 64,194 citations

2012: 64,143 citations

That’s a 46% overall decrease in the number of citations issued from 2007 – 2011.

The new legislation will increase the number of fixed camera sites from 24 to 49, increase mobile sites from 6 to 15, and eliminates the necessity of deploying an officer in a police vehicle with each mobile camera

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One of the City’s 15 Portable Camera Units (PCU)

New, additional sites:

  • Woodland Avenue @ E. 55th;
  • Harvard Avenue @ Lee Road;
  • Orange Avenue @ E. 30th;
  • Chester Avenue @ E. 105th;
  • St. Clair @ E. 152nd St;
  • Kinsman Road @ E. 93rd St;
  • Lee Road @ Miles;
  • Stokes Blvd @ Cedar Avenue;
  • W. 25th St @ Clark;
  • W. 65th St @ Clark;
  • I-490 @ E. 55th St;
  • Pearl Road @ Denison Avenue;
  • Broadview Road @ Brookpark Road;
  • St. Clair @ E. 105th St;
  • Woodland @ E. 30th St;
  • Lorain @ W. 65th St;
  • Broadview @ Spring Rd;
  • St. Clair @ E. 55th St;
  • Puritas Avenue @ W. 150th St;
  • Martin Luther King Jr Drive @ E. 105th St;
  • E. 156th St @ Waterloo Road;
  • Neff Road @ E. 185th St;
  • Lakeview Road @ Superior Avenue;
  • E. 105th St @ Superior;
  • E. 124th St @ Superior;
  • E. 55th St @ Broadway Avenue

Video Surveillance:

  • All the Photo Enforcement fixed pole camera sites will have video surveillance.
  • The existing photo enforcement sites will all be upgraded to the new technology that will allow for video surveillance.
  • The field of view of the cameras will cover the intersection and portions of the sidewalk.
  • We will be able to monitor the video feeds during special events and normal operation hours. Video can also be reviewed for post-incident reconstruction of an event.

Mobile Speed Enforcement Cameras

  • The City of Cleveland currently operates 6 mobile speed enforcement vehicles.  These vehicles have been deployed in school zones, areas of high accidents, side streets, major thoroughfares and council/citizen areas of concerns.  The mobile vehicles had limitations due to the size of the vehicle, its ability to be able to park at a location and the hours of operation.
  • In the new contract the City will be utilizing 15 new mobile photo enforcement Portable Camera Units that will be placed on a trailer.  The Portable Camera units will be towed to various locations by the Bureau of Traffic and can remain operational for a period of up to 14 days as a stand-alone unit.  The portable units will replace the mobile speed vehicles as they will be decommissioned once the trailers arrive.

Public Notice

  • There will be a 30 day warning period once the fixed cameras are installed and the Division of Police, Traffic Engineer and Department of Public Safety have signed off on approval of the site.  A press release will be issued informing the public of the new site and the start of the 30 day notice period. After the 30 days, the camera will begin issuing citations.