Drivers question where officers sit for speed cameras

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It’s an issue drivers have been complaining to us about for quite a while. It looks like a normal drive on I-475 in Toledo but there's something more.

As you pass you can see a Toledo police officer with a hand-held speed camera issuing tickets to unsuspecting drivers. It happened again on Thursday.

It's raised questions for lots of people. Are these cameras about safety or money?

13abc is hearing from the police department about why the officers set up like this. Lots of drivers think it's unfair. Police say their setup is about safety.

If you were headed east on I-475 Thursday morning, approaching the Talmadge overpass, you might have missed it. Turns out it was a Toledo police officer with one of those hand held speed cameras.

What drivers have complained about is that you can't see the officer until you're right on top of his or her car. That's because this officer is tucked behind the sound barrier.

So is this legal?

We asked Toledo police about this and we are told the officers are following the Ohio Revised Code. The code says the officer needs to be in a marked vehicle and needs to be in uniform. That is what’s happening.

The head of the Toledo police traffic division, Lieutenant Jeff Sulewski, tells 13abc: "The officers remain as visible as possible with the safety of the officer coming first."

Meaning you may never see the officer until it's too late but they'll see you and you might be getting a ticket in the mail. That leads some to believe this camera program is all about money and not safety because the driver is never pulled over to be told they're speeding. Instead they get a ticket a few weeks later.

There's one major solution to all this. If you're not speeding then you won't need to worry about where any officer is located.

You can soon expect to see these handheld cameras in Perrysburg Township and Rossford.