CLEVELAND - Amy Tucker of Wadsworth and two other family members received an unwanted surprise in the mail a couple of weeks ago: more than $1,300 in Cleveland speeding tickets.
The tickets were issued by one of Cleveland's automated enforcement traffic cameras, located at East 71st Street and Chester Avenue.
Tucker told NewsChannel5 the violations took place during the last three weeks of July, while she and her sister were transporting and visiting their father, who was receiving critical treatment at the Cleveland Clinic.
Tucker fully admits she was at fault by speeding, but the numerous tickets have her asking the city to make some improvements, especially for the thousands of out-of-town families who visit the Cleveland Clinic every year.
Tucker said she believes violators need to be notified more quickly that they've been caught, and roadside signs warning drivers about speed zone need to be more visible.
"Time after time, night after night, I drove to visit my father, had I received these tickets in a more timely fashion, I would have changed my behavior," said Tucker.
Tucker claims it took three weeks for the tickets to arrive at her Wadsworth home and said the speed zone warning signs along Chester Avenue need to have better lighting at night.
"If they could just give us an automated violation phone call that we were caught that would make a difference," Tucker said
Tucker's sister, Linda Minorik, who also received speeding tickets in the mail, agrees the signs are not prominent in the evening.
"We we're very tired at times, because we would go after work, and come home sometimes at midnight,' said Minorik. "To get handed all these tickets, I never saw the signs at all."
NewsChannel5 took Tucker's request to Cleveland's Traffic Engineering Department, which defended the quality of speed zone signs, with the following statement:
"Signage exists at all major routes to alert motorist as they enter the city- the sign reads Traffic Laws Photo Enforced."
"At the photo enforcement intersections there are signs posted roughly 50 – 100 feet prior to the intersection with a picture of a Traffic Signal and below Automated Traffic Enforcement Intersection."
"The enforcement cameras flash a huge light to alert motorist of the infraction, and the locations of the cameras are made public through press releases and our website so that motorists are aware of where this type of enforcement exists." "Additionally, Legislation is required for these cameras, and that entire process is public."
The responsibility for sending the tickets to motorists in a timely manner rests with the Clerk of Courts office.
Motorist are allowed to appeal the violations in court, if they believe the traffic camera has incorrectly captured their vehicle in the photo ticket.
"We were wrong going over the speed limit, but I want to warn drivers the cameras are out there, and you won't know you were caught for weeks," said Tucker. "There must be a better way to handle this system."