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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.

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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 speedtrap.org.

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.

Comments

Sevin 3 years, 7 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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puddleglum 3 years, 7 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.

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thuja 3 years, 7 months ago

Speed up so you can get to the next red light- just like every one else, only faster!

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windjammer 3 years, 7 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.

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jackbinkelman 3 years, 7 months ago

My last ticket, the 20th & Mass. church trap. 150.00$ !!!!! I was o.k. with it until I saw the fine.. more than 10 over the limit or something like that...

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Ceallach 3 years, 7 months ago

I'm with overthemoon's son.

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

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3 years, 7 months ago

Here's a monumental concept, drive the speed limit.

Also, remove your dead head sticker and put a fraternal order of police sticker on your bumper. While you're at it, get a haircut and take a shower. All great ways to avoid getting a ticket if you insist on speeding.

And since it is Kansas, I'm sure the following may also help: religious statues on dashboards, a 'W' sticker, gun rack, raccoon tail on the truck antenna, some dead animal seat cover, and possibly dualies on your back tires. The Saab with the drop down plasma screens for the rug rats are definitely what they are after.

Just how important is it getting to Topeka anyway?

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overthemoon 3 years, 7 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.

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UnbiasedLionsfan 3 years, 7 months ago

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

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cheerio 3 years, 7 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.

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jrlii 3 years, 7 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!

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whats_going_on 3 years, 7 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.

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HaRDNoK9 3 years, 7 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.

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jlzack 3 years, 7 months ago

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

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Randall Uhrich 3 years, 7 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.

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BruceWayne 3 years, 7 months ago

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

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balishag 3 years, 7 months ago

I've only gotten one ticket here in Lawrence. I was being careless downhill and got clocked 10 over on radar.

But seriously, I have a Beltronics RX 65 Pro along with a Blinder M27. They can shoot all they want. All they'll see is error on their laser guns. I look at it as a long term investment.

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YouPeopleAreCrazy 3 years, 7 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.

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monheim 3 years, 7 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.

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firebird27 3 years, 7 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.

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kimk 3 years, 7 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.

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kimk 3 years, 7 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.

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jnixon 3 years, 7 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.

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gsxr600 3 years, 7 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.

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hipper_than_hip 3 years, 7 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".

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JJE007 3 years, 7 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.

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Matt Needham 3 years, 7 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.

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kansasmutt 3 years, 7 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 !!!!

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Kris_H 3 years, 7 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.

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parrotuya 3 years, 7 months ago

No surprises here. The midwest is notorious for raising money through traffic "enforcement." They have monthly quotas they must fill or a hostile city government if the revenue doesn't come in. It's an easy living for the fuzz, too. Why face real bad guys carrying guns when you can meet your monthly revenue quota and still get promoted? And they wonder why we don't respect them. OINK OINK!

DOWn, baby, DOWn!

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hitme 3 years, 7 months ago

They need to set some bike traps and get those yahoos under control. Maybe get some practice with those stun guns.

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 7 months ago

Speed is good, most of the old hippies still around know about speed.

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Steven Gaudreau 3 years, 7 months ago

"based on the number of complaints the association receives from motorists " Sounds like Lawrence has the most whiners. Now that I believe.

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geoismeo 3 years, 7 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.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 7 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.

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Sigmund 3 years, 7 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.

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purplesage 3 years, 7 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.

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ljwanonymous 3 years, 7 months ago

Does National group mean you have nuts from entire nation ranting here about their breaking the law and getting caught?

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ljwanonymous 3 years, 7 months ago

Rule number 1, if you are caught speeding, it must be a speed trap and you must immediately report it on a nutcase site.

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 7 months ago

Of course drivers are speeding. You surely don't think they want to linger long in Lawrence. They are on the way out, passing through to another destination that has something bigger than itself, i.e. football.

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Sigmund 3 years, 7 months ago

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

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TheStig 3 years, 7 months ago

Speeding is a privilege, not a right.

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twobigones 3 years, 7 months ago

I only speed when the area donut shops are open, but I do wave and hook as I pass out of courtesy!

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BABBOY 3 years, 7 months ago

I speed all the time.

You can't stop me.

I know how to amend tickets.

I also text on my phone, talk on my phone, read work documents, shave, brush my teeth, eat pizza, and have sex all at the same time while driving well over the speed limit........

Needless to say, I have a messy car....

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whats_going_on 3 years, 7 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.

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whats_going_on 3 years, 7 months ago

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

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notyourmom 3 years, 7 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.

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Ladybug2 3 years, 7 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.

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Graczyk 3 years, 7 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.

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macon47 3 years, 7 months ago

MOST OF THE SELF SERVING JERKS WITH THEIR OWN SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT HATE SPEEDING TICKETS BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT THE POLICE

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Sigmund 3 years, 7 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.

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Practicality 3 years, 7 months ago

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

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monheim 3 years, 7 months ago

Take a look at the speedtrap.org 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:

http://www.speedtrap.org/city/3823/Lawrence&page=1

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.

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consumer1 3 years, 7 months ago

It's Bushs' fault, wait, no it's Obama's fault. Or could it be Chaney's fault?

Grammar police do your job and get Lawrence on the map as the most corrected state in the country...

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jstthefacts 3 years, 7 months ago

At first look this seemed like a pretty cool deal until I saw that one of the top 50 was the wheel, lost all credibility .

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50YearResident 3 years, 7 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.

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Dave McClain 3 years, 7 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.

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friendlyjhawk 3 years, 7 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?

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jihadist 3 years, 7 months ago

I am surprised no one has whined about K-10 yet.

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Adrienne Sanders 3 years, 7 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!

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scopi_guy 3 years, 7 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.

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macon47 3 years, 7 months ago

THEY SHOULD DOUBLE THE FINES AGAiN FOR SPEEDERS. THEY ARE NOT SEVERE ENOUGH TO SLOW DOWN ANY OF THESE IDIOTS

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1southernjayhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

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

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Dave McClain 3 years, 7 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.

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Eride 3 years, 7 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.

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puddleglum 3 years, 7 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

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Stacy Napier 3 years, 7 months ago

Thats because people here drive like cr@p. If you look at the accident states for every city in the state you will see that we are also #1 for totals and injury accidents in cities under 100,000.

We are 5th in injury accidents wth 583. behind Wichita 2628, Kansas City 982, Overland Park 862, Topeka 804,

Compare that will Olathe at 420, Shawnee 173, Lenexa 303.

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CLARKKENT 3 years, 7 months ago

WOW, SURE HOPE THIS DOES NOT SURPRIZE ANYONE. HAS BEEN GOING ON A LONG TIME.

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