Having a reputation for “speed traps” might not be all bad.
City and police officials should waste no energy worrying about a bogus ranking that shows Lawrence to be one of the top “speed trap” cities in Kansas
Not only do city officials have the figures to prove that the number of speeding tickets issued in the city dropped by 27 percent between 2007 and 2009, but most local residents also would agree with those who have contacted City Manager David Corliss urging more local traffic enforcement, not less.
The National Motorists Association recently released a list that named Lawrence and Overland Park as having the most “speed traps” in Kansas. The listing is based on purely anecdotal evidence provided by people who visited the group’s website. No research was involved.
According to that website, “A speed trap exists wherever traffic enforcement is focused on extracting revenue from drivers instead of improving safety.”
Driving within the speed limit is a fairly well accepted part of safe driving. Issuing tickets to people who are speeding is a tried and true way to make people slow down. The tickets just wouldn’t have the same impact if a fine weren’t involved. Whatever revenue is “extracted” from drivers goes to pay courts and police that enforce traffic safety laws.
An NMA official further explained to the Journal-World that a speed trap is marked by intensive enforcement AND a speed limit that is set below the speed that motorists naturally feel comfortable driving. On that basis, we should do away with speed limits entirely.
Heaven knows what the NMA will think of Lawrence now that additional officers have been hired to beef up traffic enforcement and speeding tickets are on the rise. We’ll probably be back on their list next year. That’s OK. If being on their “speed trap” list makes drivers slow down when they come to Lawrence, so much the better.