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Published: Sunday, 7/20/2003

Web tracks sites of notorious speed traps

BY KELLY LECKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Ask Sgt. Cory Fairbanks if his Wayne, Ohio, police department writes a lot of tickets, and he's quick to point out one thing: They're not on the Web site.

The site is www.speedtrap.org, a state-by-state listing of what motorists consider to be the country's most heavily patrolled roads. Police officers know all about it, and so do angry drivers still steaming over that $100 ticket.

It's been around about four years and is run by the National Motorist Association, a group formed in Waunakee, Wisc. to fight for drivers' rights.

“Not only do we allow people to list speed traps, we also allow people to make comments on those listings,” said association spokesman Eric Skrum. “The reason we did that is to open the debate over speed traps to everybody.”

Mr. Skrum said most of the complaints about speed traps seem to come from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and California.

Anyone can contribute a speed trap listing, and many people do. There are just two rules: no naming specific officers, and no profanity.

When Washingtonville Police Chief J.R. Blakeman saw a road in his town listed on the speed trap, he felt he had no choice but to plead his case. The chief pointed out that 27,000 vehicles pass through his town every day, and last year his officers wrote only 336 tickets last year.

“You do the math, and if you can call my village a speed trap after coming with a negative figure then it will be plain to see that if we raised the speed limit to 100 we could not make you happy,” he wrote.



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