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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got this the other day from a club member.. very interesting reading, but it's long but worth the effort



The Sting
ON INTERSTATE 5 in Snohomish County, Washington, Lance Ramsay stands behind a surveyor's tripod. He is wearing the typical jeans, hard hat and reflective vest of a highway worker. But all is not as it seems. The device on the tripod is actually a laser speed ranging gun, and Ramsay is a Washington State Trooper, tracking cars as they transit from the legal highway speed limit to the "construction zone" limit. A half-mile behind him, eight more troopers wait. The construction zone is a fake, which begs the question of whether the speed limit is even valid. In just two hours, Trooper Ramsay and his crew write 76 speeding tickets—or more than one every two minutes—for an average take of $210 per ticket. That's approximately $8000 per hour collected from motorists who actually didn't do anything wrong.The Washington State Patrol got this idea from Florida, where similar stings have been used. The only difference seems to be that Washington's was an
equal-opportunity sting, whereas several reputable sources have reported that the Florida version is heavily skewed toward targeting out-of-state drivers. As reported by The National Speed Trap Exchange (speedtrap.org), in Denver, Colorado, there was a construction zone set up at the exit from the Denver International Airport. The normal speed limit here is 45 mph, but just around the first curve and difficult to spot is a warning sign dropping the speed to 25 mph, to protect the construction workers. Problem is, no one has ever seen any actual construction going on here, and the only people present are the five or six police officers waiting to nail anyone coming around the curve at over 25 mph. Tickets are an average of $300 each, doubled because this is a "construction zone." Lawmakers in Indiana, seeing the
potential budget enhancement of special "work zone enforcement," are considering House Bill 1289, to create the "work zone freeway speed program." The bill's sponsor, Bill Friend (R-Macy), wrote on introducing the bill, "Revenues for the new fiscal year are way down." His answer is to lower speed limits on certain sections of freeways to 45 mph, and then allow private
contractors to issue citations of up to $1000 to drivers who miss seeing the speed reduction signs. It is also noted in the bill that no construction need actually be taking place in the "work zone." In Maryland, a similar program generated 8800 tickets within the first six weeks, and is on track to generate 76,000 by the end of the year. In Pennsylvania, the state police are so proud of their construction zone sting that they have given it a cute official name, "Operation Yellow Jacket." That's because they have state troopers dress in the distinctive yellow reflective vests of Pennsylvania DOT employees when they use their radar guns to "sting" unsuspecting drivers.
According to the Trucker's Report, similar operations are underway in Arizona
and New Mexico, and Alabama is notorious for having literally dozens of bogus
construction zones set up where no worker has so much as turned a spade of dirt in the past several years. But the all-time winner always has been Pulaski County, Illinois, where a permanent construction zone is used by the local sheriffs office and city police as a primary funding source. For years this area
has been the winner of every discussion on the subject of punitive and illegal speed traps ever undertaken in this country. In fact, Pulaski County may have been the first to stumble onto the concept of the fake or permanent construction zone not only as a way to hand out a lot more speeding tickets but to have the fines doubled in the name of public safety. For years I had a hunch this son of thing might be going on. How many times have you ridden through a construction zone and seen no sign that any work was being done? Or in an area you pass through often, you find that the construction cones
and barrels stay up long after the work was completed? But I never thought it was this widespread or organized until I started doing a little research.
Through the National Motorists Association (NMA), a highly-respected consumer advocacy group to which I belong, I stumbled upon another revenue generating scheme, the shortened yellow light scam. I knew from researching this subject about five years ago that there was a virtual epidemic of cities shortening the duration of yellow lights, but at the time
there hadn't been any real studies done as to the effects of this practice. Naturally, the municipalities involved either denied the claim or admitted to shortening the lights but claimed that it was in the interest of public safety. Since then, however, a half-dozen independent studies have all shown that shortening the duration of yellow lights drastically increases the rate of
intersection accidents, in some cases by as much as 300%. As you might expect, the cities have chosen to completely ignore these results, because the other truth about shortened yellow lights is that the revenue generated from tickets has also increased proportionately. Here are just two examples from Newspaper.com: Dallas, Texas—An investigation by KDFW-TV found that of the 10 traffic cameras that issued the greatest number of tickets in the city, seven were located at intersections where the yellow duration is shorter than the bare minimum recommended by the Texas Department of Transportation. One camera, for example, issued 9407 tickets worth $705,525
between January and August. Union City, California—Union City was caught trapping motorists with a yellow signal time 1.3 seconds below the minimum established by state law. As a result, the city was forced to refund more than $1 million in fines. The city's violation came to light after Dave Goodson, an engineer, received a ticket and realized that he did not have sufficient time to stop. As a result of his inquiries, Union City's traffic engineers admitted that they had set the yellow signal time at 3 seconds, despite the state law mandating the time be 4.3 seconds or greater. Those are just two of the more than a dozen instances I found where city governments were purposely fleecing motorists while at the same time knowingly increasing the risk of accidents. The point I would like to make is that all of these practices and others like them not only will continue but will proliferate until
common citizens stand up and fight.
Visit us at WWW.MCNEWS.COM • JANUARY2012 47
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
do you actually drive the posted limit all the time?

I sure don't, but the thing that makes me wonder is are these "legal" as there is nothing actually going on?

also it should make people aware of these kind of things going on..

we have had construction here for the past year as they are building a new bridge and lower speeds have been in effect for about 2 yrs now. so far 99.9999999999999999999 > % of people still drive the old one and nothing is said or done unless they are really speeding
 

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the real world

Bob, out here in Dull-Aware, if you go the posted speed limit someone is gonna run you over. I think that's the way it goes in most of the real world. Which is exactly why I make it a point to never stay behind someone who is dawdling along at the posted speed limit the way that you do. Nothing personal, but dawdling's nothing to brag about. You endanger yourself and everyone around you. It's all about co-operation. Everyone needs to flow together. If everyone's doing 60 in a 50 (which is what they do every morning on my way to and from the office) then you will have everyone else dodging around you if you do 50. That's just not safe. Not for you, and certainly not for any motorcyclist near you.

As for the rest:

We have two traffic camera speed traps here in Newark Dull-Aware. In the first year, these two traps between them racked up $1.7 million in fines and a 40% increase in accidents. That's what the paper reported. In the second year, they got all sneaky. They set the yellow light on one intersection a couple seconds shorter than any other yellows in the county. Rear-enders went way up. At the other intersection, a very busy place at the University stadium with two lanes a side all four ways and double left turn lanes two ways, they got real clever and set the lights to erratic intervals. One time, the left turn lane will let two dozen cars thru; next time, only one or two. One time, you'll get a five second yellow; the next time three. Anyone who's not local is squealing brakes behind you. No fun on two wheels, I assure you.

This is not about safety. It's about lucrative trickery. They are sowing accidents and reaping fines. The purpose of traffic control ought not to be for extortion.

:mad:
 

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My position is that if there is a speed trap desguised as a construction zone they should not be allowed to fine you as if it is an actual construction zone. Also playing games with lights and causing a safety hazard for motorists should land whatever city, town etc... on the wrong side of a law suit. I guess in some places the phrase "to protect and serve" has been replaced by "to collect and screw"

I have been looking to upgrade my radar dectector for a while now but don't know enough about the new ones to make a knowledgable purchase. Would like to get a cordless so I could mount it on the spyder as well as use it in the mr2.

I am not a huge speeder like I used to be, especially if the Mrs. is with me but I still tend to have a lead foot/right hand.
 

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I agree that going the speed limit can be dangerous. But speeding is also dangerous. I usually set the cruise for 5 over the limit. That seems to keep people from tailgating to the extreme and avoids most speeding tickets.

When the signal turns on me, I almost always check the mirrors before slamming on the brakes. On my Spyder, I would rather get a red light ticket than rear ended.

It is weird how different regions have different driving habits. When I lived in SoCal, drivers were always changing lanes. In the Phoenix area, they love to tailgate. I have been tailgated on a 4 lane freeway when we where the only 2 cars on the road!

In the end, even if an accident is not the motorcyclists fault, he usually comes of much worse than the car driver! Ride Safe!
 

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Vegas has the worst of it. Everyone comes here with their bad driving habits and competing/clashing driving styles. Then they go out partying and get drunk. hundreds of different Bad driving habits + hundreds of competing driving styles + drunk driving = one scary place to leave the house....
 

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Missed the point

Does anybody actually know someone who got run over for doing the posted limit??? Unlikely! :eek:
Missed the point Bob. It's the other guy gets run over. Funny we're talking about this today. Way to the bank this afternoon a pickup jerked over from behind a slowpoke and ran me into the median. It's all the cages dodging and weaving round the dawdler.
 

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Sorry folks but driving the speed limit is not dawdling. It is generally posted for a reason. As a former highway worker I do not condone fake construction projects to entrap motorists, believe me it would be easy enough to hand out tickets in a real construction zone. You wouldn't believe some of the crap I've seen people pull. We would get immune to it, kinda like a combat zone thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
LOL @ Bob

I thought that was what red lights were for?
 

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Around here it seems that the difference in the length of the yellow light from one turn to another is in correlation with the distance between cars. Say the first person in the turn lane takes off as soon as the light turns green, but the second person is busy texting and not watching the light so they sit there and let a car length or two go by before noticing and hitting the gas. We tend to see the light turn yellow quicker when this happens, than when people are actually paying attention and accelerating when the car in front of them goes.

Now, having said that, this has nothing to do with the time between the light turning yellow and then red, just between green and yellow.

As far as speed, I'm more of a fan of speed limit to 4 mph over, myself.
 

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Here in Idaho the in thing to do in a turn lane is to stay on the bumper of the car ahead and disregard the light all together. I have seen 8 and sometimes more cars run red lights that way. Was almost rear ended because I won't do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
ACK !!

close to the same here

as far as speed is concerned for me I tend to drive about 10K over the posted limit, which is about 8 MPH
 

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Settled on the Escort Solo S3 radar dectector which is cordless and a Ram handle bar mount kit for those pesky speed traps.
 
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