The Speeding Ticket Scam

You may not have gotten that last speeding ticket for the reason you believe you did.  Yes, you may have been speeding, but were you being unsafe? Probably not.  The reality is speeding tickets are a revenue generation tool for police departments and local governments.

Speeding tickets constitute low-hanging fruit for policemen and are generally what we describe as victim-less crimes; driving 5 mph over the speed limit almost never harms anyone. In other words, issuing speeding tickets is a lot easier than solving real crimes involving a victim.  Issuing speeding tickets also carries the extra benefit of generating income whereas catching criminals results in a net financial drain on the police department and government.

If catching dangerous drivers to protect the public was really the goal of issuing speeding tickets, the police would not use so many tricks to catch speeders; if you have to “trick” a person into breaking the law, that person probably is not doing anything wrong in the first place.  One popular trick most drivers have experienced is the posting of several speed limit signs over a short distance, all with different speeds. This trick can be very effective because it is easy to miss a sudden speed limit drop when the road is the same and nothing has changed.  The policeman simply sits past the speed limit sign with the reduced speed and picks off unwitting drivers.  You probably have also noticed that policeman do not lie in wait in areas where drivers are naturally alert, such as a stretch of the highway where a lot of traffic is entering or exiting. Instead, the policeman will will on a deserted stretch of highway where the driver may not be as focused because there are few hazards or changes to the road.

Downhill speed traps are also popular with traffic police.  Often, a driver can exceed the speed limit by simply coasting down the hill.  You will notice that photo radar devices are often placed just after a drop in the speed limit, despite no change to road conditions, or that they are placed on roads where the speed limits seem artificially low for the road conditions.  It has been documented that the timing of the traffic lights where red light cameras are placed has been changed to slightly shorten the yellow light in order to maximize red light violations.

If you do get a traffic citation, I encourage you to consider why you got it, consider if you feel you deserved it, and then call us if you want to fight it, because I know we would like to fight it.