EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio-- The FOX 8 I-Team has found drivers in a local city keep getting tickets from traffic cameras, yet the town ignores state rules for having the cameras on the streets. However, the state is doing nothing about it, at least not for now.
We found it in East Cleveland. In fact, the I-Team first exposed what was going on way back in February. East Cleveland did not have officers stationed at traffic cameras, and the city wasn’t filing required reports with the state either. Six months later, we’ve found East Cleveland still ignoring state rules, and the state is doing nothing about it.
As of last year, East Cleveland was hauling in $50,000-$60,000 a month from tickets produced by the cameras. We asked East Cleveland Law Director Willa Hemmons, “Why not comply with the rules?” She responded, “The state says one thing; we’re saying another.” Hemmons said the state rules don’t really matter, right now, since the state Supreme Court is considering a big case on traffic cameras. She added, “And it’s only fair that we be allowed to appeal to the highest court in this state to have the final ruling.”
So you get hit with fines for getting caught by red light cameras, but the I-Team wondered what happens to the city for not following state rules for having the cameras? Turns out, not much. The city could just send letters to the state saying it is following the rules, and no one from the state would ever check that out. The state also could hold back tax dollars. But the state is not doing that, at least not until the Supreme Court makes a ruling on traffic cameras.
East Cleveland, an especially poor city, did not file a report with the state for the last quarter. So, no way to tell how much money the cameras are currently bringing into City Hall; although, the traffic camera tickets are civil, and the city says a huge majority of the tickets go unpaid.