Traps, Apps and Digital MapsThu, 27 May 2010 00:00:00 -0700
Almost 10 percent of the country is traveling this weekend, and most will be going more than 50 miles. This makes Memorial Day the perfect time to get caught speeding. You may think more cars on the road equals more cover. But there will also be more police. We have a few ideas for your trip, and all of them involve not getting caught and ticketed.
It helps if you're armed with some intelligence about speed traps.
That's where Trapster from Reach Unlimited Corporation comes in. It's a free iPhone app that keeps track of speed traps, heavy enforcement zones and speed cameras in real-time. Users post their own trap and camera locations, and other drivers can see and avoid them. When a driver goes through an area, he can vote on how serious the police presence is. Once started, the app works hands-free. The best way to use it is to mount it on your dash where a GPS usually is, this way it won't distract you.
If you don't have an iPhone, there's always www.speedtraps.com. This site lists all the major speedtraps in across the country. For those who don't know, a speedtrap is a spot where police usually hide to catch fast drivers. Sometimes it's just over a hill or around a curve. Other times, the natural scenery gives officers the perfect cover. In either case, when you're informed, it's much easier to check your speed or to just avoid the area entirely.
Here are some places to really mind your speed.
-- Outside LAX, southbound on Sepulveda
The officer sets up in a bus stop catching drivers as the speed limit changes.
-- 805 Freeway southbound, just south of the 8 Freeway
The California Highway Patrol sits around the wide sweeping curve, just past the 8 Freeway. Look out.
-- FDR Drive under the Brooklyn Bridge
Slow down before climbing the hill to get on FDR. If you can see the officer, it's too late.
-- Clearview Expressway southbound off Throngs Neck Bridge
It's a large empty road with few vehicles, easy to speed, easy to get caught.
-- I-94 near Ten Mile Road
The speed limit drops from 70 to 55 near a curve. Keep your head up and speed down.
-- Eight Mile Road near John R. Road.
It's easy to come off the freeway at a good clip onto Eight Mile, but the speed limit is 40 mph.
-- U.S. Highway 183 near Oak Knoll Drive
Cops target cars going north. Drivers have to illegally cross three lanes to get to Frontage Road. Don't do it!
-- Liles Parkway between Poplar Tent and Weddington Road.
Police sit on an unused turnoff; they point toward Poplar Tent.
-- I-95 southbound in Baltimore near Whitemarsh Boulevard. The speed limit changes near the McHenry tunnel, right by the speed cameras.
-- I-10 westbound to SR51 north
This is another place where the speed limit drops unexpectedly, with an unmanned speed camera waiting.
Rural Road near Rio Salado Parkway
-- One of many speed traps in the Tempe-Scottsdale area, the limit goes to 35 mph and the sign is hard to see.
By Jake Lingeman