CPS Board Members Want Traffic Cameras In School Zones

Mar 2, 2020

Updated Tuesday, 12:36 p.m.

Cincinnati Public Schools wants harsher penalties for people speeding in school zones.

The school board passed a resolution during Monday night's board meeting that would allow the city to install cameras in school zones. But city voters are the ones with the last word on if this could be implemented.

Cincinnati Police Department currently uses handheld photo cameras to catch people speeding. If City Council agrees with the school board and wants to install cameras that photograph without police help, it would have to pass a charter amendment ordinance to place the measure on a ballot for voters to decide.

School board member Melanie Bates proposed the resolution. She says she spoke with City Manager Patrick Duhaney and learned about the lack of resources needed to monitor and enforce traffic violations in school zones.

"Cameras would be just another weapon in the arsenal," Bates says.

But CPD is not on board with installing fixed cameras because it believes drivers would opt for a nearby road they believe isn't being patrolled. 

In September, board members voted to join safety advocates and public officials in Vision Zero, a city-wide effort to end traffic related deaths and injuries.

The vote came at the same time Hyde Park Elementary parents raised safety concerns to board members.

"I think we have issues with student safety in a number of different schools," board member Ben Lindy says. He sees the resolution as a way to help multiple schools across the district including Hyde Park Elementary, Woodward, Dater and Western high schools. 

Some people believe fixed cameras are a tool to generate revenue for city projects. At the meeting, Bates pitched the resolution as a way to help fund safety initiatives throughout the city.