The U.S.-based National Motorists Association (NMA) has conducted a public poll to identify the worst speed trap locations across the United States and Canada. And guess what?
Three Canadian cities ranked in the top five and Ontario was the worst state or provincial jurisdiction by a landslide, followed by Nova Scotia. Wonderful!
Speed traps typically combine arbitrarily low speed limits with heavy traffic enforcement designed to generate ticket revenue, the NMA says.
While the intent may be to modify long-term driver behaviour, that is seldom the result. Speed traps keep springing up in the same locations, traffic tickets keep flowing unabated, and there is no material effect on traffic safety.
Just a constant revenue stream – for the jurisdictional coffers and for insurance companies, which raise rates based on speeding tickets received.
That is why the NMA advocates for increased speed limits in chronic speed trap areas, supported by traffic studies and proven engineering principles.
To establish the rankings, the NMA analyzed the most recent five years of data from its website – The National Speed Trap Exchange – which lists tens of thousands of chronic speed traps in the United States and Canada and includes descriptive commentary about each listing.
Since postings are generated by the public, and users vote on which locations qualify as speed traps, the rankings reflect the consensus of thousands of drivers throughout North America.
To develop the rankings, the NMA calculated the total number of affirmative votes across speed traps in a given community and then indexed the total to the community’s population size. A preliminary screening process ensured that only speed traps with high levels of consensus were factored into the rankings.
The results are:
Worst Speed Trap Cities (population greater than 50,000)
(Scores represent reported speed traps/1,000 population)
1. Flower Mound, Texas(8.7)
2. Livonia, Michigan (8.4)
3. Windsor, Ontario (3.6)
4. Hamilton, Ontario (1.3)
5. Mississauga, Ontario (1.1)
Worst Speed Trap States and Provinces:
(Scores represent reported speed traps/100,000 population)
1. Ontario (92.9)
2. Nova Scotia (57.7)
3 District of Columbia (53.4)
4 South Carolina (50.4)
5. Michigan (49.6)
6. Iowa (42.2)
7. Tennessee (41.6)
8. West Virginia (40.4)
9. Washington (40.1)
10. Delaware (38.8)
Minnesota, Quebec and New Hampshire fared best with voters. Click here to see all state and province rankings.
Several cities surrounding the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport were singled out for special mention as operators of an extraordinary cluster of speed traps.
Drivers who visited The National Speed Trap Exchange within the past five years complained overwhelmingly about opportunistic law enforcement tactics in Romulus, Livonia, Allen Park, Redford, Taylor, Northville, and Dearborn Heights.
The bottom line: If your travels take you near Detroit, or to any of the other destinations on this list, be particularly careful.