Mike Gross recently got a ticket from a speed camera in Peninsula. He believes he wasn’t speeding.
“When my son handed me the ticket, I opened it up and basically I was just bug-eyed at it because I wasn’t speeding,” Gross said.
He said he is considering challenging the ticket, but the Stow Municipal Court requires that drivers who want to appeal the ticket pay $100.
Most local courts such as Parma, Garfield Heights and Norwalk do not charge drivers upfront to appeal the ticket.
According to the Lyndhurst Municipal Court website, those who want to challenge a speed camera ticket there are required to pay $15 when they file the appeal.
“A hundred dollars is a lot,” said Linda Barton. She also recently got a ticket from Peninsula. She says an app she has on her cell phone shows she was not speeding.
“It doesn’t show any speeding and the ticket says I was going 47 in a 35,” Barton said. “I want to fight it but if I do and I lose, now the $150 fine becomes $250, so I’m not real happy about that”
Bev Bartko says she recently received three speed camera tickets. She says she doesn’t believe she was speeding.
“I think it’s a speed trap,” Bartko said. “It’s a way for them to make money in their small little town.”
We found a soaring number of people passing through Peninsula getting speed camera tickets and a $150 fine. In less than six months, Peninsula has sent out more than 8,900 camera tickets.
Add up the fines collected and the village has hauled in around a half-million dollars.
We have requested interviews with the mayor and police chief, but we were told no on-camera interviews would be granted.
Leaders in other communities say speed cameras make the road safer. The mayor of Newburgh Heights has admitted to us that the village also relies on speed cameras to make money.
“My opinion on it is I think it is a cash grab either way,” Gross said.
“I went there to try to talk to them and they wouldn’t even give me the time of day. They wouldn’t let me through the door,” Bartko said. “Then I have to pay $100 just to try and give my side to the court? I don’t think it is right.”