America’s Speed Traps - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

America’s Speed Traps

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Atlanta, GA -

So many American families are thinking about that last dash of summer. 

One more road trip during the warm days

But we know the frustration of rolling down the road only to discover you've just sped by a trap you never saw coming. 

ABC's Steve Osunsami heads out in search of real answers about the great American speed trap.

We know. It can seem so unfair --- you're driving down the road and the speed limit says 55 but suddenly it's 35 for a very short stretch, and there's a police officer waiting under the sign.

"I'm gonna pay these tickets, but it's a shame the city doesn't have any money."

Meet Kurt Skarjune, a retired Detroit area cop..."I said to myself that when I got a chance to speak out about it, I would."

He says it just what you might expect - cities and counties make a whole lot of money off speed traps

"It's like a dirty secret."

Along I-71 in Lyndale, Ohio, the speed drops to 60 for about 14 seconds on the highway and before a court stepped in last winter the tiny town collected 800,000 a year.

Along I-10, in the middle of Cajun country, tickets from a speed limit change at the bottom of this bridge covered 80 percent of the budget for Henderson, Louisiana more than 2 million dollars.

The police chief and his deputy deny it but they're accused of paying officers kickbacks to write tickets.

But across the country, drivers are helping drivers reporting more than 78- thousand speeds traps since 2000.

In the data warning:  the cities with most traps are Colorado Springs, Denver, Vegas, Austin and the number one is Houston.

To all those frustrated drivers who feel they've been pulled over at speed trap authorities say that when there's a hill and the speed limit is 25 miles per hour it's not a trap it's about public safety.

My police chief in Georgia took me out for a little drivers ed, near a hill that I've had trouble with near my home.

The bottom of a hill is a classic ticketing hot spot.

"He saw us sitting here, and he's already up to 38 miles an hour."

"We know speed kills. According to the federal government nearly 10,000 Americans die every year in speed related accidents."

These are not speed traps. What these are, we're responding to citizens who reside in this community who are saying that people traveling along this roadway at 40, 50 mph"

 says they certain raise revenue here but says their real goal is to slow everyone down.

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