I honestly think that there is a raging war out there against us, car drivers. We all know speeding is bad and that you should watch your speed when you are in an area where an accident could easily happen. However, this does not justify the increasing presence of speed traps on the roads these days. No matter where you go or where you look, if you go over the legal speed limit by a small fraction, you can get caught by the police or on camera and subsequently get a fine for it. This is why I bought a good police radar detector for my car.
The problem with speed traps is that they are not as well intended as the law enforcers claim. For instance, if you are in an area where the speed limit is 50mph and after a short while, it is changed to 30mph, you may easily break the law, without actually speeding up. You can get fined for simply maintaining the same speed throughout your trip. Unless you are really really careful, you can get caught and suffer the consequences, without doing something intentionally. I think that is why they are called speed traps, since their only purpose is to catch you off guard.
A nasty aspect of speed cameras is that these are often installed by private companies that operate in relation to the state. Their paycheck depends on how many infringements they register, so you can easily imagine that they are highly motivated to put these cameras in areas where they know it is really easy to catch drivers going over the speed limit, whether they want it or not.
As I have read some information on the impact of these speed traps on the number of accidents in the respective areas, I stumbled upon some controversial data. For instance, a 2007 study carried on the speed cameras located in Arizona (where I think there are more speed traps than in many other states) shows that while the number of crashed went down, the number of rear end collision increased. So, these speed traps are not as bulletproof as those operating them want us to believe.
The states also seem to be quite motivated to increase the use of speed traps over the next years, since they can get their hands on some pretty nice money generated by the fines applied to drivers. And we are not talking here about reckless drivers who are a threat to others’ lives and property, but about law abiding drivers who happen to go over the speed limit only by very little and quite rarely. A solution would be to have a radar detector installed on your vehicle so you can learn ahead of time that there is a speed trap just waiting for you to walk right into it..