Monday, December 28, 2015

Newburgh Heights Issues 300 Speeding Tickets a Week Via Hand-Held Device

Posted By on Mon, Dec 28, 2015 at 12:00 PM

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It's been awhile now since Ohio passed Senate Bill 342, which effectively ended the scourge of traffic cameras throughout the Buckeye state. The battle isn't completely over though, as Cleveland.com notes in this retrospective piece on the bill and its aftermath. Specifically, five cities have current lawsuits and two cities — East Cleveland, home to nonworking websites and inept leadership, and Toledo — are still using theirs.

Otherwise, 16 cities ended their programs after the bill's passage. It allowed for traffic cameras to continue if they were manned by an actual human (or if there were a human in the general vicinity) and the costs associated with that tidbit led those 16 cities to decide the traffic camera hustle and its resulting influx of cash wasn't worth it.

A couple of cities have forged on, however, and they are the sorts of municipalities that stand to lose large slices of operating budget if they can't ding you for going 68 in a 65. Linndale has built a shack — essentially a house with all the comforts of home — so that it can reap the benefits of traffic cameras while some Linndale officer watches TV (we assume). 

And then there's Newburgh Heights, tucked over off I-77. It too has continued issuing tickets but the tiny hamlet is doing so with hand-held devices that don't require officers to pull anyone over to issue a citation. Plenty of folks aren't happy about it but Newburgh Heights doesn't care. Via Cleveland.com:

Newburgh Heights Mayor Trevor Elkins said his village issues about 300 speeding tickets per week from using its one hand-held camera. He said the system is safer than when officers pull over speeding drivers, and he disagreed with critics who might say the camera is a cash grab.

"The people who are speeding are not victims," Elkins said. "They were breaking the law, and they got caught."

300 speeding tickets per week x 52 weeks is 15,600 tickets, and that's just the citations from hand-held devices.

It's also a number 7.35 times larger than Newburgh Heights' population: 2,122 as of the 2013 census.

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