Speed traps are an area of the road that police officers heavily monitor to catch people that are speeding. When people are referring to speed traps, generally it’s in a negative manner and they’re talking about areas where police catch speeders, usually for the officer’s own advantage and not so much for the advantage of the drivers.
If you have been caught in a speed trap and cited for a speeding violation, a Virginia speeding ticket lawyer may be able to help. Below is more information regarding speed traps including why speed traps exist and whether being caught in a speed trap is a legally acceptable defense for speeding.
There are a whole bunch of different kinds of speed traps. Generally the one that everyone thinks of is when officers are hiding behind a billboard or around the bend, waiting for speeders who don’t see them to speed by and be charged. Another type is when officers are waiting at a long stretch of road at the very end, or at the bottom of a hill, or other areas where speeding just happens to be more prevalent, again waiting for the speeders so that they can catch them.
Officers do tend to wait sometimes in areas where the speed limit changes, looking for drivers who are speeding; officers will argue that a speed limit reduction occurs there for a reason and it’s important to enforce it. However, it’s a little bit tricky of them because sometimes people don’t notice the signs right away and it takes them a little bit of time to slow down.
The speed limit officially changes in the spot where the sign is posted. Because drivers are able to see the sign in advance, the idea is that once they see a sign, they should begin slowing down so that once they’re passing the sign, they’ve already dropped down to an adequate speed to comply with the limit.
It’s debatable what the purpose of speed traps is. Some areas have more officers because of prior accidents. So it could be argued that a reason for the speed traps being there is not so much to attract revenue but for safety reasons to ensure that there are no more accidents.
However, there are also speed traps in areas where there is not so much safety concerns, it just happens to be an area where a lot of people commonly speed, for example on long stretches of open highway. So you can argue it either way and the police will likely not admit either way as well.
People in Virginia should know that speed traps are going to be all over the place. Speed traps are extremely prevalent, and Virginia is proud of the fact that they have a very low death rate on their highways due to their very harsh and strict speeding laws and penalties. Law enforcement sees speed traps as a positive and not a negative. Judges also take these very seriously and don’t accept someone being caught in a speed trap as a defense for speeding.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law