CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS, Ohio - Heads up, drivers. The Fox 8 I-Team has found another local police department sending out tickets by using what drivers hate so much—portable speed cameras.
We’ve found Cuyahoga Heights Police have been quietly using the hand-held devices. Last year, the I-Team exposed the Newburgh Heights Police doing the same thing in the next town.
The portable speed cameras clock how fast you’re going. They snap a picture of your license plate. Then you get a $100 ticket in the mail.
Police in both towns say they use the cameras for safety to slow down traffic. Cuyahoga Heights Police Chief Brian Sturgill says his officers have used the speed cameras on I-77 and on side streets.
Still, we had to press on the argument about safety. Drivers don’t buy that at all.
Chief Sturgill says, “It's only about safety. If we wanted to do it only about money, we would sit only on the freeway all day long with it. But we'd rather spread it throughout the village. Problem areas." Sturgill adds that a large percentage of the camera tickets have gone to people speeding through a construction zone.
The chief says in the last year, the speed cameras have generated 2039 tickets. Meantime, Cuyahoga Heights Police officers also have made 2168 traditional traffic stops. Although more than half of those drivers received warnings.
Still, Cuyahoga Heights does not issue nearly as many speed camera tickets as Newburgh Heights. The mayor there tells FOX 8, his town sends out about 300 speed camera tickets a week. Cuyahoga Heights says it has issued 309 speed camera tickets since the first of this year.
Turns out, Cuyahoga Heights started using the hand-held speed cameras before Newburgh Heights.
Many drivers wonder how police can use these cameras when the state has put restrictions on speed cameras on poles. We called multiple state agencies to get clarification, and we kept getting referred to call someone else.