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Another Small-Town Speed Trap

speed trapMotorists on Interstate 15 who are fed up with high speeding ticket enforcement can sympathize with drivers on Highway 25 in Arkansas, who recently filed a federal lawsuit to shut down an alleged speed trap town.

Concord was already in the state’s gunsights, after an initial review found that its revenue from traffic tickets was over a third more than the maximum allowed under Arkansas law. In a subsequent letter, State Prosecuting Attorney Don McSpadden declared that the town’s court docket was dominated by “pure money making citations for violations.” The state briefly suspended the local marshal’s ability to write tickets, adding that it would be reinstated once it “is willing to operate as a law enforcement agency and not solely as a revenue producing agency.”

The plaintiffs in a related federal lawsuit claim they “suffered ascertainable out-of-pocket losses in the form of fines and penalties assessed by the city.”

Revenue v Safety

Like boxers vs. briefs, great taste vs. less filling, and other seemingly endless classic arguments, this debate will rage well into the future. But the revenue v. safety debate is even harder to resolve, because there are obviously valid public safety reasons for many tickets to be written.

Everyone is in favor of safer roads, or at least they will give that answer when asked. But more and more drivers are concerned that the main purpose for certain classifications of tickets, like speeding tickets in the desert, is to raise revenue.

There are some things that put the scales out of balance:

  • Photo Enforcement: At least as currently constituted, red light cameras and speeding cameras completely remove the human element from tickets.
  • Speed Traps: Especially for freeway communities like Barstow and Baker, it is tempting to write lots of speeding tickets, because they are essentially a visitor tax that raises revenue without affecting local voters.

The best way to guard against these things is not to change the laws, but to fight the traffic tickets they produce.

Getting Legal Help

The aggressive lawyers at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets. Call today at 661-859-1177 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-376-0214.