The village of Peninsula, Ohio is nestled in the middle of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Peninsula’s location makes the village a popular stop for the thousands of park visitors each year. However, its location has also allowed Peninsula’s police department to profit off those visitors.

Since the late last spring, Peninsula police officers have used handheld speed cameras to issue thousands of speeding tickets, producing hundreds of thousands of dollars in income for the tiny village. Worse yet, drivers who chose to contest their ticket were forced to pay $100 fee to the Stow Municipal Court. That fee represented was unconstitutional because it violated American’s right to due process, which requires the government provide a meaningful hearing before taking an individual’s property. 

Courts have ruled that this level of revenue creation is unconstitutional because it creates a clear financial incentive to police in the name of profit, not public safety. Specifically, courts have ruled that if a city generates more than 10% of its revenue from fines or fees, it raises serious constitutional concerns.

Peninsula’s system isn’t just an unconstitutional money-making scheme meant to enrich the village; it violates multiple liberties enshrined in both the Ohio and U.S. Constitutions. That’s why the Institute for Justice (IJ) sent a letter to officials in Peninsula calling on them to change their traffic camera enforcement system.





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