Law enforcement agencies across the nation have been using the latest technology to detect and stop speeders for years. Now the technology is catching up to drivers trying to avoid tickets. The free app Trapster notifies users of impending road hazards and speed traps. Recently, Trapster, in conjunction with CNBC, released its list of the 10 cities with the most speed traps.
100,000 tickets issued daily
According to the report, U.S. law enforcement officers hand out about 100,000 tickets daily. The ensuing fines add up to approximately $6 billion annually.
Trapster is an online community of 15 million drivers who report driving hazards and the presence of law enforcement in their local communities in order to help other drivers.
New York and L.A.
Probably nobody will be surprised that New York, N.Y., tops the list as the city with the most speed traps. The city is a veritable labyrinth of driving challenges, red-light cameras and law enforcement officials on foot and in just about any kind of conveyance imaginable. It is closely followed on the list by that other sprawling metropolis, famed for its motoring challenges: Los Angeles, Calif.
Two in Texas
Texas is known for not fooling around when it comes to law enforcement. That rules applies to the states highways as well, apparently. It is the only state whose cities appear twice on the list. Houston earned the No. 3 spot for speed traps in the nation. Austin came in at No. 10.
Vegas and the nation’s capitol
Sin City, Las Vegas, Nev., made the No. 4 spot by virtue of its 24-hour activity. Number five was the nation’s capitol, Washington, DC. According to AOL Auto, the crowded city earns much of its traffic enforcement revenue via its 349 red-light cameras:
“(It’s) pretty hard to speed in one of the most congested cities in America, but rushing through yellow lights that turn red before you get across the intersection is a big source of city revenue.”
Numbers 6 through 9
Rounding out the list were St. Louis, Mo. at No. 6; Orlando, Fla. at No. 7; Chicago, Ill. came in at No. 8 and Colorado Springs, Colo., took the No. 9 slot.
Legally murky area
Some may question the legality of Trapster using its online presence to warn drivers of a law enforcement presence. A recent news report in Ottumwa, Iowa — in which local law enforcement was asked it if was illegal to warn other drivers of an impending speed trap by flashing vehicle lights — may shed some light.
Ottumwa Police Sergeant Kevin Ward’s answer left much room for legal interpretation:
“It could depend on what their intentions are, if they know that they’re trying to do something that would interfere with what the officer is doing, they could. But once again, it’s proving what their intent is.”
Perhaps someday the issue will come to a head in a court of law. Until then, if you want to find the location of speed traps in your state, go to speedtrap.org.