Franklin Township to start using speed cameras

Local News

They’re used to catch speeders.

They’re controversial.

And soon the Franklin Township Police Department will use them.

NBC 4 Investigator Tom Sussi learned that the department will soon be armed with two, hand-held, laser speed cameras. Sussi spoke with Chief Byron Smith.

“The Village of Brice has long been criticized as a speed trap, and using those cameras to generate revenues,” Sussi said to Chief Smith. “Some people are wondering if that’s going to happen here. What do you say to them?”

Said Chief Smith, “I would say no. I would say it’s a tool. If you use it for a righteous purpose, then it’s going to be a good tool. If you don’t, then it won’t. It’s that simple.”

The Franklin Township Police Department has 11 full-time and two-part time officers to cover nearly nine square miles. “We’re probably one of the most active police departments in Franklin County,” said Chief Smith. “We have two major complaints. Speed and drugs.”

With the speed cameras, Chief Smith said officers will no longer have to pull over motorists and issue them a ticket. All they’re have to do point the laser gun at the speeder’s license plate and pull the trigger. The camera captures the license plate and speed. A third-party administrator mails out the citations.

“And this way we can address both complaints with the amount of people we have,” explained Chief Smith.

Chief Smith said the citations will carry a flat $100 fine. He said motorists will be able to appeal the citations and they won’t be reported to insurance companies.

According to Chief Smith, 37 percent of the revenues collected from the cameras will go to the third-party administrator, which provides the equipment, mails out the citations and handles the billing. Chief Smith said surplus revenues will be reinvested into the community in the form of public safety and infrastructure improvements.

The township is expected to roll out the speed cameras later this month.

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