Portable traffic cameras catch on in Ohio

Nov. 19, 2015: WKYC's Will Ujek explains how police officers are using a new method to catch and ticket speeding drivers. Be sure to follow @WillUjek on Twitter for loads more daily news updates.

Portable traffic cameras are catching on in Ohio.

Newburgh Heights in northeast Ohio is using portable speeding devices manned by officers to catch speeders. Youngstown and Toledo are using similar devices to catch people going too fast outside of northeast Ohio.

These devices are very close to traditional speeding cameras. The owner of a vehicle gets a ticket in the mail, if the car is caught going too fast -- whether the owner was driving or not. The difference is that an officer is manning the device.

RELATED: Speed cameras target Cleveland suburbs

"This is civil violation," Newburgh Heights Police Chief John Majoy said. "It does not carry any points on your license."

Ian Friedman, a law professor and legal expert tells WKYC Channel 3's Hilary Golston the practice is legal, despite how some may feel about it. Friedman says officers feel the cameras make them safer, because the devices can reduce the number of traffic stop interactions.

Opponents worry that speeders in any case will not be stopped by police, endangering the public as they continue to speed. They also think it's unfair for owners of vehicles to receive tickets, when they may not have been driving.

The laser gun catches your speed. A camera catches a picture of your license plate.

We checked around to see which municipalities have employed the devices or plan to.

Cleveland spokesman Daniel Ball says the city has no plans to deploy the portable speed cameras.

East Cleveland's Mayor Gary Norton tells Channel 3 the city still has stationary speed cameras and plans on deploying license plate readers, but will not use the new portable technology.

Linndale puts an officer at a stationary speed device. We're still waiting to hear back from Maple Heights and Garfield Heights.


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