Supporters, Opponents of Cleveland's Traffic Cameras Ramp Up Ballot Issue Campaigns

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Jason Sonenshein is one of the leaders of the campaign against traffic cameras. He says the appeals process for camera tickets violates motorists' liberties in part because it's handled by the city than by the courts.

He says activists will campaign on Cleveland's east side in favor of an anti-camera ballot issue.

"We're going to be at the camera location and we'll be surrounding the camera, alerting passing motorists to the presence of the camera along with alerting them to vote Yes on Issue 35," Sonenshein.

A yes vote on could effectively bring the traffic camera program to a halt. It would require police to station an officer near each camera and hand out a citation in person.

Some city leaders are getting ready to fight back. Cleveland City Councilman Brian Cummins says he's been poring over car crash data to make his case against the ballot issue and for the cameras, saying they're aimed at slowing down dangerous traffic.

"I had done some research and looking into it, and speaking with the administration, and really I was and am convinced that we're doing it for primarily safety purposes," Cummins said.

Camera revenues have been dwindling in Cleveland. Last year the city took in about $5.8 million -- a 40 percent drop from just 2008, according to a city memo.

Meanwhile, there have been long been rumblings of a possible camera ban proposal from the state legislature. And the Ohio Supreme Court is weighing the legality of the camera citation appeals process.

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