Michigan Speed Traps
Generally people refer to a “Speed Trap” where a Police Officer sits in concealment waiting to catch speeding motorists. They wait around bends, behind fences or signs, at the side of an on ramp or under a darkened overpass to hit unsuspecting vehicles with radar.
However certain sections of roads or highways are also called sped traps based upon the unusually high number of speeding tickets issued there. Many times this is found in areas where the speed limit is uncharacteristically low for the road or highway. Speed traps are commonly found along major highways like I-75 or I-96, where the ticketed travelers probably do not live and are therefore less likely to contest the ticket. In many communities, law enforcement officers use speed traps as revenue raisers for the city. The more tickets the officers write the more money for the city, the more money a city has the more money the city can pay for the officers (raises, overtime, additional officers and new equipment). This is a big incentive for police officers to write more tickets.
Another form of speed trap are areas that have highly fluctuating speed limits. For example, a speed limit going from 55 to 45 to 35 to 25 back to 55 in under a mile due to proximity of a rural town.
Motorists, wary of the tactics of police officers, have resorted to using radar detection devises. In response, some police officers will work in teams of two or three without radar to try and ticket motorists. They start with two points of reference on the road, having measured the distance between them, and then using a stopwatch, try to time the vehicle as it crosses from the first point to the second. Then based upon a mathematical formula, the police officer makes an approximation of the speed, radios to their partner who then pulls over the motorist and issues a ticket.