The National Motorists Association recently came out with their list of cities identified as speed traps. The only Central Valley city was Fresno, listed at number 14. However, we all know that there are a number of places in Kern County where even a speed conscious driver is in danger of getting a ticket.
What is a speed trap? First of all, there is an illegal speed trap as described in Vehicle Code 40802(a). This constitutes a legal defense that I will cover in other posts and it involves whether the speed limit was set in a legal manner and if the officers used the appropriate method of determining your speed. But what we are talking about today as a speed trap is a section of road heavily targeted for speeding enforcement because of conditions that make the average driver more inclined to go over the posted limit.
One of those sections of roads exists on Highway 58 near Mojave. There are several overpasses, including the overpass for Highway 14, that officers like to park under or around. They sometimes use LIDAR, picking off drivers at a distance, then radioing up ahead for other officers to conduct the stop.
Reasons for such a target rich environment are many: 58 is a wide 4 lane highway with great visibility on the Mojave Desert. Many of the travelers are coming from Arizona or Nevada, where the speed limit for all vehicles, commercial and private, is 75 MPH. The speed limit for trucks on the Mojave is 55 MPH and many tourists and other travelers are coming from Las Vegas or other distant destinations and are trying to make up time while it seems safe.
Local officers have indicated that the local CHP officers writeup over 100 tickets a day on this area of the Highway 58, including tickets for going over 100 MPH (Vehicle Code 22348(b)), exceeding 70 MPH (Vehicle Code 22349(a)), and Commercial Vehicle over 55 MPH (Vehicle Code 22406).
Highway 58 near Mojave is one of the easiest places for you to get ticketed for speeding in Kern County. Be careful out there.