EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – Voters in East Liverpool will see speed cameras on their ballots for the first time next week.
Mayor Ryan Stovall says the money and safety from the speed cameras are worth it, but a local citizens group says the people should be the ones to decide.
“If the people decide to get rid of the cameras, then that’s the way it should be,” said Councilman Brian Kerr.
When East Liverpool started using speed cameras in 2017, Kerr signed a petition that said the public should have a say.
The petition was started by a local citizens group that used the signatures to take legal action against the city. The city fought back, which started a legal battle that is expected to end after the election.
“The court has made a decision so far on it, that it will stay on the ballot but the votes will be sealed. So they won’t be counted, they will never know what the outcome is until the court proceedings go,” Kerr said.
When asked about what he would say to those in the city against speed cameras, Stovall said he’d rather be given a ticket in the mail than be pulled over.
“Your insurance rates aren’t going to skyrocket. You’re not going to get points on your license for that. So there’s good and bad aspects of everything,” Stovall said.
Stovall says no speeding, no worries.
On the high end, the cameras bring the city an additional $80,000 per month, 20% of which goes to the general fund and 80% to the police department.
“We’ve went from 15 officers to 21 and that’s helped us fight the drug epidemic here in the city,” Stovall said.
“We just got a ticket the other day,” said resident Vanessa Doe.
Doe said she’s noticed a rise in tickets since the speed cameras started. What frustrates her is the fact that cameras don’t know who’s driving the car.
“We had no idea who was driving my car at the time — could have been me, could have been my husband, someone could have stole my car — but we still get nailed with that ticket,” she said.
Whether or not citizens’ speed camera votes will count in next week’s election still isn’t clear. The mayor says the city law director will have the final decision.