Skip to comments.Florida's speed-trap city agrees to reform, won't be killed off
Posted on 03/30/2014 3:29:39 AM PDT by kingattax
A tiny northern Florida city that received national notoriety for issuing thousands of speeding tickets on its funky stretch of highway will be spared from death.
State lawmakers Friday dropped their threat to dissolve Hampton, a 1-square-mile city located an hour's drive south of Jacksonville.
Auditors in February reported that the small cadre of officials in the city of about 500 residents mismanaged the city's bank accounts, credit cards and collections. The city had just three full-time employees: a clerk, a police chief and a water manager.
Most egregiously, city officials discovered an intriguing revenue stream shortly after annexing a quarter-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 301 about 20 years ago.
The square-shaped city turned into a comical fly-swatter, sticking out to reach a business near the highway that wanted to be protected by city police. Realizing it could capitalize on drivers making the trek in and out of Jacksonville, the city slowly grew a volunteer police force and caught motorists in its new speed trap.
During the last handful of years, that revenue stream ballooned to more than $200,000 annually, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Route 23 in new jersey has sections that exist solely to generate ticket revenue for a patchwork quilt of townships.
>>”We are here to help to make sure there is no longer a government serving itself and not the people,” Bradley said. “We were going to remove the city if the people didn’t reform it.”<<
Get somebody, anybody to do this to Versailles on the Potomac. PLEASE.
Twenty years ago Florida’s Highway Patrol was a competent top-notch police organization. Today they exist solely to generate revenue. Anyplace in Florida where the speed drops ten miles an hour, usually, for no visible reason, is a speed trap. It’s not about safety, it’s about revenue.
I have lost all respect for these revenuers.
There used to be a whole host of speed traps in the South. There was an LEO who used to sit at the bottom of a I-85 hill in NC. Ludowici, GA used to ticket drivers going 26 MPH in a 25 MPH zone on US 301. Sanford and Kissimee, FL on US 17 were also bad speed traps.
I got a ticket from those scumbags the first time I went to Gainesville. They sit hidden at the light at 301 and 18. It’s one of those 65 then 55 then 45 dumps. This s***hole and Waldo should be burned and salted.
MEMORIES from the Fifties and Sixties!
My favorite Speed Trap, besides Hialeah Gardens in the late sixties.
Read and catch up on History with photos:
I had many stops by Ludowici and can say they always had a whiskey bottle at the Chiefs desk.
Governments once provided protection from highway robbers. Now they are the highway robbers.
Waldo has been known for years by the AAA as the #1 speed trap in the country. Sure it goes from 65 to 55 to 45 in a relatively short distance but over the past 10 years they have made the signs very obvious. The one that gets everyone is when going south, it does the 65-55-45 downturn right before the flea market light, goes back up to 55 and then almost immediately back down to 45 and then again to 35 going into the center of town.
I remember when there were billboards put up by the AAA warning drivers before the city limits of its impending enforcement.
Hampton is actually situated between Starke and Waldo just off 301 on 18. Different town, same bunch who learned from theeir buddies just down the highway.
I recall the drive from Kingsland Ga. to Voldosta was one tiny speed trap after another. You literally couldn’t go ONE mph over the posted 25, 30, 35 mph.
I know Michigan has its problems but fortunately speed traps don’t seem to be one of them. Probably due to the ubiquitous signs in MI that warn of a speed change just ahead. I live in a sort of touristy area that could easily rake in money hand over fist by doing this, but they don’t. there are plenty of citiots (city+idiot= citiot) they could put the serious butthurt on but don’t. I hope it’s enlightened self interest by the village councils.
The sheriff on that piece of I-75 patrolled in a Pontiac Trans Am with a spider or eagle or something painted on the hood.
I was arrested for speeding on that road and was taken in to a big rambling old building with porches all around. There were lots of young men there several pleading to me for money for the fine. They had until midnite, I think, to come up with the cash or go to jail. Fortunately I had enough cash.
Tallulah Falls, Georgia, on Hwy 23/441 is a town of 168 souls. There’s a spot where you come down a hill around a curve and cross a bridge and the speed limit goes from 55 to 35 in a blink of an eye. Town police chief sits at the bottom of the hill.......waiting.
It’s a well traveled road. Goes north from Atlanta on up into Western North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains
I think the trucking industry would disagree. Michigan sets the speed limit on their Interstates at 60 mph knowing that most company owned semi's are governed at 62. They write thousands of tickets for one or two miles over the limit. Michigan is notorious for this.
This all reminds me of Kendleton, Tx. The Texas Attorney General’s office yanked their city charter back in the 80’s for being an incorrigible speed trap. When they looked into the city’s finances they discovered that the Chief of Police, the Mayor, and the Justice of the Peace, who all just happened to be in the same family, were simply pocketing most of the take.
“There was an LEO who used to sit at the bottom of a I-85 hill in NC.”
They’re sill there.
Sheriff’s in counties with interstates that are drug corridors have jumped on the profiling wagon and routinely pull out of state plates for “unsafe lane change” and bring in the dogs to sniff around. A couple of times a year they find enough drugs/cash/seizure material to fund the annual BBQ and buy new toys for the dept.
I was thinking more passenger vehicles than commercial vehicles, but you do have a point. That’s mostly the state police motor carrier division which does have a reputation for being kind of dick-ish.
Its not about safety, its about revenue.
I have lost all respect for these revenuers.
I agree the signs for Waldo are now obvious. They’re still scum. As for Hampton, that is where I got my ticket as I stated in my original post.
One my way to work each morning, I see the cop cars in the bushes, sitting in the pre-dawn darkness with their donuts and their radar guns.
This is especially infuriating as all the welfare bums are home sleeping and I'm up at 5 in the morning so that I can work my tail off to keep those bums in Doritos, daytime television (on a big screen), cigarettes and malt liquor. Now on top of that I have to deal with traffic cops looking to write me $100 tickets, not to mention years of insurance surcharges.
They say it's about the "public safety" but if they were really concerned about that, they'd be patrolling the highways, going after the jerks who tailgate, shift lanes constantly and otherwise drive aggressively. But no, they would prefer to hide in the bushes and harass a working man who might be going 48mph in a 40mph zone but is just trying to get to his job.
Meanwhile the layabouts and the welfare set get to relax at home.
Harrington, DE raises 110% of it’s Police Dept. budget by being a speed trap on US 13.
Yep. You mentioned Waldo so I figured I’d have my chance to clue in a few folks on the distinction. The other town in the 301 chain of speed traps is just north of Starke called Lawtey.
> There used to be a whole host of speed traps in the South. There was an LEO who used to sit at the bottom of a I-85 hill in NC. Ludowici, GA used to ticket drivers going 26 MPH in a 25 MPH zone on US 301. Sanford and Kissimee, FL on US 17 were also bad speed traps.
You got to be kidding me? Sorry but humans aren’t robots unless, of course, it means revenue for a city that is so horribly mismanaged it HAS to bleed taxpayers dry to stay alive. If that’s the case, shut the city down. If I were a sitting judge I would have thrown out every single ticket that LEO wrote that was under 5 miles over the spped limit, maybe 10...
Bahstids! Hampton, Lawtey, Baldwin. Thieves. Scoundrels.
Gotcha. That whole area stinks.
That was stupid. Should have dissolved them as an example.
During this present Obama Depression, you’re seeing more and more speed traps, Cameras at stoplights, etc. The tax base is shrinking, and police won’t let you go one mile an hour over the speed limit.
I was going through Raymond, WA about 28 years ago and paranoid about getting a speeding ticket in a small town. I was careful not to go one mile over throughout the town, not adjusting my speed to higher limits until I actually passed the new sign.
The speed went from 55 to 45, to 35, to 25, to 35, 45 and back to 55. As I was in the last 45 mph zone, I noticed a cop following me and just as I was reaching the edge of town he hit the blues. He told me I had been doing 50 in the 35. I proceeded to tell him exactly what the speed limits were throughout the town and each place they changed and I was painstakingly careful to not speed by even one mph through the entire town.
He didn’t write me a ticket and let me go.
There still ARE a host of speed traps in the South.
There was a place similar in a town far away. Same tactics. Long hill w/ curve at the bottom, 55 mph down to 35 mph around this curve in short order.
The local Barney Fife would sit at the curve and pounce on people passing through.
One early, peaceful and tranquil morning before sunrise a couple of pounds of roofing nails were misplaced in the area where Barney would hide his cruiser.
Public morale improved shortly thereafter. Message received.
Don’t forget Lawtey, FL.
In my town of roughly 300k there are only two main east/west corridors. One was four lanes and one is six. They cut down the four lanes to a meandering brick two lane road with bike path and lots of expensive plants and medians. The speed limit is 25. If you go 32 you get a ticket. (I think it’s $250.) I’ve actually seen them stop people at 30 (because they were right behind me and keeping an even distance.) But supposedly you can’t write a ticket until it’s seven miles over the limit. They have a bunch of 18 year old cops on this route and I suspect they hired them only to write tickets and nothing else.
This has wildly increased traffic on the 6 lane road. At an open meeting the commission tried to reduce that road from 6 lanes to two bike/walking lanes (there are sidewalks on both sides) and two bus and high occupancy car lanes and two traffic lanes. The stated purpose was to “force everybody to use the bus.” (The buses largely run empty. People complained so much they bought busses you can’t see into.)
This town has two universities and four lower level schools, it has a county government, a city government, it’s the state capitol and there are lots of federal offices. This town has NEVER elected a Republican. The current mayor is an out and out communist.
Society Hill, South Carolina has one of the worst I have ever known. This is a tiny village in the middle of nowhere in an area of rather flat land and when you leave on Hwy. 52 going North to Cheraw you head down a fairly steep hill where you must literally ride the brake to avoid a speeding ticket. The cop sits at the bottom of the hill where someone coming down the hill is guaranteed to exceed the speed limit unless he has his foot on the brake. This speed trap has been notorious for many decades but the town officials would swear that there is no speed trap in their town.
Know that road , Was warned before the first trip many years-ago
Last time I went through Waldo was about 1999 or 2000.
I don’t agree that it is a speed “trap”. At least going north (can’t recall regards going south). A trap is a setup where it is unreasonably easy to speed and that is used to ticket for ridiculous infractions. Going north it is so well marked and they make it abundantly clear one will get nailed, that IMO one is paying insufficiently safe attention to their driving if they speed there. Nobody is “trapping” anyone going northbound.
“I was a highwayman
Along the coach roads, I did ride
with sword and pistol by my side”
This kind of stuff is one reason I moved to a rural area in central KY. I’ve been here almost three years now and I’ve noticed a difference from the 45 years I lived in the Seattle area:
I don’t even think about radar cops any more as I drive. In Seattle, if I was behind the wheel, I was thinking about it, unless I was backed up in a traffic jam, which was roughly a third of the time.
I average about 70 in 55 mph zones on my 122 mile (round trip) commute every single day. I have yet to see a speed trap.
The public safety excuse is one of the biggest pantloads imaginable, ain’t it?
You left out the lyrics that were really relevant to this thread:
"And I'll be back again, and again and again and again and again.. "
That map is absolutely hilarious!
If the purpose is to catch people, it is catching people that are begging to be caught. If you get caught there, you are not paying any attention to your driving.
That said, I've seen what unrestrained speeding is like in a small stretch as in their center of town. Sorry, but without slowing people down there, that stretch would be loud and unsafe and rather unpleasant. And frankly, without a real smack upside the head, they aren't going to slow down. Seen places like this with basic speed sign changes and they are completely ignored. Fact is that the majority of drivers are either inconsiderate or inattentive, and have no concept of the noise and safety issues they inflict on the areas they drive through. And I speak from a lot experience on that.
Still taking about Waldo, not anywhere else.
South Carolina I-95 between Ridgeland to the south and US 21 to the north is a section that seems like the only place the pavement is asphalt and smooth in the entire state. On either side the pavement is concrete washboard style. There is a little overpass without an exit on it that is somewhere closer to the US 21 exit that has permanently mounted radars on the overpass. A curve in the interstate approaching from both sides hides the patrol cars setting on each side just waiting for those who get used to the smooth comfortable surface.
Going north as you say is not such a deal but it is the south run where they really work it.
There was a small town in East Tennessee on Highway 411 that had posted speed limit signs that read 34 MPH...If you were doing 35, you got nailed...No tolerance allowed...They would even take you to the judge’s house and fine you right at his front door....*LOL*