NMA Speed Trap Spotlight: Louisiana

Louisiana speedtrap spotlight

Louisiana is the latest state to try to outlaw speed traps. State Representative Regina Barrow recently proposed legislation that would define a speed trap as a stretch of road for which no valid speed study exists. In such cases, police would be prohibited from using radar enforcement unless the driver’s speed exceeds the prima facie limit by 15 mph or more. A related bill would require municipalities that generate at least 50 percent of their revenue from speeding citations to post warning signs and flashing lights alerting motorists to upcoming speed traps.

Let’s take a look at some places that may be affected by these measures.

This information comes from the NMA’s National Speed Trap Exchange (http://www.speedtrap.org/), a unique website that gives drivers an opportunity to report on and exchange comments about predatory speed traps they have encountered on their travels.

Five Highest Activity Speed Trap Locations

1.     Washington:         I-49 at the Washington exit

174 Reports           100% Acknowledgement Rate*

 “I, my parents, and everyone I know has gotten a ticket here. The location is coming up on Washington, LA on both sides of the overpass. There can be TWO or more police cars, so you think you have passed it and then wham the next one gets you. They are slick like that. The speed limit in this area has recently been raised to 75, so I see less people getting pulled over, but it is on a “dead” stretch of interstate where you can zone out and go fast, so be aware!!”

2.     Gretna:                 Mobile – All over town

52 Reports             100% Acknowledgement Rate

 “While Jefferson Parish (unincorporated) has pulled the plug on its money-minting machines, the incorporated city of Gretna uses mobile cameras to reap rewards. Watch out on Lapalco and Belle Chasse Hwy. Better still, avoid the city entirely.”

3.     Dodson:                State Highway 167

52 Reports             98% Acknowledgement Rate

 “Police sit on both ends of Dodson 24/7. Also be sure to watch your speed when entering other towns on 167. Several of them enjoy nailing motorists who forget to adequately slow down when entering the city limits.”

4.     Baskin:                 Hwy. 15/U.S. Hwy. 425

50 Reports             100% Acknowledgement Rate

 “This town has been a well-known trap for a long time. They were ranked the top speed trap in the state when over 80 percent of revenue for the year was from traffic tickets. The state recently made them raise the speed limit, and it didn’t seem to help any. Drive through town anytime and you are guaranteed to see at least one of the four cruisers in this town of 250 people (two of which are new) still at it.”

5.     New Orleans:        On Harrison Ave. & Marconi going toward Lakeview

49 Reports             100% Acknowledgement Rate

 “When you are driving down Wisner where the speed limit is 40 mph and you turn to go through City Park, there is not a single speed limit sign posted the entire route to Marconi. Then, all of the sudden as you come over the bridge at Scout Island, you come upon a camera ready to catch you with the only speed limit sign posted at the camera for 25 mph! Luckily it is also at a red light, so I was already slowing down to stop, but I have stopped taking this way all together. I always thought it was 35. Be careful!”

Ten Louisiana Cities with Most Reported Speed Traps (for the Last Five Years) 

Rank

City

Number   of Speed Traps

Acknowledgement   Rate

1

New Orleans

26

96%

2

Baton Rouge

17

89%

3

Gretna

16

90%

4

Washington

13

85%

5

Denham Springs

10

83%

6

Port Barre

9

90%

7

West Monroe

8

87%

8

Baker

8

93%

9

Westwego

8

75%

10

Woodworth

8

83%

* Acknowledgement rate is the percentage of yes votes to total votes by motorists indicating whether the reported locations, in their opinions, are actually speed traps. Data are available at the links provided.

About The National Speed Trap Exchange

With the development of The National Speed Trap Exchange (http://www.speedtrap.org/) more than 10 years ago, the National Motorists Association pioneered the use of interactive media to alert motorists to potential speed trap activity in their communities. Since then the site has reported on nearly 80,000 speed traps throughout the United States and Canada.

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One Response to “NMA Speed Trap Spotlight: Louisiana”

  1. Robert Buckman says:

    Watch out for the tiny town of Rosepine in Vernon Parish, on U.S. 171 just north of DeRidder. The speed limit on 171 northbound is 55, but just .4 miles past the 55 sign it abruptly drops to 45 coming into Rosepine, although it is still a rural four-lane divided highway. Just .3 miles after that is a traffic light. I had my cruise control on 55 coming into Rosepine because of Louisiana’s notorious speedtraps, and I slowed as I approached the traffic light, but was pulled over anyway. I didn’t discover until later that the ticket alleges I was going 66! That’s impossible! The fine: $273! I filed a public records request for the Rosepine city budget and as I suspected, of $526,000 in operating income for 2016-17, $273,100 came from fines, forfeitures and court fees, or 53 percent. Only $68,700 came from franchise taxes, $29,300 from property taxes and $31,200 from sales taxes. A friend at Fort Polk told me Rosepine is notorious for ambushing soldiers on their way to morning formation. Nice folks. What they have is a legalized shakedown racket.