Whether or not you drive up and down I-71 regularly, you're probably familiar with Linndale, the postage stamp-sized town that lays claim to five feet or so of the highway and uses the span to levy tickets to stuff the meager coffers, making it widely known as one of the worst speed traps in the state of Ohio.
If you're a west-sider, however, you may not know that Willoughby Hills isn't that far back in its levels of sphincterism and citations.
The News Herald cites a recent Ohio Supreme Court study on mayor's courts and tickets, noting that in 2010, for every 100 Willoughby Hills residents, there were 97.7 traffic cases. That's 9,263 cases in 365 days.
Is a speed trap? Sure, they don't mind being called that down home in Willoughby Hills, where horseplay, dessert before dinner, and speeding are strictly verboten. Willoughby Hills Mayor Robert Weger tells the paper that when folks write stuff like, "If you're driving through Cleveland, stay away from Willoughby Hills, or obey the law," he likes it. (Also, he smiles when reminiscing about that kid's ball that bounced into his yard in 1994 and the fact that he never returned it.)
"We have a very aggressive police department on many fronts — traffic is one, but also our drug enforcement team. We're out there to do police work. We don't have as many (serious crashes) anymore because we're out there."
Willoughby Hills Police Chief Christopher Collins is right there with him.
"We're a proactive patrol department," he said. "We pretty much insist our officers are out looking, are stopping, are asking questions. We're highly visible in the area. People know we're out there. We don't apologize for it.
"The city of Willoughby Hills is responsible for a huge portion of Interstate 90 and I-271. We're responsible for all the accidents. We enforce the truck weights. You talk to anybody who travels the interstates, they know we're out there.
"We do write a lot of tickets, and we do make a lot of arrests for a department of our size. That's what we're getting paid to do. I think the criminal element out there tends to focus on places that aren't active."
The results of the Supreme Court study and local mayor's courts embedded below.
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