Certain places where you travel in Ohio may have a reputation for being speed traps. What most people mean when they say speed trap is that police frequently monitor the area, and many drivers end up with tickets for going too fast. This may simply be the result of police agencies enforcing the law on a stretch of road or highway where drivers tend to exceed the limit. It is not always the same as a speed trap.
A speed trap does not always exist in the interest of safety. In fact, in some cases, speed traps have little to do with protecting the public and much to do with raising money for the local police departments. If you are caught in a speed trap, you may find that the law is on your side.
Something doesn’t seem right
You are driving along at highway speed when suddenly, for no apparent reason, the speed limit drops to 10 mph slower. Before you can coast to the lower limit, a police car appears, and you receive a ticket and a hefty fine. Another mile up the road, the posted speed limit resumes its normal rate. This may be a speed trap.
Speed cameras or police cars hidden behind trees are not necessarily speed traps, and if you get a ticket for speeding, it may be legitimate. However, any of the following may be elements of a speed trap that has violated your rights:
- A posted speed significantly lower than engineers designed the road to handle
- Police who measure your rate of speed at the exact point of a drastic change in the speed limit
- A series of different speed limits posted short distances apart
- Officers who write tickets when drivers are only one or two miles over the posted limit
- A jurisdiction that intentionally allows foliage or other items to block a motorist’s view of the speed limit sign
- Clusters of multiple signs around a speed limit sign intended to confuse drivers
- Officers who arbitrarily cite “road conditions” as a reason for ticketing a driver who is not exceeding the posted limit
A speeding ticket may not seem like a big deal, and many drivers would rather simply pay the fine and put it behind them. However, a ticket can also lead to points on your license, which may have additional negative consequences, such as higher insurance or even license suspension. These can be unfair repercussions if your ticket is the result of an illegal speed trap.