Residents concerned about becoming speed trap as Windham gets traffic cameras

WINDHAM, Ohio-- It`s a good idea to watch your speed when you drive through the village of Windham in Portage County. The speed limit on the main drag, state Route 303, quickly drops from 55 mph to 35 to 25.

Amid concerns about speeders, the Windham Village Council has authorized a Maryland-based company, Optotraffic, to place speed cameras in the village.

Optotraffic will get one third of all ticket revenue generated by the cameras and the village gets the rest.

But are the cameras needed in a village of 2,200 people?

“I think the police are doing a good enough right now. Sounds like a money grab to me, I mean, it just seems like the council wants to make more money," said Windham resident Mike Dyer.

“I don't think they're needed. You know, we don't even have a grocery store here, so I mean you've got to go out of your way to go through Windham," Kurt Grossman said.

Critics said a plan to move the cameras from place to place in the village could turn Windham into one of those notorious speed traps that everyone grumbles about.

“It's definitely sneaky. They're saying now that they're going to post signs of where they're going to be,” Dyer said. “But if they're going to move them around, yes, that's sneaky.”

Windham Police Chief Eric Breiding declined an on-camera interview. He told us off camera the speed cameras are not designed to trick anyone and their primary purpose is to enforce the 25 mph speed limit in town.

Inside the Village Barber Shop, the speed cameras are a hot topic of discussion. Opponents maintain no one has demonstrated why they are needed and some feel they will change the essence of Windham.

“It's a small town, you know, everybody knows everybody. Everybody knows it's 25 miles an hour. It's just not necessary," said shop owner Inger Devlin.

Breiding said four signs will be posted at various entrances to the village limits, warning drivers about the cameras. After the cameras are installed, there will be a 30-day grace period, during which violators will be given a warning ticket.

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