To the State and Local governments: Just put up toll booths and shut down the speed traps.

I’ve had a clean driving record for over 20 years. In the last year I have been stopped 4 times in out-and-out speed traps such as 4-lane roads with a limit of 25 mph, no schools or other hazards, in the middle of the afternoon on a clear day just driving with the traffic.

Yes, the State and Local governments need the money but getting it by kicking the hell out of safe drivers is pure BS. If you need the money so bad, put up a toll booth and nick everybody for a dime. Don’t destroy our driving records so the insurance companies can rape us.

What is going on out there is horrible. It has nothing to do with safety. It is all about revenue.

Always has been.

Why spend all that money on toll booths and charge everyone for them, when they can just pull over the people who are speeding? I don’t see the problem here.

This is shaping up to be a debate, so I’ll move it from the The BBQ Pit to Great Debates.

Pit Moderator

If it’s all about revenue then impose a tax (toll booths). If it’s about screwing individuals who are not a danger to anyone and will be further screwed by insurance companies then it is insidious.

The police should be empowered to protect the public safety. Sometimes that means enforcing traffic laws. I understand that. Establishing a speed limit that is inconsistent with the traffic situation is entrapment. They should not be out there for the purpose of pulling drivers over who are not acting irresponsibly in order to raise revenue.

What is going on is total BS. Need I say that two of the instances occurred in Michigan.

Now do you see the problem? Get a bunch of unearned points on your record and see how you feel.

I’d rather see an ACTUAL tax instead of useless infrastructure.

Toll booths have to be the worst idea of all time. To think that to make the roads work, we have to make them… come to a halt. It boggles the mind, especially in New York, where tollbooths are placed in areas that are already bottlenecks.

We all benefit from roads, even those who don’t drive. Let’s get rid of speed traps AND toll booths, and simply have everyone pay the necessary taxes to maintain our roads.

Why should I pay more tax dollars so you can break the law with less chance of getting caught? That is ridiculous. If you don’t want to pay, then don’t speed. I have no problem with the speeders picking up the revenue shortage for the rest of the people who can go the speed limit.


Well, I dunno, maybe if you DIDN’T SPEED, maybe you wouldn’t be getting pulled over.

Speeding tickets are a luxury tax. I can afford the cost of the ticket and have yet to have a ticket appear on my record (I pay a traffic attorney to represent me in court.) If you don’t feel you can afford the costs associated with your choice to drive above the limit, then drive the speed limit. And when you do drive above the speed limit, pick a speed you can afford.

SSG Schwartz

Duhhhh! Well I dunno either.

Speeding is driving at a pace that is unsafe. When the State or Local authorities decide that they have a revenue shortfall and will subsidize that by setting up unreasonable speed limits based on the conditions and then send the cops out there to pick off drivers as fast as they can to raise revenue then that is entrapment. Anybody that says they never drive over the posted speed limit is either a lying or is a road hazard. It’s like ticketing people who walked a foot out of the pedestrian lines for jaywalking and labeling them a criminal . I don’t mind paying the fine, it’s the long term implications that it has on the driving record and the insurance premiums that bothers me. As I said, I’ve had a perfect driving record for over 20 years. My driving habits have not changed. Yet, the cops are apparently under new directives.

The “toll booth” comment was not stated in all seriousness. Toll booths are annoying and unproductive. The point was that using the law enforcement authorities to raise revenue is wrong. If revenue is needed then suck it up and raise taxes. Don’t entrap people. The efforts of the cops should be to catch criminals and those that threaten the public safety. Driving 40-45 mph down a straight 4 lane road in the middle of a clear afternoon while not passing anyone (with a ridiculously posted 30 mph limit) is not an exercise in insuring the public safety.

Before I posted this I’ve talked with other people who have been similarly victimized. This isn’t something I made up out of just my own personal experience. You are next. See how you like it.

BTW, the next big thing is using electronic systems to send speeding ticket through the mail. It is being used in Britain and is being tested in Phoenix. Welcome to Big Brother and the Brave New World.

You know, in thirty plus years now of driving, I’ve only once been issued a speeding ticket, and that was well-earned (doing 80 in a 55 zone). I love serenly flowing along, never more than 5 mph over the speed limit, and usually within the limit, and never being hassled by officers of the law.

Who cares WHY a section of road is 25 mph? Usually, it’s because it’s in the middle of a downtown. Drive 30 mph or less and you won’t be pulled over. It’s pretty simple to figure out. :wink:

…which is determined by the DOT and presented to drivers in the form of a posted speed limit sign.

I doubt that speed limits are randomly chosen for the roads in your area. If the speed limit is 30, it probably means you are in a residential area, or perhaps there are reasons for a lower limit that the general public would not readily know. Maybe the area has a high accident rate? Who knows? You don’t have a location, but many towns won’t give out tickets unless you are doing at least 5-7 (depending on your town YMMV) over the limit. If you were driving 40-45 in a residential area, especially MY residential area, I would be rather pleased that the cops are enforcing it. One, it apparently keeps my taxes down by boosting revenue, and two, it protects my family from dangerous drivers who believe they are safe drivers.

I am not sure where you are going with this. Do you feel that having a 20 year good record should exclude you personally from the speed limits the rest of us follow?

Obviously, you are not listening or you just don’t get it. When the cop is acting embarrassed by issuing the citation you get a pretty clear idea of what the directives are that he is operating under. All of these instances were in areas that are under economic duress. I’ll say it louder, IT WAS NOT A MATTER OF PUBLIC SAFETY.

Warning, you can take your 30 years of driving, go to the places I did and shove your driving record up where the sun don’t shine. Then I’ll leave it to you to explain it all to your insurance company (who you’ve never made a claim against).

Buy an iPhone or a BB, invest in a program called trapster. The Chief of the DC cops was very put out that this one program was causing a revenue shortfall of already budgeted dollars.


A toll booth collects revenue mostly from people who live in and around the area. A speed trap can catch those people who go through town and have the nerve-THE NERVE- to not stop and spend some money in that town.

I base this statement on the attitude of various cops in small towns, the kind that are just a wide spot on the highway. Of course, getting a ticket in a town ensures that I’ll never spend another dime in that place, and since I used to wander up and down that stretch of road about half a dozen times a year, they probably lost more revenue than my speeding ticket brought in.

I was doing about 5 MPH over the limit, by the way.

I think no, tollbooths are terrible. I like it better how it is - people like you who think they can drive whatever speed they want can pay my part for me (thanks, btw).

It’s a real simple concept - you drive the speed posted on the sign, or slower, and you won’t get pulled over and given a ticket. It does not matter if it’s public safety or a speedtrap (and do you know it is? really? you know everything about the area and know for sure there is no reason you should have to slow down?) drive the speed limit and you don’t get tickets.

Apparently the DC chief went so far as to call users of it “cowardly”. Funny that.

Indeed you are correct for something like 99% of speed limits. But some localities do set “speed traps”. For example, I was “caught speeding” in a small beach burg on the Pacific Coast Highway. Their speed limit for a small stretch of that Highway was 25 mph. When I went to court, all I had to say was “Present”. The Judge asked the officer what was the “DOT” tested speed limit (45 mph your honor") and the time of day and traffic conditions. He then said “dismissed”.

In other words, the local speed limit had been set 20mph below what you call the DOT determination. This we call a “speed trap”.

The way to fight speed traps is as follows:

Get everyone to fight their ticket- as far as they can. Appeal it if necessary. Like you said, it’s a revenue “enhancement” not a public safety issue, so if dudes fight the ticket, it starts costing more than it brings in.

Next write real letters to your politicos. Don’t complain of your ticket, just about fairness “speed traps”, etc.

I agree that there’s something wrong with setting the speed limit lower than it ought to be for no other reason than raising revenue by handing out speeding tickets.

With that point made, though…

(1) How do you know there’s no other reason for the speed limit to be that low?

(2) I wouldn’t have thought local governments had the authority to build toll booths.

(3) Toll booths are more of a pain in the ass than low speed limits are.

(4) If you’re incapable of slowing down to 25 mph (or whatever) in order to avoid a ticket, you’re not as safe a driver as you think you are.

Advice from a veteran road-tripper with just one speeding ticket in the last 30 years: when driving through unfamiliar territory, ALWAYS slow down and obey posted speed limits.