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Speed Traps

Waldo, with its 1,000 residents, may be the opposite of Sunnyside.

In 2013, the seven-member police force wrote 11,603 traffic citations. Nearby Gainesville, FL with over 128,000 residents, produced only 25,461 tickets. One observer noted that a small section of highway requires motorists to speed up and slow down six times. Following up on accusations that the town is a speed trap - half of Waldo's budget comes from municipal court revenue - the state suspended Police Chief Mike Szabo during its investigation. His successor was later suspended as well, and charged with mishandling evidence.

The AAA listed Waldo and nearby Lawtey as the two worst speed traps in the nation.

Many motorists believe that Interstate 5 in the Central Valley is a speed trap because it's in the middle of the desert, the flow of traffic is naturally well above the speed limit, and a large amount of officers are assigned near Shafter and Lamont to enforce speed limits. However, VC 40802 has a very specific definition of a freeway "speed trap."

Indirect evidence cannot support a speeding ticket. In other words, the CHP cannot issue a speeding ticket because you took a certain amount of time to travel from Point A to Point B. An officer must actually see you speeding. Furthermore, a speed limit that deviates from the prima facie speed limit without any basis, such as a valid traffic survey showing the safety based need for a reduction in speed, cannot be radar-enforced.

Under that definition, Interstate 5 is not a speed trap. It just feels like one. If you receive a speeding ticket near Lamont or Shafter, contact an attorney to determine what defenses you may have.