National Motorists Association: Worst Labor Day Speed Traps

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper

The National Motorists Association (NMA) released its list of the top seven locations to avoid over the Labor Day holiday. This year, the drivers’ rights group highlighted areas where heightened use of automated ticketing machines threaten those who are just passing through.

  1. Chicago, Illinois


    The Windy City’s network of red light cameras operated by a for-profit Australian company, combined with short yellow warning times at intersections, has already generated $110 million worth of tickets. The city plans to double the installations and push the total impact of all taxes and fines on motorists to $567 million by the end of 2009. Chicago also earned a dishonorable mention for its parking meter privatization plan by which Mayor Richard M. Daley (D) covered up this year’s budget deficit. For the next 75 years, drivers will pay for this year’s budget balancing with quadrupled parking prices that will increase annually.
  2. Chillicothe and Heath, Ohio


    These two small towns earned the wrath of the motorists from collecting big cash from visitors. In less than a month, Australia’s Redflex issued 10,000 tickets in Heath, which has just 8800 residents. The number has since been reduced as a number of illegally issued tickets have been refunded. Chillicothe earned a rebuke for starting a camera program without bothering first to establish an ticket appeals process. Officials in both cities are facing a voter revolt November ballot initiatives set to determine the fate of photo radar.
  3. Los Angeles, California


    The NMA accused Los Angeles of being one of the first cities caught using “bait and switch” marketing to claim that red light cameras would stop straight-through red light running, even though eighty percent of tickets had nothing to do with this type of violation. Instead, the vast majority of tickets are issued to drivers who slowed to make a right turn on red, a maneuver which statistics show almost never causes accidents.
  4. Duncanville, Texas


    In this North-Central Texas city, a mere five percent of violations went to vehicles owners accused of straight-through violations. When a city councilman attempted to make this fact known during a public meeting, the mayor had him arrested and dragged out by force, with the incident documented on video.
  5. Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona


    State lawmakers desperate to raise money to solve an out-of-control deficit turned to photo radar to fill a $165 million gap. Dozens of fully automated Australian mobile speed camera vans, in addition to fixed camera units, were added to the freeways in addition to existing cameras on city streets. This weekend, however, the state reacted to the NMA warning and cut speed van deployments to a handful, according to the group CameraFraud.com.
  6. Washington, DC


    The nation’s capital, with its ticket camera-equipped street sweepers, 49 red light cameras and dozens of speed cameras has been looking to boost revenue to new heights. Since 1999, the District’s private ticketing contractors have issued 4,019,023 tickets worth $305 million.
  7. Entire State of Florida


    The NMA referred to Florida as a “disaster” for jumping into an unrestrained use of speed cameras and red light cameras even though, as even Redflex admits, the best legal opinion suggests that photo ticketing is illegal absent the explicit approval of the state legislature. Cities facing tight budgets have defied an attorney general opinion ( view ruling) stating this fact. The NMA’s Speed Trap Directory website also lists over 25,000 conventional speed traps operating in the state.
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  • R H R H on Sep 08, 2009

    I actually ended up (unfortunately) driving in ILLINOIS to visit a sick friend. There were cops EVERYWHERE with I-355 the worse. I saw 6 cop cars with lights flashing who had a victim -- all about 300-500' apart from each other! 4 on the northbound side, 2 on the southbound.

  • Spencer1974 Spencer1974 on Feb 08, 2010

    The city of Garland, Texas is operating an illegitimate (and very profitable) speed trap on eastbound Highway 190 by enforcing speed limit signs which are placed improperly according to explicit state and federal guidelines. The improper signs are attached to posts which support the overhead signs for the Highway 78 interchange where the speed limit drops from 70mph down to 55mph. The “Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices” (http://www.dot.state.tx.us/txdot_library/publications/tmutcd.htm) states in section 2E.10:“Regulatory signs, such as speed limits, should not be used in conjunction with overhead guide sign installations. Because road users have limited time to read and comprehend sign messages, there should not be more than three guide signs displayed at any one location either on the overhead structure or its support.” The signs on Highway 190 violate both clauses as there are three overhead guide signs plus two speed limit signs. The Federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices has the same restrictions in section 2E.11. (http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/pdfs/2009/pdf_index.htm) WFAA reported that Garland made $400,000 in one year by ticketing motorists on 190 (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/wfaa/dschechter/stories/wfaa080501_mo_speedtraps.bc781247.html). They are making money hand-over-fist from drivers who are not being properly notified of the speed limit change. My thoughts go out to anyone injured in traffic accidents at that location where excess speed was ruled a contributing factor as Garland is responsible, perhaps along with the North Texas Tollway Authority. It is Garland's duty to properly inform drivers of dangerous situations, not to prey on innocent and unsuspecting drivers by enforcing speed limit signs placed where there own regulations say they won't be seen. Garland should be held accountable for its dangerous dishonesty.

  • Lorenzo Subaru had the ideal wagon - in 1995. The Legacy Outback was a straight two-box design with rear quarter and back windows you could see out of, and was available in brown with a 5-speed manual, as God and TTAC commenters intended. It's nice they're not raising prices, but when you've lost the plot, does it matter?
  • Bkojote Remember a month a go when Cleveland wanted to create a more walkable Cleveland and TTAC's 'BIG GOVERNMENT IS THE PROBLEM' dumbest and dullest all collectively crapped their diapers? Here's the thing- look on any American highway and it's littered with people who don't /want/ to be driving or shouldn't be. Look at every Becky on her phone during the morning commute in her Tucson, look at every Brad aggro driving his 84 month loan GMC. Hell look how many drivers nowadays can't even operate a headlight switch. You expect these people to understand a stoplight? In my neighborhood alone 4 people have been rear ended at lights from someone on their phone. Distracted driving over the past 10 years has spiked, and it's only going to get worse unless Becky has an alternative, because no judge is going to pull her license when 'she needs it to get to work!' but heaven forbid she not check fb/tiktok for 40 minutes a day.
  • Scott Shouldn't the The Italian Minister for Business be criticizing The Milano for being too ugly to be Italian?Better use of resources doing that....
  • Steve Biro Frankly, while I can do without Eyesight and automatic start-stop, there is generally less B-S with Subarus in terms of design, utility and off-road chops than with many other brands. I just hope that when they adopt Toyota’s hybrid system, they’ll also use Toyota’s eCVT.
  • The Oracle These are all over the roads in droves here in WNC. Rarely see one on the side of the road, they are wildly popular, capable, and reliable. There is a market for utilitarian vehicles.
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