# Top 10 Worst Cities for Speed Traps

## Have you been ticketed in any of these ten worst speed trap cities?

• ### More than 4 of them.

• Total voters
8
• Poll closed .
http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/autos_content_landing_pages/1728/americas-worst-speed-traps/".

Has anyone lived in these ten cities? I've spent 16 years, total, in 3 different ones!

LA, CA
Chicago, IL
Dallas, TX
Orlando, FL
Denver, CO
Jacksonville, FL
Las Vegas, NV
Austin, TX
Houson, TX

Interestingly, I've driven in 8 of them, but have received only a single ticket in just one of them.

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S_Happens
Gold Member
I live in the Houston metro area. I have received a few tickets (it's been something like 7-8 years since getting one), but gotten many warnings. I have recieved a ticket on the way from Houston to Dallas, and been riding with people who recieved a ticket or warning just south of Dallas, coming from Houston.

All I can say is "trap" or not, I was indeed speeding in every instance except for one. It happened about 1.5 hours outside of Houston. I won't give the details, but it was a very poor showing from the DPS (that particular pair of officers at least).

Edit- Although I mostly had speeding forced out of me by being pulled over quite frequently, a lot of extra attention from the police was due to driving various V8 camaros from age 16-23ish. I don't speed much anymore, but there are some things I enjoy about driving an inconspicuous Olds 88 or Nissan Murano most of the time.

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Although I may not agree with individual speed limits, I find it amazing how many people complain about speed traps (re the article).

Are they the worst cities for speed traps or the best for upholding the law?

Every person who gets caught speeding deserves it and as far as I'm concerned don't have a leg to stand on.

The UK has a similar list of 'hot spots'. People constantly complain about them simply being a way of making money and that they don't reduce accidents. They ignore the fact they were breaking the law.

If you think some of these are bad and cops pulling you over is a nightmare, the UK is moving away from cops being on the road for speeders and using average speed cameras. There's a stretch for about 10 miles on my journey home that they take your numberplate every half mile or so and compare the time you took to the time it should take (maximum).
Now they are a nightmare. (Only on motorways, so my distaste comes from what I consider bad speed limits. I'm the only one on the road at 12pm and yet I have to do 50mph - 20mph below the national speed limit.) Not so much a 'hot spot' as 'hot stretch'.

cristo
Staff Emeritus
Some of these districts claim to ticket for between 1-4mph over the limit. How is that possible: surely speed cameras aren't accurate enough for that?

Some of these districts claim to ticket for between 1-4mph over the limit. How is that possible: surely speed cameras aren't accurate enough for that?
Didn't think they could legally. The UK cameras have to be +10% and some to ensure you're definitely speeding (no clock error etc).

An example is whenever you see the TV stuff they show them set to ~58 for a 50mph area.

BobG
Homework Helper
In 2009, I got my first speeding ticket in 30 years in CSprings. I was going over 55 in a 45, so I can't say they were being overly picky. It's just an annoying speed limit in that, instead of setting the limit to 45 just for the winding part of the road, they set a 45 mph limit for the entire stretch of road, most of which 55 is a safe speed.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
http://autos.yahoo.com/articles/autos_content_landing_pages/1728/americas-worst-speed-traps/".

Has anyone lived in these ten cities? I've spent 16 years, total, in 3 different ones!

LA, CA
Chicago, IL
Dallas, TX
Orlando, FL
Denver, CO
Jacksonville, FL
Las Vegas, NV
Austin, TX
Houston, TX

Interestingly, I've driven in 8 of them, but have received only a single ticket in just one of them.
LV is the only one where I haven't driven. I haven't received tickets in any of them.

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turbo
Gold Member
Do you want an expensive speeding ticket? Just drive the Mass Pike from NY into Mass with out-of-state plates near the end of the month or any other time when the troopers are being pressed to meet their quotas for fines.

I was pulled over and ticketed in a speed-trap (cop with radar hiding under an overpass) for simply going the same speed as everybody else, and in the right-hand lane (no passing). They had at least a dozen cars pulled over, with troopers going from one to another, passing out tickets. Not a single one of the vehicles had Mass plates, on the theory that people would send in the fine rather than drive all the way back there for a court date.

When I told the trooper that it was pretty slimy pulling people out of an orderly flow of traffic to hand out citations, he grinned and said "Well, we can't catch EVERYBODY." Indeed not.

cristo
Staff Emeritus
I was pulled over and ticketed in a speed-trap (cop with radar hiding under an overpass) for simply going the same speed as everybody else, and in the right-hand lane (no passing).
Unfortunately the "same speed as everyone else" defence doesn't hold up!

The speed cameras in the Tucson area are very generous. They give a person 10 MPH over the limit before the camera will flash.

On the other hand the red light cameras within the city limits are a total scam. The cameras are operated by a private company, and they know how to make big bucks.

I say scam because the cameras are aimed at people turning left with the green arrow. Our left turn arrows come on at the end of the through traffic cycle. This means that all red lights are already on.

Essentially no red light comes on in front of the driver turning left. They are already on. A yellow light goes out. There is a point where a driver can no longer see the yellow light, yet they are not yet legally in the intersection. That is where thousands of people, yes thousands, are being flashed by the cameras.

One of my big objections against nailing people by 1/10 of a second is that the person turning left with the arrow can not cause an accident. At the end of the left on green arrow cycle the lights stay red in all four directions to allow traffic to clear.

Citations are sent out in the mail.

There are only cameras at intersection that have at least two left turn lanes. The fine is $387 plus the driver must pay another$200 to attend a mandatory safety class.

My wife recently was cited at a notorious intersection near our home. I say notorious because the instructors at the driving school openly referred to that intersection as the killing fields.

The killing fields term is in no way related to accidents. It is related to the number of cititations issued to drivers making the left on green arrow

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cristo
Staff Emeritus
There is a point where a driver can no longer see the yellow light, yet they are not yet legally in the intersection.
What do you mean by "can no longer see"? Do you mean that the yellow light has gone out? In which case, the light is red and the driver should not enter the intersection. Formally, the driver should also not be entering the intersection on a yellow turn signal anyway (yellow/amber lights mean stop).

AlephZero
Homework Helper
Some of these districts claim to ticket for between 1-4mph over the limit. How is that possible: surely speed cameras aren't accurate enough for that?
It woiuld be easy enough to make a speed camera using the doppler effect accurate to 1%, or even 0.1%.

The reason for the larger margin of error is because the speed displays in vehicles are not very accurate, and drivers usually have other tasks to attend to except monitoring their speed (though for some drivers, those tasks don't seem to include "looking out of the window"...)

jtbell
Mentor
I've only ever had one speeding ticket, about 25 years ago shortly after I moved to South Carolina. I was driving home from an evening in Columbia via the "back road" (actually a US-numbered highway) that parallels the Interstate, and passed though the outskirts of a small city along the way, as I had done (and have done since) many times. Along that stretch of road, the speed limit is 45 mph, and I was going 50. That night, the local cops put up a temporary 35 mph sign in a spot where there had been none before, and nabbed me for going 15 over the limit.

When I went to my bank a few days later to get a money order to pay the fine (they didn't take personal checks), and the teller saw who I wanted it made out to, she looked up at me and said, "They got you too, huh?"

What do you mean by "can no longer see"? Do you mean that the yellow light has gone out? In which case, the light is red and the driver should not enter the intersection. Formally, the driver should also not be entering the intersection on a yellow turn signal anyway (yellow/amber lights mean stop).
They are in fact beyond the point where they can see the yellow.

The official legal entry point to many of our intersections is well out from the crosswalk. At this particular intersection it is 24 feet beyond the cross walk on one side and 18 feet on the other.

Most people who are already on the crosswalk when the yellow comes on tend to go on through because for many years that was what we were taught. DON"T BLOCK THE CROSSWALK.

When the yellow comes on people are in what is called the dilemma zone. They must decide whether to stop or proceed safely through the intersection. Engineering studies show that the average person needs one full second to make that determination.

The yellow duration on the left turn cycle is only on for 2 1/2 seconds.

Here is one of the intersections in question. That white line out from the crosswalk is the legal entry point into the intersection.

Ben Niehoff
Gold Member
The Los Angeles entry is a load of *censored*. Emphasis mine:

10. Los Angeles, California

Speed traps: 151

Los Angeles is a great example of speed limits not matching at all what traffic patterns indicate is a safe speed—which is how they're supposed to be determined.

Most of the speed traps are on the boulevards in the valley, my L.A.-based colleague Jane Wells, who writes the Funny Business blog, says. "The speed limit is 35 but if you actually drove that, you'd get mowed down!" Wells says.

Fines and surcharges for speeding or failing to have proof of insurance can approach \$1,400, the NMA reports. And good luck fighting a ticket in L.A. It's always been tough, but with the city teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, motorists don't have a chance.

"If you walk into a courtroom, because of the massive deficits at every level, they can't let a breathing person walk out without taking their money!" Dornsife said.

The "valley" is NOT Los Angeles. It is Burbank, Studio City, Van Nuys, etc. Those are different cities. It takes a good half an hour to get to the "valley" from Los Angeles.

Second, it is impossible to drive the speed limit in LA proper, let alone exceed it, because there are far too many cars. I have lived here 3 years and never heard of anyone getting a speeding ticket.

I think the cash cow in LA is parking tickets.

Evo
Mentor
Some of these districts claim to ticket for between 1-4mph over the limit. How is that possible: surely speed cameras aren't accurate enough for that?
We don't use cameras like the UK. These are actual police officers using radar behind the car.

turbo
Gold Member
We don't use cameras like the UK. These are actual police officers using radar behind the car.
Actually, there are cameras and radar guns on the same poles that the traffic lights are mounted on.

There are "informational" displays on portable signs that say things like "your speed is 41 mph" "too fast", or similar. Other arrays can clock you, identify you, and generate an automatic fine, though this has not been a big problem locally. I understand that the intersection cameras are big money-makers, since they are more used for evidence for time-stamped moving violations, with no reference to speed, and it's hard to fight fines for an illegal turn or a late passage through an intersection when there is digital coverage of the whole thing.

Most people who are already on the crosswalk when the yellow comes on tend to go on through because for many years that was what we were taught. DON"T BLOCK THE CROSSWALK.

When the yellow comes on people are in what is called the dilemma zone. They must decide whether to stop or proceed safely through the intersection. Engineering studies show that the average person needs one full second to make that determination.

The yellow duration on the left turn cycle is only on for 2 1/2 seconds.
I'm not defending the ticketing, but technically, you should only get onto the crosswalk when you are sure that you can proceed into the intersection, and not blindly follow the bumper in front of you.

You could make the yellow last 20 seconds, and people would still complain about it.

Evo
Mentor
Actually, there are cameras and radar guns on the same poles that the traffic lights are mounted on.

There are "informational" displays on portable signs that say things like "your speed is 41 mph" "too fast", or similar. Other arrays can clock you, identify you, and generate an automatic fine, though this has not been a big problem locally. I understand that the intersection cameras are big money-makers, since they are more used for evidence for time-stamped moving violations, with no reference to speed, and it's hard to fight fines for an illegal turn or a late passage through an intersection when there is digital coverage of the whole thing.
But we don't have the universal traffic ticketing system they have in the UK. Most tickets in the US are still given out by police officers, not so in the UK.

turbo
Gold Member
But we don't have the universal traffic ticketing system they have in the UK. Most tickets in the US are still given out by police officers, not so in the UK.
That is not the case when dealing with stop-light cameras (as they are often called). Often, they are run by private contractors, and they generate tons of money by automatically ticketing "offenders" that fall into the trap.

For example, in Maine, you are allowed to creep past the Stop line after stopping, in preparation for making a turn or crossing an intersection. When the light-cycle is through, you are allowed to make your left-turn or cross the intersection even when you light is red.

Start playing around with technicalities and interpretation of current law, and there is no end to the mischief that private "traffic monitoring" firms can cause.

Unfortunately the "same speed as everyone else" defence doesn't hold up!
Neither does the "but they were all going faster than I was!" defense, even if it's true. The LEO's response to that one was, "That's why I stopped you."

You know, I think they've heard 'em all before, so they get very good with their snappy comebacks.

I thought you said before that you drive recklessly and break the speed limit all of the time, but that you get out of tickets because you have a "disabled veteran" license plate.
Whatever nightmares grieve you, Evo, they're of someone else.

I am an honorably-retired veteran. I am not, nor have I ever been disabled, and your dimunuitive comments concerning veterans in general is HIGHLY offensive, if not blatently disgusting, to ALL who have served our country both here and abroad, whether PD, FD, community leadership, state department, or the military.

Whatever nightmares grieve you, Evo, they're of someone else.
She is just thinking of another user (bolding mine):
today I got my state Disabled Veteran Tag. Not for vanity reasons, though alot of veterans get various veterans tags for that purpose. I have nothing against it.

But the DAV tag and a few others have a very special purpose, and why they have very strict requirements.

In the odd case I get a ticket, I just call the Attorney Generals office and they won't prosecute.

My wife has never gotten a ticket.. the woman thing. No I don't either. Ha.
Although he didn't say he was driving recklessly.

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your dimunuitive comments concerning veterans in general is HIGHLY offensive, if not blatently disgusting, to ALL who have served our country both here and abroad, whether PD, FD, community leadership, state department, or the military.
Error aside, you can call it offensive all you like but what stood out in that thread is that disabled veterans either think they should be let off or that they can be and it's not particularly wrong.

Personally I find it disgusting that anyone is treated in such a way. When you break the law you are no different to anyone else who does so. I don't care whether you're PD, FD or veteran, you should be held responsible.

I'm sorry, but as much respect as I have for these people there is only so far you can ride the "veteran" bandwaggon.

If you disagree with this (and perhaps feel they should be allowed to break the law), then that's up to you.