Photo Traffic Enforcement in the City of Dayton

Below is a press release from the City of Dayton that is currently on their website.  I recently defended a City Employee who had been given three “civil citations” and was terminated from her employment.  This employee, a 70 year old hard worker, who had been with the City for nearly 38 years had been given an Oral Reprimand in the spring of 2011 and three months later was terminated.  This lady drove about 100 miles per day for over 200 days per year for the last 15 or 20 years.  This termination was in spite of the fact that she had promptly paid the “civil citation” and never advised she would be terminated.

At the Civil Service Hearing, the Dayton police officer charged with administering the photo enforcement program admitted that she received a telephone call complaining about the program about every three minutes during her eight hour shift.  In a City deeply in need of businesses, and with tax paying citizens leaving in droves, this program makes little sense.  It is my belief, and that of many others, that this program has little to do with traffic safety and much to do with millions of dollars in income to the City and to the out of state company that provides the equipment.

UPDATE:  On May 4, 2012 the City Employee described above was reinstated to her employment by a unanimous vote of the Civil Service Board of the City of Dayton.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received a “civil citation” for speeding in Heath Ohio in July of 2009.  I paid the $100 fine.  I have learned that the good citizens of Heath voted to take those cameras down shortly thereafter.  http://wedemandavote.com/Heath/index.html

In cities that have had a vote, it appears most, if not all, have voted to take down the cameras.

Press Release:

In 2003, the City of Dayton installed its first “SafeLight” enforcement cameras to help reduce accidents at key intersections in the City by detecting vehicles running red lights. Today, 20 red light cameras are in use at 10 intersections.  Since the installation of the cameras, traffic accidents at camera-enforced intersections have declined by by 44 percent, with a 26 percent decline Citywide.  (View more safety statistics here.)

To broaden these safety benefits, the City of Dayton has taken steps to use cameras to detect excessive speeders at key locations around the community as well.  (View February 10, 2010 news release  or related PowerPoint presentation for more details.)

Safety Statistics
National statistics indicate that excessive speed is a contributing factor in one-third of all fatal accidents.  According to Crash Data from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, in 2007 there were334,089 crashes in Ohio in which 1,237 people were killed and 83,261 people were injured.  Speed was identified as a contributing factor in 31 percent of the deaths.

Locations with SafeLight (Red Light) Cameras:

        • S. Smithville Rd. @ Patterson Rd.
• W. Third St. @ Edwin C. Moses Blvd.
• Troy St. @ Stanley Ave.
• Stanley Ave. @ Valley St.
• Third St. @ James H. McGee Blvd.
• Gettysburg Ave. @ Cornell Dr.
• Main St. @ Hillcrest Ave.
• US 35 @ Abbey Ave.
• Salem Ave. @ North Ave.
• Salem Ave. @ Hillcrest Ave.

Locations with Speed Enforcement Cameras:

        • S. Smithville Rd. near E. Fourth St.
• S. Smithville Rd. near Marimont
• W. Third St. near Hatfield 
• E. Third St. near Clinton
• Stanley Ave. near Kuntz
• S. Keowee near E. Fourth St.
• N. Keowee St. near Stanley Ave. 
• N. Gettysburgh near Fairbanks and N. Gettysburg @ Cornell Dr.
• US 35 @ Abbey Ave. 
• Salem Ave. near Otterbein

View Video of Your Violation and Pay On-Line

Motorists who receive a citation in the mail from the SafeLight Dayton Photo Enforcement Program for running a red light at one of the City’s SafeLight camera-enforced intersections can view the video of the violation and pay the fine on-line.

To view the video, you must enter the “City Code” (DAY) and the “Citation Notice Number” that appears on your citation form. The video images will only be available to the viewer for 60 days . Clicking on the following link will take you to the website outside of the City of Dayton’s domain: www.photonotice.com

Citation Resolution

No points are imposed against the violator’s driving record under the SafeLight Photo Enforcement Program.

Tthere are three (3) options to resolve the citation:

  • Pay the fine within fifteen (15) days.  You can pay your citation fee online by credit or debit card, or by sending a check by mail as indicated on the citation notice (“Notice of Liability”).
  • Within fifteen (15) days, provide the information of the the person that was actually driving the vehicle, if it was not the registered owner, then mail the notorized “Affidavit” to the adress shown on the citation.
  • Within fiteen (15) days, return the “Hearing Request” to have the dispute scheduled to be heard before a Hearing Officer.

Failure to act on the above options will result in default and a $25.00 late fee will be added to the fine amount.  The responsible party will then receive a “Default Notice.”

If the responsible party does not respond to the “Default Notice,”, the citation will be sent to a collection agency.

If the responsible party chooses to have an administrative hearing to appeal the citation, the $85.00 citation fee must be paid prior to the notice due date.  If the citation is paid, the following will occur:

  • An appeal hearing will be held before a Hearing Officer.
  • If the hearing Officer finds in favor of the City that a violation did occur, the $85.00 will be retained by the City to satisfy the citation amount.
  • If the Hearing Officer finds in favor of the responsible party, the $85.00 citation fee will be refunded.
  • If the responsible party fails to show for the hearing, the $85.00 citation fee will be retained to satisfy the fine amount.

For questions involving camera-enforcement citations or the administrative appeals process, please call Officer Carol Johnson at 937-333-1142 or Officer Dyan Thomas at 937-333-1104. 

Employment issues, especially in public employment cases, are involved and require experienced attorneys.

Attorneys Terry W. Posey and Robert L. Caspar, Jr. have litigated literally hundreds of Civil Service/public employment cases.  Continued public employment for any employee is so serious that to enter a hearing of possible long-term consequences without an attorney is foolish.  We have seen employees enter a hearing with the belief that he/she would explain the facts and the employer would treat him/her fairly.  Such situations are sad.  Employers often have their own problems/agendas – public criticism, elected officials outside pressure and personal vendettas.  Call us for a free no-obligation meeting.