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Slow Down In The Show-Me State

Slow Down In The Show-Me StateSpeed 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.