The Worst States For Speed Traps
Driving through unfamiliar territory on your next road trip? It might seem like the simplest solution for avoiding a dreaded speeding ticket would be simply not to speed.
The National Motorists Association says that’s a more complex challenge than a driver might imagine. The group collects information on stretches of road that combine unusually low speed limits with heavy traffic enforcement in a bid, it says, to wring out revenue from unsuspecting motorists.
Speed traps have been prevalent throughout the American South – one Florida town actually disbanded its police force last year after chronic complaints about law enforcement prioritizing revenue collection over traffic safety. Police officers in the small town of Tenaha, Texas, seized cash and valuables from drivers, often targeting those who they thought could least afford to challenge their authority.
But these egregious examples are hardly the only ones, and complaints about speed traps stretch far and wide across the country. Using crowd-sourced data from its website, the National Speed Trap Exchange, researchers with the National Motorists Association set out to measure the states with the most prevalent number of speed traps – a vital list for any traveler. The results contain some likely hotspots, but other states on the list will surprise drivers.
Read on to find out which states rank among the worst for setting up speed traps.
5. MarylandAccording to calculations from National Motorists Association, Maryland’s roads contain 3.50 speed traps per 1,000 miles of lane miles.
NMA officials developed the rankings by compiling the number of speed traps reported over the past five years. The totals were then indexed to the number of road miles in each state.
4. MassachusettsAccording to NMA’s calculations, Massachusetts roads contain 3.79 speed traps per 1,000 lane miles.
“These results reveal which states are the habitual offenders when it comes to ‘Policing for Profit,’” said NMA president Gary Biller. “They point to a need to reform the traffic justice system for greater accountability with less emphasis on generating revenue and more on public safety.”
3. Rhode Island
The smallest state in the union apparently has an outsized appetite for speed traps. According to the NMA, Rhode Island average 4.00 speed traps per 1,000 lane miles.
Like the National Motorists Association, AAA, the nation’s largest motoring club, keeps an eye out for egregious speed traps. As a policy, AAA condemns traffic enforcement practices designed to raise revenue instead of prevent crashes.
2. New Jersey
Considering traffic jams around the Garden State often bring traffic to a halt, it’s almost surprising that police officers could catch many drivers exceeding the speed limit. But the NMA says New Jersey averages 4.70 speed traps per 1,000 lane miles.
Based on the results thus far, drivers may want avoid the entire East Coast. But they’ll have to go a little further to find the worst state in the country.
Aloha, here’s your ticket. Seems like an easy way to ruin a dream vacation. The NMA says there are 4.74 speed traps for every 1,000 lane miles in Hawaii, the most aggressive state in the nation.
But don’t breathe easy if you reside or drive elsewhere. As part of its look at speed traps over the past five years, these may be the states where the long arm of John Law has extended the longest. But the NMA says the fastest-growing states for speed traps are Texas, Ohio, Florida, California and Georgia.