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Norton Barber Road flooding triggers traffic ticket battle

Posted at 11:52 PM, Mar 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-17 10:37:00-04

A few dozen drivers, and some Norton business owners, aren't pleased with the way "road closed" signs are posted on Barber Road, following chronic flooding that has hit that area for years.

More than 20 drivers were issued $145 tickets on March 2, after flood water filled part of the road in Norton and Barberton.

The drivers were given the citations after they were caught driving around a posted "road closed" sign.

Some motorist told News 5 they believe the sign was kept up far too long, and well after flood water on Barber road in Norton had receded.

Business owners along Barber Road told News 5 a similar story, claiming the road has remained closed too long after Barber Road flooding incidents for years, a problems they claim has hurt their businesses.  

Justin Purdy, one of the drivers given a ticket, admits he ignored the sign and broke the law, but believes he and other drivers were the victims of a ticket trap.

"It really made me angry that they would set up something like this," said Purdy.

"I don't think they needed the signs where they were, there was no water on the road for over a half mile or anywhere in the city of Norton."

Purdy showed News 5 his ticket, which indicated road conditions were dry at the time he was pulled over.

Norton City Administrator Robert Fowler backed-up the action of officers who issued the tickets, and told News 5 the "road closed" sign was kept up as a safety precaution, due to water that was still hampering a section Barber Road in Barberton, less than a mile away.

Still, the incident has Fowler now looking at other ways to more effectively close the road, and examine the protocol used by the his city on Barber Road.

"I have all the faith in the world our officers were trying to do the right thing," said Fowler.

"We're looking at maybe some additional signage, and, or changing way we close the road at this time."

Meanwhile, some of the ticketed drivers have hired attorneys, and are planning on fighting the tickets in court.