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Elyria residents lending their driveways to police to put the brakes on speeding drivers

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Posted at 6:18 PM, Dec 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-13 12:04:27-05

ELYRIA, Ohio — Drivers in Elyria are being warned to watch their speed.

Some residents, who have had enough of speeders, are now teaming up with police to help put the brakes on drivers racing down roads.

“Speeding has gotten unreal, it’s almost like a drag strip,” said Cam Rhodehamel, Elyria resident. She’s lived in the city for 50 years and said there has been a spike in speeding drivers.

“We have enough children who live in the neighborhood that one of these days one of the children are going to get hit,” Rhodehamel said.

Rhodehamel and other residents were so fed up that they took their concerns to Elyria Councilmember Andrew Lipian over the summer.

“The number one complaint I get from neighbors is speeding,” said Lipian.

Lipian was elected to council last year and during a midnight ride along with a police officer an idea to slow speeders in city neighborhoods came to light.

“We were driving around the ward and he said these side streets are hard for us to get a position on. If neighbors volunteered their driveways, we could use those,” said Lipian.

He then got the idea to ask residents to volunteer to allow police to park in their driveways to help put the brakes on speeders.
Residents responded. “I’ve been heartened by the response of neighbors. The overwhelming response I’ve gotten from neighbors is 'please use my driveway,'” said Lipian.

“Just when police see a cop car, they’ll slow down,” said Elyria Police Officer Joanna Catalano.

Police Chief William Pelko took over as chief last year. He said he made traffic enforcement a priority. He said in 2021 officers wrote 2,100 traffic citations. So far this year, nearly 3,000. Last year, the number of traffic fatalities in the city was seven. This year, one.

“Our goal is to get people to comply, go the speed limit and stop at stop signs. We’re not necessarily out there to issue tickets but we can sit in the driveway to get someone to slow down,” said Pelko.

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