For those who spend a disproportionate amount of time driving cars, speed traps are an ever-present danger to driver’s licenses and insurance rates. No matter how much you invest in technology to warn you of speed enforcement, it seems that law enforcement is always one step ahead of you.
Chances are good that you know where (and when) the police like to hide in your neighborhood, your town or even your city, but head out on the open road and it’s a whole other story. Cross state lines, and you may not know that a particular jurisdiction enforces the posted speed limit with particular enthusiasm.
If you own a smartphone, apps like Trapster
can provide user-submitted data on speed trap locations in near real-time. Trapster even gives users an audible alert when approaching a know and tagged speed trap location, speed camera or red light camera. It can also warn of traffic jams and accidents, perhaps giving you enough advance warning to navigate around them.
Another free internet option with regular updates (but, sadly, no mapping feature or smartphone app) is the National Speed Trap Exchange
, provided by the National Motorists Association. Listings are published by state and city, with the most recent reports appearing first in the database.
Unlike Trapster, however, submitting an entry is a time-consuming process that requires you to manually enter the location and a description of the speed trap, which limits the number of database entries. While some locations may be used on a regular basis, most departments vary speed enforcement locations to keep drivers guessing.
In other words, the National Speed Trap Exchange and Trapster
have their merits, but neither is a foolproof way to ensure that you’re not stopped for speeding. In fact, the only way we know of to guarantee that you’re not stopped for speeding is by obeying speed limits, and that doesn't appear to be an option for most drivers.