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Newburgh Heights catches speeders with mobile cameras

4:56 PM, Sep 13, 2013   |    comments
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NEWBURGH HEIGHTS -- A big crackdown on speeders in Newburgh Heights is generating attention.       

The village is using state-of-the-art, mobile speed cameras to get tough on drivers who ignore speed limits.

Is it about safety or generating money? 

WKYC spent the day talking to some local folks and the mayor for the answer -- and we got some interesting reaction from residents.

Speed cameras are nothing new in cities across the country, but these are. 

Starting this week, the village of Newburgh Heights parked two mobile speed cameras at East 52nd Street and Harvard Avenue, operating 24-7, to catch speeders ignoring the 25 mph speed limit.

The idea comes from a Maryland vendor that provides all the speed camera hardware in exchange for 40 percent of revenue generated by the $100 fine -- a civil penalty. 

The village began spreading the word in July about the new program, an information and education blitz to help avoid any surprises. 

Mayor Trevor Elkins says the issue is saving money, not making it. 

He says the priority is being smarter and using resources to better protect the village of 2,200. Over in Linndale, it all about the money.

The village has already posted signs, getting ready to roll out mobile speed cameras of their own.

Linndale is known for its infamous speed trap along a tiny stretch of I-71. But the money generator ran dry when its mayor's court was shut down. 

In 2011, the village collected 80 percent of its $1 million budget through tickets, most of those from highway speeders.  

Now, the money is split with Parma Municipal Court, which is handling all of its speeding cases.  

The mobile camera program will bring some of that cash back. 

But Mayor Elkins in Newburgh Heights says the speed cameras should never become a cash cow for any community.


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