‘It's Almost Like a Trap:' Attorney Says Ohio Speed Tickets Were Mistake

GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – People who drive through Girard have been upset to learn that some speeding tickets issued a few months ago shouldn’t have been sent. Police were issuing tickets for a 55 mile per hour zone, but the posted speed was 65. Now ticketed drivers want their money back.

On Wednesday, Girard Police Chief John Norman said the department was never told the speed limit had changed.

The Ohio Department of Transportation confirmed that, but said it doesn’t have to inform police departments about construction zones like Interstate 80.

“I would like to have my money back. That’s it,” Jay Walton said.

He’s one of many drivers wrongfully ticketed in Girard three months ago. The ticket says he was going 65 in a 55 mph zone on December 26. WKBN learned the speed limit was actually 65.

“I wasn’t happy at all,” Walton said.

He found out his ticket was wrong after watching WKBN’s story on Tuesday. Now he and several others that reached out to First News want answers.

Traffic Attorney James Denney said the city should refund the money for that period of time.

“When the speed limit was incorrectly marked, that’s a mistake. They need to own up to it, they need to send the money back to anybody who paid a ticket for that period.”

Denney had some suggestions for ticketed drivers. If you got a ticket in Girard on I-80 between December 7 and January 7 and you haven’t paid it, appeal it. If you have paid it, write a letter to the police department, objecting to the ticket and asking for a refund.

Then if you don’t hear back, Denney said there’s a last resort.

“They might even think about suing Girard in small claims court.”

While Denney said the wrongful tickets aren’t illegal, he did say they make a strong case in court.

“When it’s easy to collect money, it’s just not right. It’s almost like a trap.”

Girard’s law director said once they confirm the facts themselves, the city will consider refunding the people who have already paid their tickets.

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