AVON, Ohio-- The need for speed is a constant along Interstate 90 in the city of Avon, so are radar guns and hand-held lasers.
“Yes, they're out there very frequently,” said Coriana Brown, who traveled the five-mile stretch of I-90 West between Westlake and Sheffield nearly every day on her way to work.
“Sometimes they're hidden at night,” she said of the area, considered by many to be a popular west side speed trap.
“Most of the time I feel like they're just out to give someone a ticket so they can meet their quotes,” she said.
“Our goal is to reduce the number of crashes, not necessarily to issue citations,” said Richard Bosley, Avon’s Chief of Police. Bosley denied his department was running a speed trap, although he did admit to having officers routinely assigned to the area.
“We tend to focus our traffic enforcement in areas of the city where we have crashes," he told I-Team reporter Lorrie Taylor.
The chief said 40% of all accidents within city limits occur on I-90 around the on and off ramps; he insisted the presence of officers cuts down on aggressive driving and slows traffic to safer speeds.
“The higher the speed the more possibility of the accidents being more severe,” said Bosley.
Although police records showed I-90 was Avon's leading crash scene, five other locations routinely top the list and attract enhanced scrutiny from police; they include Detroit Road, Center Road, Colorado Avenue, Chester and Nagel Roads.
“We do issue citations when we believe it`s warranted but that`s not always the purpose of our stops,” Chief Bosley said.
He insisted no one was hiding from the public, even if they did seem invisible to some. He pointed to the fact his officers can typically be seen in the median of I-90 where their SUVs can be spotted from either side of the freeway.
“How common is it for people to come racing down this roadway and not even see you?” Taylor asked one of Avon’s patrolmen.
“Oh, it's not uncommon at all, because they're not paying attention and you know all of a sudden they look up and there I am,” he said.
ODOT's latest Traffic Survey Report shows more than 75-thousand automobiles travel Avon`s section of I-90 on an average day; the chief said slowing them down increases the odds they'll survive the trip.
“I think those are things that we need to focus on and I hope that through stories such as this we can get that message out,” said the chief.