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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.

According to 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.

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