Northeast Ohio drivers sound-off about new traffic observation booths

Linndale sets-up police observation booth

LINNDALE VILLAGE, Ohio - Northeast Ohio drivers are not happy with the latest version of what they call the Linndale Village speed trap.

Last month, the village set up a six-by-one-foot observation booth where officers can sit out of the elements and monitor the village speed camera, thus fulfilling the relatively new Ohio law put into action last March.

Linndale Law Director Jeff Hastings made it clear the booth is well within the law, but some motorist and state lawmakers believe it's an effort to play a loop-hole.

Since Dec. 2013 Linndale's Memphis Avenue traffic camera has earned the village of 178 residents more than 1.8 million dollars.

Republican State Senator Tom Patton of District 24 believes having an officer in a booth or sitting in car, not necessarily paying attention to traffic, is not the what the law had intended.

"Are they going to be sleeping inside of there? Are they going to be playing poker?" Patton. "I mean they're present, they're on the site of the camera, but that was never the legislative intent."

Patton told he's now working on making the Ohio law more specific, as to what requirements an officer must meet when monitoring a traffic camera.

But Hastings said motorist would have no issue if they simply didn't speed.  Hastings told the camera is set to issue tickets to drivers who are at least 12 MPH over the post 25 MPH limit.

According to Linndale court records less than 15% of ticketed drivers show up to court to fight the $125 violation.

Hastings admitted from time to time the court hearing officer has been know to issue drivers a reduced fine if they have a sound explanation.


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