NMA Speed Trap Spotlight: Missouri

Much of the civil unrest in suburban St. Louis over the last year has been linked to public frustration with onerous traffic enforcement coupled with court systems that operate more like debtors prisons than actual institutions of justice. In 2013, Ferguson, population 21,000, issued 33,000 arrest warrants for unpaid traffic tickets and other minor offenses. Thankfully, Missouri has enacted a new law that bans towns from jailing motorists who can’t pay their traffic fines and that caps the amount of revenue cities in St. Louis County can collect from traffic revenue. We hope it’s enough to stop the abuses, but you may want to still be careful when driving through these Missouri communities.

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.     Saint Ann:             I-70 just East of Cypress Rd. (East Bound)

249 Reports           99% Acknowledgement Rate

“This is one of the most lively and sneakiest speed traps in the St. Louis Metro area. They shoot laser at you from 2000′ away and you will never see them before it’s too late. Here is a map of where they shoot you at and where they set up their trap and shoot laser from.”

2.     Foley:                   Throughout Foley

198 Reports           93% Acknowledgement Rate*

“They will not only give you a ticket for going over a mile over the speed limit. They will give you failure to stop at a stop sign even if you do. THIS PLACE IS A JOKE.”

3.     Bella Villa:           Avenue H & Bayless Avenue

44 Reports             95% Acknowledgement Rate

“Bella Villa police will indeed stop you for any real or imagined infraction. I was stopped the other night just past City Hall on Ave H. The officer first said I didn’t stop completely at stop sign. Then gave me a ticket for “running a stop sign.” I was surprised as I know it is a speed trap and was being very careful. When I stated that I didn’t think I had run a stop sign he said, “Going 20 mph isn’t stopping and I’m not going to argue with you.” He spoke quite harshly and after that I didn’t say a word. I know I didn’t run that stop sign but paid the ticket anyway as it would be my word against his. I suspect most people do the same.”

4.     Rock Hill:             McKnight Rd, Manchester Rd

35 Reports             94% Acknowledgement Rate

“Rock Hill Police are always shooting radar on McKnight Rd. They WILL ticket you for doing 1 mph over the limit. The speed limit is 30 mph. It is very hard to do 30. When driving on McKinght Rd. Keep your eyes peeled for Rock Hill PD.”

5.     Normandy:           East and West I-70 near Bermuda Ave (Exit 241A)

29 Reports             100% Acknowledgement Rate

“One of many traps along an eight North County municipality string along I-70. Designated as an “Accident Reduction Corridor” designed to hike fines (minimum is $200) and increase city revenue.”

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

Rank City Number of Speed Traps Acknowledgement Rate
1 Kansas City 12 98%
2 Independence 10 96%
3 Columbia 8 98%
4 Foley 6 93%
5 Cape Girardeau 6 95%
6 Curryville 6 93%
7 Jackson 6 89%
8 Ballwin 6 90%
9 St. Ann 5 93%
10 St. Peters 5 91%

* 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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