WALTON HILLS — The village has revised its ordinance dealing with fines levied against motorists caught speeding by the village’s one permanently fixed traffic camera and one mobile camera.
Whereas the initial ordinance called for two levels of fines which were dependent on how many miles over the speed limits the driver was traveling, a revised ordinance passed May 8 calls for three levels of fines.
The initial ordinance established a fine of $100 for drivers caught by the speed cameras going from 15 to 19 miles per hour over the 35 mph limit and $200 for those going 20 miles or more over the limit.
The new ordinance establishes a fine of $100 for those going from 12 to 15 mph over the 35 mph limit, $150 for those going 16 to 19 over and $200 for those going 20 or more miles over.
Mayor Kevin Hurst said speed statistics recorded by the cameras after they initially were installed showed that speeds driven by motorists were not coming down, and there were a lot of drivers exceeding the speed limit by under 15 mph.
"The 15 mph and over limit was recommended by our police chief, but after the first 60 days of the speed cameras being in operation we had a consultant evaluate the speed statistics and he recommended we drop the limit to 12 mph and over," Hurst explained.
"We will continue to monitor the speeds, and may drop the figure to under 12 mph."
The mayor reiterated that the reason for the speed camera program is not to create a cash cow for the village, but to get motorists to slow down, particularly in residential zones.
The village’s stationary speed camera is in operation on Alexander Road at Nodding HIll Drive on the west side of the village. A mobile camera inside a village vehicle is moved around on various roads.
Fiscal Officer Katie Iaconis said as of June 19, 1,700 tickets had been issued to motorists caught exceeding the speed limit by the cameras. She said the village had collected about $13,000 in fines over the last three months, with many of the tickets still outstanding.
Hurst said although the total amount of money that could be collected from those 1,700 tickets could exceed $100,000, the village would not receive that much in fines.
The company that provided the speed cameras and is distributing the tickets gets either $30 or $33 per ticket depending on the type of camera used to catch the offenders, while the village receives the remainder of each fine amount.
The village has plans to install four more permanent cameras on Dunham, Egbert, Sagamore and Walton roads.
Under an Ohio Supreme Court decision last year, Hurst said tickets are a "civil matter" handled through an administrative process, and motorists are not assessed points on their driver’s licenses.
Drivers who choose to dispute their tickets can request an administration appeals hearing before a referee, but as of June 19 Hurst said only 12 drivers had contested their tickets. He did not know if any of the violations were overturned on appeal.
Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400 Ext. 4189 or email@example.com