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HAMILTON, Ohio - Police in Hamilton credit a unique traffic enforcement tool for a recent drop in issued speeding tickets.
Since 2010 citations have decreased as much as 50 percent in some areas. The reason? Officers like Sgt. Ed Burns believe a special "traffic van" placed in high-traffic areas has deterred motorists from putting the pedal to the metal.
Hamilton police say the van helps them issue tickets based on video-captured images. It is calibrated before every use, said Sgt. Burns, traffic supervisor for the Hamilton Police Department.
The system is currently used in 13 different locations around Hamilton. Those locations are varied and include parks, schools and other high-speed accident areas.
One area that continues to be a problem in Hamilton is near Bypass 4, where motorists have been clocked traveling up to 40 mph over the speed limit. Sgt. Burns said he hopes continued use of the van will eventually improve that number.
Some critics, though, don't believe the system should be used long enough to affect those figures. They contend the van is little more than a speed trap and liken it to the controversial Elmwood Place automated speed cameras that have been the subject of multiple court battles.
Sgt. Buns said that's not the case. He says the van works as nothing more than a deterrent to motorists.
He also said the city is trying to be transparent about where and how the camera system is used.
"We do things every Monday. The location of our speed cameras is put out on the City website, on Facebook, paper, news media. We want people to know where it's at. We want people to slow down," Sgt. Burns said.
Burns did not indicate how much revenue has been collected as a result of the ticketing system.
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