Labor Day Travel and Traffic: Worst Speed Traps in America

A motorist group has compiled a list of the towns with the most speed traps.

September 2, 2010, 2:54 PM

Sept. 3, 2010— -- As Americans head to the roads this Labor Day weekend, many are going to get speeding tickets. While we're not suggesting that anybody should drive faster than the speed limit, we are realistic and know that you are likely to hit that gas pedal in an effort to beat the crowds to the beach, amusement park, barbecue or family picnic.

So in honor of this holiday weekend, we provide a list of each state's worst speed traps, and tips for avoiding those holiday-dampening tickets.

"There are certainly people who get tickets on the interstate system, but by and large where we think most of the revenue-oriented traffic enforcement is going on is more likely on the secondary suburban and rural roads," said Jim Baxter, president of the National Motorists Association, a group that believes that drivers are "ignored and exploited by federal, state and local governments."

"You find that many times in areas where you're least expecting it, where there doesn't seem a need for particularly low speed limits or there's little roadside development and also good hiding places," Baxter added.

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This Labor Day weekend is likely to see more tickets issued than in the the past. According to the AAA, the number of people venturing forth this holiday weekend will jump 9.9 percent over last year, with 34.4 million travelers heading at least 50 miles from home. Most -- 91 percent -- will be traveling by car. (In case you were wondering, gas is now averaging $ 2.68 a gallon, according to the government, up 7 cents from this time last year.)

Speed Traps Can Hide

So it becomes evermore important to beware of those speed traps out there that can add considerably to your holiday budget.

First, some basic advice: "We often mention to our members -- who are not shy about using various technical devices such as radar detectors -- that your best tool is still your eyes," said Baxter. "Learning to look further down the road is going to give you a clue not just about speed enforcement but about any accidents."

Baxter's group has set up a website,, where motorists self-report various speed traps they find.

"Going in and out of small communities, pay particular attention to what the speed limits are because it might not have any rhyme or reason for why they are posted where they are or the numerical limit," Baxter said. "That's a classic place where a lot of people get a lot of traffic tickets."

For this Labor Day, Baxter's group took all of the reported speed traps and tallied them up to present the places with the most speed traps, or at least the most speed traps reported by the group's members. The number of traps is not adjusted for the size of the community or the number of travelers coming through.

"All of it is independently and voluntarily reported by motorists," Baxter warns. In other words, take it with a grain of salt.

America's Worst Speed Traps provided two cities for each state, the community with the most traps and the town with the most traps with a population of 100,000 or less. When just one town's name is listed, it means that the community with fewer than 100,000 people was also the top speed trap town.

Alabama: Montgomery, Hoover

Alaska: Anchorage, Juneau

Arizona: Tucson, Flagstaff

Arkansas: Little Rock, Fayetteville

California: Los Angeles, Mission Viejo

Colorado: Colorado Springs, Littleton

Connecticut: Milford

Delaware: Newark

Florida: Jacksonville, Boca Raton

Georgia: Atlanta, Marietta

Hawaii: Honolulu, Aiea

Idaho: Boise, Idaho Falls

Illinois: Chicago, Elk Grove Village

Indiana: Indianapolis, Bloomington

Iowa: Des Moines, Iowa City

Kansas: Overland Park, Lawrence

Kentucky: Louisville, Bowling Green

Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Metairie

Maine: Portland, Biddeford

Maryland: Baltimore, Gaithersburg

Massachusetts: Boston, Lynn

Michigan: Livonia

Cities and Towns With Many Speed Traps

Minnesota: St. Paul, Edina

Mississippi: Jackson, Meridian

Missouri: Kansas City, O'Fallon

Montana: Missoula

Nebraska: Omaha, Bellevue

Nevada: Las Vegas, Carson City

New Hampshire: Manchester, Nashua

New Jersey: Mahwah

New Mexico: Albuquerque, Las Cruces

New York: New York City, Troy

North Carolina: Raleigh, Asheville

North Dakota: Fargo, Grand Forks

Ohio: Cleveland, Millersburg

Oklahoma: Tulsa, Moore

Oregon: Portland, Beaverton

Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh, Reading

Rhode Island: Pawtucket

South Carolina: Greenville

South Dakota: Sioux Falls, Rapid City

Tennessee: Nashville, Smyrna

Texas: Houston, Tyler

Utah: Salt Lake City, Sandy

Vermont: Wilmington

Virginia: Virginia Beach, Fairfax

Washington: Seattle, Bellingham

West Virginia: Summersville

Wisconsin: Milwaukee, Kenosha

Wyoming: Cheyenne