Patton Wants to Shut Down Linndale's Speed Trap

New legislation would take mayor's court out of tiny village


State Sen. Tom Patton, R-Strongsville, has been trying for several years to get Linndale police off I-71.

The village is known for patroling a short stretch of the interstate in an aggressive enforcement effort many call a speed trap.

A new measure might do the trick, Patton says. His initiative would increase the minimum population a community must have to operate a mayor's court.

“This bill doesn’t eliminate mayor’s courts -- it weeds out the ones who abuse their power for financial gain," Patton said.

Patton said Linndale gets more than 80 percent of its annual operating budget from citations.

The village has only 179 residents and spans five city blocks, but its Mayor's Court processed nearly 5,000 cases in 2010.

It's not Patton's first attempt to get Linndale police off the 400-yard stretch of I-71 that runs through the community.

He has looked into outlawing the use of radar guns there and last year proposed legislation that would eliminate mayor's courts in communities with fewer than 150 people.

That measure was scrapped when the 2010 U.S. Census showed there are now 179 people living in Linndale.

The latest initiative, which passed the Ohio Senate 26-6 as an amendment to House Bill 606, would allow mayor's courts only in communities with more than 200 residents.

The bill now goes back to the House of Representatives for a concurrence vote.


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