LIBERTY TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – Police in Liberty Township started using speed cameras last week after seeing how successful they have been for the police department in Youngstown.
Since Youngstown Police first started using the equipment, 12,019 speeding tickets have been issued from the cameras. From September to December of 2015, 5,819 of the over 12,000 tickets were issued. The remaining 6,200 tickets were all issued in 2016.
Lieutenant Bill Ross from YPD says that about 64 to 65 percent have paid their fines.
Since last September when revenues started coming in, $469,279 has been collected in speed camera fines. Of that, $267,337 has been collected since January of 2016:
- September 2015: $25,658
- October 2015: $72,680
- November 2015: $64,441
- December 2015: $39,163
- January 2016: $46,239
- February 2016: $43,837
- March 2016: $59,238
- April 2016: $51,495
- May 2016 (last check received): $66,528
While the extra money has allowed the department to purchase new vehicles and computer equipment, police say the key has been slowing down motorists, especially along winding sections of Interstate 680.
“It looks like it was successful for Youngstown, and we thought we would try it out here,” said Liberty Township Police Chief Rich Tisone.
For now, Tisone says his department is focusing on busy state routes including 193, 304 and 11.
“This is a way for us to slow cars down, to do it in a safe manner and also to generate some revenue for much needed equipment,” he said.
Tisone is waiting for the Ohio General Assembly to pass a bill allowing smaller townships to conduct speed enforcement on interstates like 80, which runs through Liberty, hoping to eventually generate the sort of revenues being seen in Youngstown.
In the meantime, YPD warns that the 35 percent of drivers who don’t pay their fines will have the bills turned over to a collection agency.
“If you are worried about a payment, I encourage you to contact us, set up a hearing date, come to court, speak to the hearing officer. He will try to make any arrangement that he can, work with you to try to get the fine paid off,” Ross said.
Ross says they can set up payment plans for those on limited incomes.