How a Vape Store in Ohio Is Trying to Neutralize a Notorious Speed Trap

Planet of the Vapes is saving countless drivers from unfair speeding tickets.

byNico DeMattia|
Photo | Cleveland Magazine
Photo | Cleveland Magazine.


Sometimes heroes come from most unexpected places. The Planet of the Vapes smoke shop has been using its advertising powers for good by using a billboard to warn drivers of a famously tricky speed camera that's been catching and ticketing countless unsuspecting drivers unaware of an abrupt speed limit change.

On West 117th Street in the tiny town of Linndale, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland, there's an overpass near the intersection of Bellaire road. There, the speed limit drops from 35 mph to 25 mph without much warning and there's a speed camera strategically placed to catch people who fail to slow down. Despite the town of Linndale being less than a square mile and having a population of under 400 people, 17,300 speeding tickets were issued in 2022 from that one camera alone.

To help people avoid getting busted by the camera, the vape shop put up a billboard on the overpass that reads: "This is a strict 25 MPH Zone: a reminder courtesy of Planet of the Vapes." It also has a giant image of a speed camera, to warn drivers of what's ahead.

According to Cleveland Magazine, Kari Pearson, regional director of sales and marketing for Planet of the Vapes, said the billboard does two things: it advertises for the business and helps provide a service. Pearson also said that customers have thanked the shop for its billboard, as it saved them from getting ticketed.

However, the town of Linndale reportedly isn't happy about the billboard. According to Pearson, someone from the town called and asked Planet of the Vapes to take the billboard down. That isn't going to happen anytime soon, though. "We’re not going to allow somebody to bully us into taking that down, just because a city isn’t profiting anymore off the camera there,” said Pearson.

Planet of the Vapes isn't the hero we deserve, but the hero we need right now.

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