PENINSULA, Ohio (WJW) — The Fox 8 I-Team is now investigating after we heard about another local community planning to send drivers tickets from traffic cameras.
The Summit County village of Peninsula is setting up a camera enforcement program. But, the I-Team has tried to talk to village leaders about it for weeks, and we keep getting referred to a village website.
In fact, on Monday, the I-Team went to village hall and the police department, but we were told no officials were around. And, no one called us back.
Peninsula officials approved an ordinance in September allowing “officer operated traffic law enforcement devices and establishing civil penalties.”
However, the I-Team has also requested any traffic studies done by the village showing issues with speed or crashes. And, we’ve requested any contract the town has with a photo enforcement company that will help show what will happen to every dollar collected in fines.
Some towns in Northeast Ohio have collected millions of dollars in fines from traffic cameras. And many motorists and a state representative tell us they do not believe the cameras help make the streets safer.
“These are cash cows,” State Rep. Tom Patton told the I-Team. “This isn’t about public safety this is about little villages enriching themselves.”
Patton has fought for years to put limits on traffic cameras. Patton told us he is once again teaming up with other lawmakers to try again.
“I’m a huge supporter of law enforcement,” Patton said. “You want law enforcement to still be able to use cameras but not for speeding and stop signs and things like that.”
The village of Peninsula, which has a population of about 600, also started a webpage, which answers some questions and has a link for people to click if they want to pay a ticket.
The speed camera enforcement has not yet started but officials say it will begin sometime this year. On the webpage, officials also stated an officer will use a “manually operated handheld photo enforcement system that is not automated, ensuring an officer is always present when a citation is issued.”
The ordinance village officials passed states “the Village wishes to utilize the recently developed technology of officer -operated traffic law enforcement devices for purposed of efficiency, effectiveness, safety of the officers and safety of the public.”
We were told to continue to direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. But, we were not told if that email is answered by village employees or employees of the camera company.