Speed traps are illegal in Bishop and Independence, but if you're planning
a trip to Jefferson City, Boonville or another small town in Missouri,
keep a close eye on your speedometer.
In 2013, state lawmakers passed the so-called "
Mack's Creek Law." Any city that obtains more than 30 percent of its revenue from
traffic tickets must remit the excess to the state. The Municipal League
- a conglomeration of mostly small and mid-sized towns - too k the law
to the State Supreme Court. They argued that the statute violates separation
of powers by removing their jurisdiction over speeding tickets.
Ronald R. Holliger, senior counsel for the state attorney general, said
the lawsuit was based on pure speculation.
VC 40802 very narrowly, and favorably, defines speed traps in Inyo County. A speed
trap is any stretch of road or highway where police determine the speed
of a vehicle "by securing the time it takes the vehicle to travel
the known distance." Specifically, this subsection refers to speeding-enforcement
cameras. Rather curiously, these devices are prohibited, even though the
Legislature rewrote the law to make
red-light cameras legal.
Drivers on Highway 395 and some similar roadways may have personal experience
with the second type. Drivers on these highways are often surprised that
the speed limit drops suddenly at various points such as the 30 MPH zone
through Independence. If the decrease is not justified by an engineering
study that was done within the last five years and the police use radar
or laser to enforce the speed limit, the area is a speed trap.
At trial, if the defendant raises the speed trap issue, the prosecutor
has the burden of proof to show that the road was
not a speed trap. An attorney can typically find this and any other legal or
factual defenses you may have.