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Caught in a speed trap
Old 01-19-2013, 08:06 AM   #1
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Caught in a speed trap

Yesterday I was driving west across Texas towards Colorado. The speed limit is 75 and I was doing about 80 or so. Every small town along the way has a sign that says "65MPH up ahead" and then a short ways up it slows to 65, then 50, then 40 as you go thru town. I get to some nowheresville town called Estelline (population 150) and I see a sign that says 50MPH at the same time as I see a cop hiding in the dark. There's no warning. Just drops from 75 to 50 instantly. Where I come from we call this a speed trap. Obviously I cant slow down in time and get pulled over. The cops walks up to me and its this guy....
Police officer delays Ryan Moats of Houston Texans in hospital parking lot as family member dies - ESPN

The same cop who got fired in Dallas and now works in the middle of nowhere 100 miles east of Amarillo running an obvious speed trap. Amazing.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:20 AM   #2
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I'd call it a speed trap as well, but you say you were going 80 or so, what did the ticket say? Radar I assume.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:33 AM   #3
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Interesting that's where the cop ended up, however...

Looking at US 287 heading into Estelline from the southeast, Google Street View shows a "55 Ahead" warning sign about a mile out of town, just after passing the intersection of FM 658. The "Speed Limit 55" sign is about a quarter of a mile later, followed by a "Trucks: No Engine Brakes" sign, hinting of additional speed reductions ahead. A few hundred yards past that is a "Speed Limit 50" sign sitting next to the Estelline City Limit sign.

Unless TxDot removed all those signs after Google came through with their cameras, I see no evidence of a speed trap.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:34 AM   #4
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That's not a speed trap, that's a civic revenue enhancer.

Seriously though, they really should have a "Reduced Speed Ahead" sign posted at a fair distance outside town.

Edit: Sleuth REWahoo has added additional info making most of my comment moot.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:23 AM   #5
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Did you have a out-of-area license plate too?

How do you expect small towns in Texas to raise money to run the local government. Taxes?

Delaware has tolls; Texas has speed traps.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:32 AM   #6
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Well, being a fellow LEO, did he let you go with a warning?

The one area in DFW that I know I can expect radar is in Wilmer on I45, a true revenue generator for that community.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:45 AM   #7
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I got a ticket for going 13 miles over the limit in a small town in central NV. He turned it into a "rural ticket". Because there are less than X number of people living in the area per square mile - it was $50. and no points against my license. Took some sting out of the ticket but is obviously set up as a revenue maker for the little town.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:47 AM   #8
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A couple of years ago I was caught in what I consider to be a classic "Smokey And The Bandit" speedtrap at Chillicothe, Texas on US287 between DFW and Amarillo.

There is a section of US287 that has not yet been reconstructed to interstate standards with the small towns bypassed. I think the cops in the small towns in that section take turns in running speedtraps. They must have a meeting and decide to do Estelline today and Chillicothe tomorrow. I have travelled that highway many times and I know where to look for the speedtraps.

The problem for someone who has been driving for hours is that the speed limit is reduced quickly, but the character of the road has not changed. It's not like you are in the middle of town. If you are on "cruise", it's difficult to get to the lower speed without braking.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:49 AM   #9
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If you are on "cruise", it's difficult to get to the lower speed without braking.
Or using your jake brakes...
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:56 AM   #10
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Interesting that's where the cop ended up, however...

Looking at US 287 heading into Estelline from the southeast, Google Street View shows a "55 Ahead" warning sign about a mile out of town, just after passing the intersection of FM 658. The "Speed Limit 55" sign is about a quarter of a mile later, followed by a "Trucks: No Engine Brakes" sign, hinting of additional speed reductions ahead. A few hundred yards past that is a "Speed Limit 50" sign sitting next to the Estelline City Limit sign.

Unless TxDot removed all those signs after Google came through with their cameras, I see no evidence of a speed trap.
Agreed. People who get caught speeding seem to like to place the blame elsewhere.

Personally, I wish all traffic laws were strictly enforced. Driving would be much more pleasant and safe. And I'd have to clean up my act too, I tend to move with traffic, even if that means 5 mph or so above posted limit. It can be dangerous to stay at the posted limit, with cars/trucks wizzing past you (did I just rationalize my speeding? ).

-ERD50
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:19 PM   #11
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Agreed. People who get caught speeding seem to like to place the blame elsewhere.

Personally, I wish all traffic laws were strictly enforced. Driving would be much more pleasant and safe. And I'd have to clean up my act too, I tend to move with traffic, even if that means 5 mph or so above posted limit. It can be dangerous to stay at the posted limit, with cars/trucks wizzing past you (did I just rationalize my speeding? ).

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+1

I was once on a jury for a case in which the probable cause for the traffic stop was the driver stopped at a stoplight with his front wheel over the stop line (front bumper barely into the crosswalk). Golly, you can go out and see that and much worse all the time, why don't more drivers get stopped for that?

Won't mention what the charge was, but the driver was acquitted with less than 3 minutes of jury deliberation. I suggested we sit around in the jury room for about 15 minutes before calling the bailiff in.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:05 PM   #12
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On every ticket that I have ever received, I had it coming, except my first one. I was a teen, and the over reaction of that officer soured me on law enforcement people for too long. I can only blame it On mY BeInG sHiFtY lOoKiNg.

I am now one of those traffic impediments that always drives the speed limit.
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:59 PM   #13
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I actually know someone who grew up in Estelline, and after we drove through it last summer on our way back from Palo Duro Canyon we noticed the population sign so when we got back I emailed him to say that they needed him back. (He lives in Louisiana these days).
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:02 PM   #14
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I actually know someone who grew up in Estelline...
Did he mention the speed trap?
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:07 PM   #15
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Did he mention the speed trap?
No, he didn't

We have actually been through it 3 times now in the last 3 years and I've never noticed a speed trap.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:07 PM   #16
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YEAH CINC House got one in Tx 4th of July. Turns out going 98 in a 75 is not that popular there. Did I mention it wasn't that popular at my house either?

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Old 01-19-2013, 03:56 PM   #17
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just after passing the intersection of FM 658.

What is FM 658 mean? Seems it is a road designation but what does FM stand for?
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:01 PM   #18
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What is FM 658 mean? Seems it is a road designation but what does FM stand for?
Depends. The lady who gives us directions on our Garmin thinks it means "Federated States of Micronesia", but I prefer Farm-to-Market road...

Farm-to-market road - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:19 PM   #19
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I clicked on the Thanks button and expected it to post a Thank You. I have no idea what it did, maybe it send a message to RW saying thanks?

Anyway, THANKS!
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:21 PM   #20
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I clicked on the Thanks button and expected it to post a Thank You. I have no idea what it did, maybe it send a message to RW saying thanks?
Yes, it did.
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