I-TEAM investigates why so many speed camera tickets are going to the wrong drivers

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LINNDALE, Ohio (WJW) -- The I-TEAM has found more and more speed camera traffic tickets sent to the wrong drivers from Linndale, the NE Ohio town most notorious for speed cameras.

Now we’re investigating why it’s happening and what’s being done about it.

We met Michael Hamm going to the Linndale town hall to challenge his ticket. A picture on the ticket showed a car that was not his, and the license plate listed was off, too.

While there, we also met two more drivers hit with tickets for the wrong cars.

This comes after we’ve exposed the problem before, time and again.

We found there’s no telling how many mistakes get made with speed camera tickets in Linndale or any town. No government agency keeps track, and no law requires the communities to keep track.

Our findings caught the attention of State Representative Tom Patton. He has repeatedly proposed laws that would restrict speed cameras. He told the I-TEAM he hadn’t considered they might not be accurate.

Now, Rep. Patton is looking into proposing a law that would require camera companies or police agencies to report to the state the number of camera tickets that are wrong.

Drivers in Linndale get hit with fines of $125. They said expect better.

Michael Hamm quickly got his ticket dismissed since it was wrong.

"Be 100% sure before you have people come here and be wrongfully accused," said Hamm.

And Melvin Huff said his ticket was thrown out too.

“I think it’s all about the money," said Huff.

In fact, the I-TEAM has reported that Linndale collects about a million bucks a year in fines from speed camera tickets.

We went to Linndale police and they’ve said before they review every ticket before it gets sent out, yet we keep finding more cases with errors.

The police chief told us before, he won’t do any more interviews with the I-TEAM, and for this story he also said no.

We also went to the hearing officer listening to appeals. He also would not discuss how many mistakes are made with the tickets.

By phone, the police chief pointed out that drivers can always appeal any ticket, and he claimed Linndale only has one mistake for about every 1,000 tickets.

But we wondered, why then, did we find three in a roomful of people appealing just on one morning?

Michael Hamm kept coming back to the same question, “Why was I sent this ticket?”

As we've reported, Linndale’s contract with the company running the cameras calls for monthly reports from the company. Those could shed more light on the number of errors. But Linndale has told us in the past, it has never requested those reports.

The I-TEAM also reached out to the camera company, and we did not receive any call back.

Click here for continuing coverage. 

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