Saturday, March 25, 2006

It's a Trap!

I learned to drive in the Puget Sound region, where the common knowledge of the day was that when you drove I-5 and got to Fife, you slowed down, because otherwise you were getting a ticket. The same has been my experience with Boerne, Texas, and all of Maryland. Little did I realize that common knowledge recently gave way to technology, and there is now a website called speedtrap.org whose purpose in life is to notify drivers of the cities that plan their annual budget on estimated traveller speeding tickets. The article that gave me this information (here) notes a town in Missouri that has a reputation covering three states. It also notes that some cities have suffered a loss of traffic and money from travelers because of their reputations as speed traps. Perhaps there's somethign to be learned here.

8 comments:

nuje said...

Maryland is the worst...ever...IMO

English Professor said...

Good info. There's a little town just north of San Antonio--can't remember the name--which used to be a huge speed trap that everyone driving the interstate knew about but me.

Thomas said...

My experience in Seattle so far is that people here can't drive.

Steve said...

You may be right, Thomas. I tend to think the worst drivers are in San Francisco based on my travels, but NYC drivers are rather bad, as well. Then again, I have a hunch that it's all relative.

I learned to drive in Tacoma, so the drivers in Puget Sound are my reference point as well as my comfort zone. As such, I compare all drivers to the drivers up there, and consider their style ideal. That being the case, since nobody else drives exactly that way, I presume they can't drive as well as the people back in Seattle/Tacoma. As a result, I think Houston drivers can't drive, nor can drivers in Baltimore, DC, San Francisco, San Antonio, etc.

Incidentally, the best traffic I've ever seen (best drivers is debatable) was in San Angelo. If you can say nothing else good about the city - there are many who can't, you must concede that the traffic there is terrific, never more than 15 minutes from anywhere, except during rodeo and the fourth of July, where it takes about 25 minutes from the other side of town.

Cassie said...

Here in my local town they've now made all school zones 20 miles an hour (which is normal for a school zone) but now instead of having it only when children are around it's from 7am-5pm. They have unmarked cars sit in the school zones and snap pictures of cars and then they send out an infraction in the mail. I was also informed that the school zone speeds are in effect on evenings and weekends if there is something going on at the school. My problem is the area where I received 2 warnings (posted 35, I was going 38 but it was at 10:30am so I was technically going 18 over) is a main road and the school is 2 blocks down a side street and tucked back behind houses so it's not visible from this "school zone", how would we know something was going on at the school? I was told that "ignorance of the law is no excuse", which really isn't the answer to my question. It's hard around here because the school zones are not clearly marked. If you come off of a side street into a school zone there's no way to know you're in a school zone unless you really know the area well.

Anyhow, they just mailed out warnings for two weeks and now they're mailing out real tickets. I wish they would have made more of an effort to publicize the new policy before it went into effect. If we didn't receive the warnings (the second offense happened before we received the first warning in the mail) we never would have known about it.

Also, there are school zones that have flashing lights to let you know when they are in effect but the city's website doesn't clearly indicate whether or not those zones are from 7-5 too or just when the lights flash. Incidentally, there are kids all over the place when the lights aren't flashing so how much sense does that make? I just know that we're going to be going 20 in all school zones all the time whether it inconveniences other drivers or not. I don't want a bunch of tickets coming in the mail.

Sorry such a long comment, but this just irks me a bit. I'm all for school zones and I really liked the idea of the flashing lights letting you know it's in effect (and reminding you to slow down). But some aspects of this new policy is frustrating.

Bellejar said...

.org? I wonder if this is a nonprofit. Great resource.

Bellejar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steve said...

It might be, Bellejar. I don't know. I think it said sponsored by the NMA (National Motorists Assoc.).

I will add it to my links of things to do on the side here shortly.