Sunday, September 02, 2007

Drive Carefully, Speed Trap Ahead

In the old days, if an oncoming motorist was flashing headlights in daylight, it was meant as a friendly warning that traffic cops were hiding up ahead with radar guns. Do drivers still do that?

Just in time for the holiday weekend, the New York Times reports on a study of speed traps that confirms the conventional wisdom: Towns unwilling to tax their residents are more likely to use out-of-state drivers passing through as cash cows.

Researchers examined 60,000 warnings and citations written in Massachusetts during a two-month period and found that tickets were issued more often in places that were short on cash, and that out-of-towners were cited more often than drivers with local addresses.

Entrapment techniques vary but, from experience, this driver has found that approaching town limits is often the critical time, where a 40-mile-per-hour limit suddenly morphs into a 20-mile zone in a few yards, and a welcoming police care is lying in wait just beyond.

Unscientific observation also suggests that the last week in every month is a time when gendarmes are under particular pressure to meet their quota.

But as with everything on the Interest, help is available. On Speed Trap Exchange, motorists have posted localities they have found to be egregious in bagging unsuspecting strangers.

Happy Labor Day driving!

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