Ohio Town Refunds 980 Speed Camera Tickets For Only Driving 10mph Over The Limit (Versus 11mph)

from the go-speed-racer dept

A story suggest to us by reader Dan describes how an Ohio town recently issued 980 speeding ticket refunds. The city of Garfield Heights, Ohio, installed two speed cameras, attached to unmanned police cars, and then sent speeding tickets to those that were deemed to be speeding. The policy was to only issue tickets to those driving more than 11 miles per hour over the speed limit, so, when it was found that a number of tickets were issued to those driving 10 miles per hour over the limit, almost $100,000 in ticket revenue was refunded. Apparently, city officials had told the public that the tickets would be issued if people were caught driving 11 miles over the limit. So, if that's the case, then is the speed limit actually the speed limit or not? Once again, this goes to show how completely arbitrary speed limit enforcement can be. Is there really a difference in safety in going 10 mph over the speed limit vs. 11? And, if anything, it seems that widely circulating this policy would simply encourage people to drive 9 miles over the limit.

Clearly, it's a great money maker for the city. Since the month of June, when the cameras were installed, they sent out nearly 11,000 tickets, representing about $1,000,000 in added revenue. Sure, it's possible that the city may need to cover a shortfall in a budget, but is the false guise of public safety the appropriate manner in which to obtain this revenue? At least this method is a little more scientific than other Ohio towns, where a policeman can issue a ticket by simply guessing how fast you were going.

Filed Under: fines, speed cameras, speeding, tickets


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Oct 2010 @ 6:47pm

    two issues:
    First, if there was any kind of referendum or public vote, tax increase, etc where these camera's were authorized, and if part of it was that tickets would only be issued to those over 10 mph, then big problem for the town.

    The is usually a large increase in price of a ticket under ten and over ten. The cost to the city for prosecuting and collecting on those lower priced tickets becomes a question of economics.

    Because of the above, and the accuracy of the radars/lasers used by police, there would be a lot more fights at the lower priced tickets, making it not worth the cities resources.

    Last, all traffic stops are pretext stops. When an officer pulls a car over for any infraction, he is also/actually looking for drunk drivers, drugs, warrants, weapons, etc. When cameras are used instead, the police lose this advantage. Once again, back to cost to the city vs. income produced.

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