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What’s so bad about speed traps? Print E-mail
May 15, 2010 05:00 am

Ever since the wheel was invented and utilized for human transportation, a certain number of people have probably complained about “speed traps.”

The issue has gained momentum of late in the letters to the editor section based on the question raised about whether there is a speed trap on Highway 101 in Port Orford – the most infamous of several alleged “speed traps” in Curry County.

We us the word alleged because, as far as we can tell, speed traps are fairy tales – in this case one that continues to chaff Port Orford residents, police and tourist officials.

Mirriam-Webster Dictionary describes a speed trap as being “a stretch of road policed by often concealed officers or devices (as radar) so as to catch speeders.”

Plain and simple.

Whether in plain sight or not, the fact that a police officer is enforcing the law and trying to keep the roads safe is just fine with us. Not so, for those who like to speed.

And of what of the claim that speed traps are simply a tool for local police agencies to raise revenue by bilking unsuspecting motorists?

A cursory search of the Internet failed to find current legal cases that support the claim.

Even so, there are numerous websites dedicated to the issue of “speed traps,” with some offering advice on how to rid a town of a suspected speed trap, or how to get out of paying for or reducing the cost of a traffic ticket associated with a speed trap.

It seems to us that the people making the most noise about speed traps are those who get tickets for  – imagine this – exceeding the posted speed limit.

They try to justify breaking the law by saying how arrogant the police officer was, or how unrealistic the speed limit is, or claim they were singled out from all the other people who were doing the same thing.

Some go so far as to say that fewer tickets would be issued if the speed limit was half way reasonable and reflected the natural flow of traffic.

If that’s the case there are legal processes to explore and, if found to be true, remedy the situation.

In the end, if people still want to believe in speed traps, that’s fine. Especially if that belief causes them to ease up on the gas pedal and drive more safely.

 

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