Tips to identify speed traps

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A police car

There are plenty of ways to avoid speed traps and a ticket from the police. Photo Credit: Dwight Burdette/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

Motorists everywhere are constantly in fear of being stung by a speed trap, where police lie in wait to ticket people for speeding. There are some ways for people to stay within speed limits and avoid speed traps and tickets.

The best defense is not speeding

It goes without saying, but the best way to avoid being ticketed by police is to not exceed the speed limit. However, that can be foiled by inconspicuously posted speed limit signs, a faulty speedometer or other mechanical factors making it difficult to accurately gauge vehicle speed.

[The speedometer on a new car from Kennedy Mazda will always work.]

There are some things that can be done to avoid speeding and falling into a speed trap. For instance, setting cruise control at the speed limit during highway travel is a way to ensure no speeding will occur. Asking passengers to keep watch for road signs, especially speed limits, can also help. There are also some technological solutions.

Get a GPS unit

Many satellite navigation units will alert drivers to changing speed limits. For instance, Garmin has speed limit indicators for most of its GPS units. One of the most economical is the Nuvi 30, which retails for $100.

TomTom GPS navigation units provide information about driving speeds, or in other words the average speed of drivers in any given area travel at, as TomTom downloads that information. TomTom also has its MapSharing function, where customers share information they’ve picked up during their travels.

National Motorists Association

The National Motorists Association, an advocacy group that has been among the loudest opposition to speed traps and red light cameras, has a speed trap sharing page on its website. People can alert other motorists to where any police are lying in wait to pounce on anyone daring to go even one mile per hour over the speed limit, which can happen at times.

Going mobile

There is also some integration with smartphones. According to the New York Times, Cobra, a popular radar detector manufacturer, has its new iRadar Community app, which lets users share information on speed traps. It connects to the phone via Bluetooth. Cobra’s iRadar unit and app costs $130.

Escort and Beltronics, Escort’s sister company, have an accessory called the SmartCord and an app called Escort Live, which performs a similar function and also connects via Bluetooth. It requires the user have a radar detector. The SmartCord costs $80 and users will have to subscribe to the service to use it.

There is also Trapster, which can be downloaded to Android, iPhone or Blackberry phones as well as TomTom or Garmin devices, for free. The app adds user-added alerts to maps, informing users via voice alerts of road hazards and speed traps.


New York Times

National Motorists Association




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