Archive for Wednesday, September 1, 2010

National group writes up Lawrence as one of two speed-trap cities in Kansas

Lawrence and Overland Park both made a list for worst speed trap cities in North America. The number of speeding tickets issued in Lawrence has dropped by about 2,000 tickets in the past three years.

September 1, 2010, 1:42 p.m. Updated September 1, 2010, 8:59 p.m.


Lawrence is one of the worst speed trap cities in North America, according to a national association that believes local governments are unfairly using traffic laws to boost their coffers.

But according to actual speeding ticket numbers, the trap must be a little rusty.

The National Motorists Association listed Lawrence and Overland Park as the two cities that have the most speed traps in Kansas, based on the number of complaints the association receives from motorists on its Web site

Jim Baxter, president of the association based just outside of Madison, Wis., has been to Lawrence on multiple occasions.

“Lawrence is a nice community, but you’ve got a lot of people coming to town for university events, you’ve got a nice lake on the edge of town, there would be some pretty ripe pickings (for speed traps) especially for people who aren’t familiar with the area,” Baxter said.

City leaders, though, dispute the designation. They note that in 2007 the city issued 7,168 speeding tickets. That fell to 6,049 in 2008 and to 5,237 in 2009. City Hall leaders previously have said that, if anything, the city hasn’t been issuing enough tickets because the city has been short-staffed on the police department.

“It sounds like somebody got a speeding ticket and is unhappy about it,” City Manager David Corliss said about the report. “One of the concerns I hear expressed by residents is that in many cases we need to have more traffic enforcement, particularly in neighborhoods and near schools.”

The city has hired new officers for 2010, and tickets so far are on pace to top 2009 totals. Thus far, the city has issued 4,262 tickets.

The association’s Web site listed 20 alleged speed traps in the Lawrence area. The association doesn’t do anything to determine whether a site is a speed trap or a legitimate enforcement area. But the site does allow users to vote on whether they believe the sites are traps.

Baxter said his group defines a speed trap as an area where there is intensive enforcement and the speed limit is set below the speed that motorists naturally feel comfortable driving.


CLARKKENT 7 years, 4 months ago


Kelly Johnson 7 years, 4 months ago

Wichita had 2628 injury accidents??? and the next closest is 982? What the heck is going on with drivers down there??

anonyname 7 years, 4 months ago

Hmmm...part of it may be they have more than twice the population of any other city in the state. Yes, I know Wichita still has a slightly higher accident rate per capita, but it's not all that different.

puddleglum 7 years, 4 months ago

not at all out by the hill (queens road) or in the middle of the intersection ( yeah, parked in the westbound left turn lane facing west) of stoneridge drive... a.k.a. the welcome to lawrence city limits commitee

Evan Ridenour 7 years, 4 months ago

Overland Park perhaps... but Lawrence? Seriously? There are not many units dedicated to traffic safety and the few there are always trap the exact same spots.

Drive 15 mph over speed limit, slow down for half a block, speed again.

Dave McClain 7 years, 4 months ago

Must be a Very good revenue source. I go to work each day at 4:30 AM and see usually 2 if not up to 4 speed traps in the ride across town. Most mornings I see more speed traps than other vehicles! I challenge anyone to travel Mass, Kentucky, Tennesee, 23rd St and 6th street and not see at least one radar runner.

But if you get robbed, or your car stolen, they don't have time to watch survellance video tape. I know that first hand.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 4 months ago

They usually wait until about 7AM to trap by the RR tracks where 15th becomes 1500 on the way to Noria. Vangent employees have to feel picked on.

Gene Wallace 7 years, 4 months ago

Large driveway on West side of Tennessee just North of 19th, two to three times a week. Easy to spot when the sun reflects off the officer's bald head. CCG! (Cheshire Cat Grin) He's got one of those, too.

1southernjayhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Hard to believe. Speeders are everywhere. I, for one, would like to see more enforecement.

Mike Hatch 7 years, 4 months ago

Don't want a ticket? Don't speed. Especially in this town, there's really no everyday type of reason to speed since you can get to any point A to any point B in like 20 minutes or so, often less.

Adrienne Sanders 7 years, 4 months ago

Here's a thought- don't speed. Or at least don't go more than five miles over the limit, as they usually won't pull you over for that. There's a speed trap by where I live... there are also a lot of accidents in that area where people are coming down the hill too fast!

friendlyjhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

HA HA HA, another reason that Lawrence is just another 2 bit little town pretending to be special. We shouldn't be allowed to have anything negative mentioned about us because we are different and entitled to speed and then complain about speed traps! What's the law for if we can't break it?

Dave McClain 7 years, 4 months ago

I agree one just shouldn't speed. But I think the point is priorities. Hmm... 10 miles over the speed limit when no one else is on the road is more dangerouse than being robbed. And not having time to watch 4 hours of survellance tape on the only exit to an apartment complex that has multiple car thefts, but across the street we have two squad cars running radar. It's more about making money for the force.

justoneperson 7 years, 4 months ago

Homicides are only one type of violent crime

fyrfighter 7 years, 4 months ago

okay this is twice you have whined about your incident. get over it

50YearResident 7 years, 4 months ago

We are triple dipped here in Lawrence and they all run radar traps. 1) Lawrence City Police 2) Dg Co Sherriff Department 3) Ks Hy Patrol It's no wonder why we are listed as a speed trap area.

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 4 months ago

Don't forget KUPD! They are the LAW on campus.

twoton 7 years, 4 months ago

You wiil find the KU PD at the bottom of the steepest hills.

slowplay 7 years, 4 months ago

Unless he was referring to Lon Chaney.

Matt Torres 7 years, 4 months ago

Take a look at the site, people. It's user-reported speed-traps, like a message board or comments section. The posts on this site do not mean that there actually ARE more speed traps here, just that more people have reported them. Besides, if you go look at the Lawrence page:

There are reports from as far back as 2007 right on the first page of results. Seriously? 3 years ago? There have to be better sources of info on speedtraps than some website where people are allowed to just post what they think is a speed trap.

Personally, I don't think there are that many. I can see how if there were one on every corner that too many people might be getting tickets just for going a bit faster down a hill or something, but honestly, just don't speed. It's not worth it. It hardly saves any time on the highways between here and Topeka/Johnson County and other nearby places. And in town just forget about it. There's absolutely no point in speeding in town. You'll just end up at the lights like the rest of us.

Practicality 7 years, 4 months ago

People do not get speeding tickets because of "speed traps", they receive them for speeding.

Sigmund 7 years, 4 months ago

I visited the site and didn't notice Lawrence as being listed as especially bad. Anyway how many people with outstanding warrants have been arrested after they were caught speeding? How many speeders who then didn't have proper registration or insurance were caught and fined? Speed traps allow the officer a chance to check for those and other things like possible impairment. I would much rather have speed traps and officers on the street than speed cameras any time.

Graczyk 7 years, 4 months ago

I agree that people should not speed. But I think it is poor form to hang out at the bottom of hills to catch people. Ninth around Maine is a favorite place. So is McDonald at the bottom of the off ramp from Iowa. And no, I have not been given a speeding ticket.

Ladybug2 7 years, 4 months ago

I've lived in other towns and don't think Lawrence is any worse than the others. Besides, there are some crazy drivers in Lawrence that need to be given tickets.

notyourmom 7 years, 4 months ago

Seems like I read something in the last year or so on LJW stating that if if you had received a ticket in the past 12 months should consider yourself extra un-lucky because so FEW tickets had been written in that time frame. I'm shocked that any tickets are given because everywhere I go people are going 5-10 mph under the speed limit (Which is infuriating). I think this is the slowest town I've ever lived in.

I find it easier to believe that more people from this town have complained than other towns.

BlackVelvet 7 years, 4 months ago

some of the people in this town complain simply for the sake of complaining.

whats_going_on 7 years, 4 months ago

someone should come on here and post all the speed traps...just for our information :)

whats_going_on 7 years, 4 months ago

nevermind I just looked at the website. Those are all pretty old :\

The Kasold one is the WORST. I hate that street. 4 lanes at 30 mph? Really?

They do need one on 9th and Lawrence though. I've seen cars blow through that sign several times and also kids coming down that hill on bikes/skateboards and not even looking to cross. Surprised someone hasn't been killed yet.

50YearResident 7 years, 4 months ago

When there was road construction on Kasold with 2 lanes shut down they had a crazy low speed limit, I seem to remember around 15 MPH between 23rd and 15th. It took a half hour to do that streach, so it seemed.

TheStig 7 years, 4 months ago

Speeding is a privilege, not a right.

BrentS 7 years, 4 months ago

Some say that his voice can only be heard by cats, and that he takes an unusual perspective on speed limits. All we know is...

Sigmund 7 years, 4 months ago

The only thing with less content than is this news article. The headline more accurately should be, "Chad Lawhorn Tired of Touting Taxes Trashes Traps."

purplesage 7 years, 4 months ago

Practicality misses the whole point. Of course people get tickets because they speed; and they speed because they think they can get away with it. It begs the question, "What is our interest? Compliance or revenue? If it is the former. the patrol vehicles would be visually prominent, not hiding in the weeds, over a rise in the road, 300' back in a parking lot. I've never seen a SO do so much traffic patrol. What on earth are they doing running radar on state highways if it isn't raising revenue? Visual presence effectively slows dosn traffic. Not for long, but a speed trap gets the buffalo at the back of herd or most flagrant of viloators.

Government is hungry for money and they only have one place to get it - YOU.

Sigmund 7 years, 4 months ago

purplesage (anonymous) says… "Of course people get tickets because they speed; and they speed because they think they can get away with it. It begs the question, "What is our interest? Compliance or revenue?"

False choice, it is both.

Like all laws, we can't hire enough cops to enforce all the traffic laws, everywhere, all the time. So society makes the penalty high enough that it encourages citizens to compliance. Speed limits are established by governments to institute and maintain orderly use of public roads, but only if majority of drivers are in voluntary compliance, most of the time, is there any amount of safety. Those who break the rules help fund enforcement at a higher rate than those who obey them. It is a win-win.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

What a load of crap. What a waste of an organization.

Speeding drivers are making the decision to do so or not paying attention. Most probably get by with it.

"Speed Kills" they say.

geoismeo 7 years, 4 months ago

Mcdonald just below the off ramp from Iowa is a speed trap. Its one lane going down hill and I think its more about revenue that safty.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 4 months ago

Not only that, but isn't that where the Concrete truck rolled over last month from excessive speed?

parrothead8 7 years, 4 months ago

Well, except for the fact that the president of the worthless organization who ranked Lawrence as a speed trap implies that it is mostly based on complaints by people who come to Lawrence from out of town and get tickets because they aren't familiar with the area.

Why do you have to be familiar with an area to drive the speed limit? I've lived in seven states and driven through most of the others, and speed limit signs look the same everywhere I've been.

This is a group that "defines a speed trap as an area where there is intensive enforcement and the speed limit is set below the speed that motorists naturally feel comfortable driving." So if I "feel comfortable driving" a higher speed and a cop is there with a radar gun, it's a speed trap? Seriously? What a joke!

Tammy Copp-Barta 7 years, 4 months ago

I vote for THAT one!!! How much money COULD you make for all the bicyclists that run STOP SIGNS!! .. YES .. it's the law for all of you too!!!! GGRRR

Kris_H 7 years, 4 months ago

I don't feel comfortable driving less than 5 miles over the speed limit in Lawrence. You'll get run over if you go too slow, LOL.

I'm not there every day but I haven't really noticed any "speed traps." I think this whole thing came about because of whiners who can't believe the law dared to hold them accountable for their deeds.

You don't want the ticket, don't do the offense. Simple.

kansasmutt 7 years, 4 months ago

Eudora is far worse than Lawrence is. 30mph zones south and east of town have a trap 24 - 7 and they get you for 3 over. They should have enough to build a castle by now. Dont speed and you wont have to pay !!!!

Matt Needham 7 years, 4 months ago

I've been living here for over 25 years, and have yet to get a speeding ticket in Lawrence or Douglas Co.

I got one in KC on the stretch of I-35 that's labeled 65mph, but everyone drives 85mph. 364 days a year you won't ever see a cop on that road, but every year on Jan 1 they set up a huge, dozen cop car speed trap.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 7 years, 4 months ago

I was going to say that I've been in Lawrence for 34 years, speed every time I drive and have never received a speeding ticket, but I didn't want to jinx myself ; ) OOPS! I WAS stopped for "speeding" once on Mass St. when I decided to pass a police car going the speed limit, one of three cars that did so. Third time's a charm? He gave me a ticket for a burned out brake light but not for going 3 MPH over the speed limit. I promise never to be a speedy, cheeky monkey again...or to drink...or curse...or make LJW comments.

hipper_than_hip 7 years, 4 months ago

The cops were out in force yesterday on westbound K-10 near DeSoto during the evening commute. I'm guessing JoCo must be forecasting a budget shortfall and they're trying to make it up by a "special road tax".

whats_going_on 7 years, 4 months ago

oh they are always around there...there and Eudora exits

gsxr600 7 years, 4 months ago

I can agree with a lot of the speed traps listed on that website. Most of the significant ones are at places where the speed limit should be higher. Places like McDonald drive by the Holiday Inn where it's 35 but 95% of people are going 40+. I don't really see why 35 would be justified and that's why people speed and that's why the cops get them.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

If you think that certain areas should have higher speed limits, then advocate for that with city government.

The fact, though, that many people want to drive faster isn't in and of itself a valid reason for increasing speed limits, in my opinion.

lohrewok 7 years, 4 months ago

I've lived in that neighborhood for 30 years and have seen far too many accidents along McDonald Drive. Raise the speed limit to 40 and people will go 45. Current speed limit is just fine.

jnixon 7 years, 4 months ago

The church on Kasold(any of them), Broken Arrow park or the church across the street from the park, Kasold on the curve, anywhere along Peterson Rd. Too many to mention. Don't recall too many folks getting ticketed though. I grew up in Topeka and it used to be far worse than here.

kimk 7 years, 4 months ago

When I want to speed I just drive behind a cop or sheriffs car they speed all over the city. I figure it's a nice way to get across the town without getting pulled over for speeding.

firebird27 7 years, 4 months ago

I do believe the speedtrap phenomenon in Lawrence is very real. About 2 years ago, I was traveling into Lawrence from the west on Highway 40 that becomes 6 Street. I was driving only 55 miles per hour. I had just past the south trafficway exit. It was dark, and there was not a building in sight or even any lights. However, at the time I did not realize the city limit sign was immediately after passing over the south traffic way. I was stopped and given a traffic ticket for driving 10 mph over the speed limit. In strict terms of the law, I was speeding, but I believe the police department took advantage of a simple form of logic: When there are no buildings or lights a driver expects the speed limit to remain the same." I learned the hard way, and I do believe they knew this driver assumption.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

Pay attention to signs and you won't have that experience.

kimk 7 years, 4 months ago

When I want to speed I just drive behind a cop or sheriffs car they speed all over the city. I figure it's a nice way to get across the town without getting pulled over for speeding.

Matt Torres 7 years, 4 months ago

Two things you need to pay attention to while driving to avoid speeding tickets: speed limit signs and your speedometer. Is that really so hard? A lot of people think they need to go faster than the speed limit, and so whine about speed traps. If you disagree with the idea of a speed limit, start or join an organization that lobbies against speed limits. Good luck. Other than that, the cops are going to enforce the speed limit. Deal with it and drive like an adult and you'll be fine.

Liberty275 7 years, 4 months ago

No, you position yourself behind another car going 75-80 about 1/8th of a mile and pay attention to his brake lights. Also, use a radar detector. It's a war zone. Treat it as such.

Cops can and do speed at will for no reason other than they can. It's the same with seat belts; I was sitting behind a lawrence cop at a light 3 days ago and could see he wasn't wearing his seat belt.

Cops don't deserve rights we as citizens don't have so we should steal back our rights.

Most speed limits are too arbitrary to be relevant. A 80 year old schmuck in his 20 year old beater ford tempo is allowed to drive as fast on I70 as the guy with a nice new ZR1 that has been to several precision driving schools in order to run track days at Heartland Park? That's a crock. The speed limit on interstates should in part hinge on what you are driving and your driving skill, not some lowest common denominator number arrived at using statistics that include idiots that couldn't drive their way out of a paper bag.

overthemoon 7 years, 4 months ago

How on earth would that be determined and enforced?

YouPeopleAreCrazy 7 years, 4 months ago

Step 1: Buy a radar detector Step 2: Drive as fast as traffic allows Step 3: Slow down when radar detector makes noise Step 4: Don't be an idiot.

overthemoon 7 years, 4 months ago

so much cheaper and easier and safer to just get over ur big important self and drive the speed limit.

BruceWayne 7 years, 4 months ago

and I thought all the city fuzz did was pick on yellow house and foot patrol the toxic waste dump... who knew?

Randall Uhrich 7 years, 4 months ago

I had a butthole deputy sheriff give me a ticket for 62 in a 55! this was after he saw the Obama bumper sticker on the front of my car and turned around to pursue and stop me.

jafs 7 years, 4 months ago

Don't speed and you won't get speeding tickets.

And, it's my understanding that they won't generally stop you for up to 5mph over - so if you'd been going 60 you might not have gotten a ticket.

jlzack 7 years, 4 months ago

Theres one easy fix......... STOP SPEEDING............

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 4 months ago

I do not speed, period. There is a strange correlation between the frequency that I speed and the number of speeding tickets I receive. I have never had a speeding ticket, or traffic violation of any kind- anywhere. Go figure that one out.

In 1999, I was a passenger in a rollover accident where the driver of my car was speeding, partially ejected from the vehicle and my best friend was disemboweled in my lap. Changed my entire perspective on safe driving. Not interested in reducing police attention to traffic violations at all. That includes drunk driving checkpoints.

I do think that eastbound on 9th street from Iowa is a little slow. To maintain 30 miles an hour I have to ride my brakes all the way down. There are some other places that seem a bit dodgy but still, I have never been stopped in the 22 years that I have been driving.

overthemoon 7 years, 4 months ago

Sad story.

9th street hill is hard to go down at 30. Problem is there are at least 3 or 4 apt complex driveways and feeding side streets that make anything faster a recipe for disaster.

whats_going_on 7 years, 4 months ago

This doesn't really have anything to do with it, but I really hate it when a cop is going less than the speed limit, or even right at it, and people REFUSE to pass him/her, even if it's a slow pass. Come on, highly doubtful they are going to pull you over for passing them at 1 or 2 miles over what they are going.

Janet Lowther 7 years, 4 months ago

The big deal is the ridiculous speed limits in this town.

40 MPH on Highway 40 out by St. Margret's? That has to have been 100% motivated by revenue.

30 MPH on four lane streets? Absurd!

No wonder people complain about the speed traps. They aren't necessarily going any faster than they would elsewhere, it is just illegal.

Speed limits should be set to the 85th percentile speed as determined by regular speed surveys, not the whim of legislatures, county commissions or city councils!

cheerio 7 years, 4 months ago

Remember...police are only your friends if you're six years old and lost. Their job is not to protect and serve, but rather to drive revenue for the city.

parrothead8 7 years, 4 months ago

That statement seems based on a very limited viewpoint. Basically you're telling us that if we see someone breaking into your home, we should not call the police.

UnbiasedLionsfan 7 years, 4 months ago

If we could finish the bypass somehow....drivers could drive K-10 AROUND Lawrence instead of having to speed through it.

overthemoon 7 years, 4 months ago

They have to speed? Can't tell you how often I get passed by someone in a big hurry, only to pull up next to them at the next light. There is very little time saved driving recklessly.

overthemoon 7 years, 4 months ago

A friend once told me that, as he was teaching his son to drive, he pointed out likely speed trap locations. HIs son, a very smart lad, said "But why should you worry about speed traps if you're doing the speed limit?" Some how people see not veing able to drive as fast as they want as an infringement, but speeding is just as illegal as other illegal stuff. Slow down just a bit, you won't get stopped and you will only lose a few minutes getting to your destination. And you'll save gas and wear and tear on the buggy.

Ceallach 7 years, 4 months ago

I'm with overthemoon's son.

What a bunch of crybabies, wah, wah, wah.

LadyJ 7 years, 4 months ago

Which is why they don't give tickets till you go 11 mph over the speedlimit, even in a school zone.

windjammer 7 years, 4 months ago

I hope they hire more officers to get you after you get your speeding ticket to get you as you run the red light. Maybe they could set the trap at the intersection and get you for both at the same time. Get em LPD.

puddleglum 7 years, 4 months ago

I can't believe all of you weak girls preaching about not speeding.

I speed all the time on my KZ1000 (its white) and I notice that Cops don't have it in them to try to pull over a motorcycle, they just look at me and wave... Now it is possible that they just recognize me and acknowledge my superior beauty via 'looking the other way' I will say that much. I am very popular and well-liked. I look like I have on makeup-but I don't, my face is really that pretty. you can see this, even when I am riding a motorcycle at 60mph on 6th st.
have a nice weekend.

Sevin 7 years, 4 months ago

I wish! We live on a street that has logged a number of accidents and one fatality. We reported to the Traffic Safety Engineer and to the police a number of incidents of property damage by drivers who just can't make the curves they so love to speed through. But, we get nothing. I have asked for police speed enforcement, but get the impression that is only a premium service reserved for certain areas (I seem to see police radar in the same places time after time). On my third request I got a "drive-through" which is a community relations ploy to give us the impression of a police presence - then they were gone and the joy riders still zoom down hill around the curves and get irritated if anyone backs out of their driveway to spoil the fun.

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