Are there speed traps in Los Angeles?
Officers handed out over
750 speeding tickets in just have of 2014 near the intersection of Laurel Canyon Boulevard
and Canton Drive in Studio City. There is a steep hill, and many motorists
have been ticketed on the downslope, some for going as few as 5 or 10
mph over the limit. Close by, at the intersection of Rinaldi and Laurel
Canyon, officers wrote 280 tickets over the same period. Other locations
in the San Fernando Valley are also high-ticket areas, partially due to
the wide, straight roads.
Officer Troy Williams denied that the enforcement had anything to do with
revenue, but was focused on "traffic complaints, working a location
[and] trying to slow people down."
Officer Williams is at least partially right. Law enforcement officers
write speeding tickets because they are doing their jobs and responding
to neighborhood concerns about speeding cars. But, given the incredibly
high cost of a Kern County speeding ticket, it is difficult to argue that
revenue is not a factor at all.
VC 40802, a "speed trap" is:
So, although I-95 is a high enforcement area because of the steep hill
and speed limit reduction, it is not legally a speed trap.
Under a related provision, VC 40803(b), the state has the
burden of proof to show that the area was
not a speed trap. The prosecutor has to produce a live witness and a study
justifying the reduced speed limit, such as a school zone or residential area.