Focusing on Safety

IT IS safe to say the Hanover Street and Ohio 7 intersection in Martins Ferry is one of the most dangerous in Eastern Ohio, if not the entire state.

Accidents, sometimes fatal in nature, occur all too often at the heavily traveled intersection. Martins Ferry police have beefed up patrols in that area, but there is only so much they can do to deter accidents.

Martins Ferry City Council is expected Wednesday night to take a major step in making Hanover Street/Ohio 7 traffic a much safer venture. Council is expected to approve the installation of traffic cameras at the aforementioned intersection.

The speed-recording cameras, upon council’s blessing, will be obtained through Redflex Traffic Systems in Phoenix, Ariz. The plan gained traction in Martins Ferry when Councilman Bruce Shrodes broached the idea after hearing of similar traffic camera systems in Columbus, Cleveland and other cities.

The cameras are capable of detecting vehicles in violation of the speed limit and will automatically make note of them. The cameras operate 24 hours day and when a motorist runs a red light, the cameras record it, obtaining the license plate number and subsequently sending the report to the Ferry police, then to Redflex. The company will then issue a civil citation to the offender.

One of the nicest features of the plan is that the cameras will incur no cost to the city, since Redflex will receive a percentage of the traffic fines.

Another big plus is the cameras also have the ability to extend a yellow light’s timing for up to seven seconds if the camera detects than an oncoming vehicle is traveling too quickly to decelerate. That is a great safety-ensuring mechanism.

Lastly, Police Chief John McFarland notes the cameras will facilitate investigations by showing who was at fault in an accident. He added that they may also act as a deterrent factor.

We commend Martins Ferry officials for being proactive in the regard to safety on their roadways. The camera proposal is one we embrace, and hopefully one that city council gives the green light to Wednesday.