What Is A Speed Trap?
A speed trap is a section of a public road, highway, or freeway, along which traffic laws are heavily enforced. They tend to be located in areas where motorists tend to speed (for example, straightaways or areas with a downhill incline). Other common locations for speed traps include areas where the speed limit changes and locations such as schools and playgrounds. Sometimes, the police or highway patrol may set up a speed trap in an area where there have been numerous traffic accidents. There are many websites whose sole purpose is to track and publicize the locations of speed traps in a particular city or state.
The hallmarks of such a speed trap may include:
- Absurdly low speed limits,
- Abrupt speed limit changes,
- Confusing traffic signs,
- Abrupt changes in terrain, and
- A disproportionate number of tickets issued to non-local residents.
Not all speed traps are hidden. Some are announced with large electronic speed boards set up alongside a road or highway that flash big, bright, white-hot numbers informing drivers just how fast they’re going. These boards also employ radar to detect speed. Law enforcement often say that the primary purpose of speed traps, whether “hidden” or not, is to urge voluntary compliance with the speed limit to prevent accidents.
However, some believe that speed traps may actually decrease public safety by causing motorists to decelerate unexpectedly, adding to gridlock during rush hours, and reducing the reasonable flow of traffic.
Some states explicitly outlaw the use of speed traps. While New Jersey does not have any state laws banning or otherwise limiting the use of speed traps, the New Jersey State Police have a policy not to set up within a mile of a speed zone change.
If you’ve been ticketed at a speed trap, you should consider getting an experienced New Jersey traffic ticket attorney to help you fight your ticket. Dan Matrafajlo is a dedicated New Jersey traffic ticket attorney who may be able to help. To schedule a free initial consultation, simply fill out the form on this page.