Follow up to WFAA speed trap piece

Above is my interview with Dallas’s WFAA channel 8, broadcast on March 23, 2010, which was about my Texas’s Worst Speed Traps article.

WFAA also talked to Keller Police Chief Mark Hafner. He disputed that Westlake is a speed trap. (Westlake contracts policing to Keller PD.) He says, “When we took over policing in 2002, Highway 114 had 3-4 fatals a year. In the last 2 years, we have not had a fatal accident on highway 114.”

I pulled all Westlake auto fatalities from 1996-2008 on a graph. Remember that Keller took over policing in 2002. Here’s the graph:
Westlake traffic tickets and fatalities
(Important note:1996-1998 really did have 0 fatalities, but no ticket data was available from the state.)

Sorry, I see no correlation. Do you? Except maybe a lack of a correlation between fatal wrecks and tickets–although I admit that you can’t draw much of a conclusion from this limited data. Plus TX-114 was recently rebuilt in the area, but I can’t find answers yet on how this affected Westlake’s portion. (EDIT 3/26/10: According to State disputes Westlake speed limit (Fort Worth Star-Telegram),TX-114 reconstruction through Westlake was completed in late 2002.)

But wait, there’s more!

Let’s narrow down Westlake fatalities just to TX 114:
Westlake traffic tickets and TX-114 fatalities

1 fatality on occasional years on Westlake’s TX-114, a far cry from “3-4 fatals a year.”

19 thoughts on “Follow up to WFAA speed trap piece”

  1. I have to wonder if you are confusing speedtraps with highways where drivers like to set their own speed limit rules. To me, speed traps are sections of roads where speed limits are manipulated to deceive or confuse drivers. Usually dropping the speed limit abruptly so as to catch drivers off guard. Or pulling over and ticketing drivers for 2-3 miles over the limit. Latley when I hear someone complaining about being caught in a speedtrap upon firther investigation I find they were just speeding and got caught. One of the speedtraps on your list is right up th road from me on IH35. Selma. I drive through there all the time and I have never been ticketed. But then I am usually only going around 5 mph over the speed limit.

      1. Just because it’s written on Wikipedia doesn’t necessarily make it so. I routinely drive through Selma, Driscoll, Patton Village, and Shenandoah and have never been pulled over. I am also usually driving 5 miles an hour over the posted speed limit. I am a peace officer in south Texas, for a department that focuses on traffic enforcement. The speed limit is 70day/65night for the entirety of my patrol area. It’s real easy as far as I am concerned. Go faster than eight mph over the speed limit, get a ticket. The speed limit is clearly posted, people choose to violate it, just as I do in the cities mentioned above. If an officer in any one of those departments were to pull me over and issue me a citation for five over, I would deserve it. People make a conscious decision to violate the law. I don’t personally care if Westlake were to make twice the amount of money that they do presently, as long as it’s made honestly. If you don’t want a ticket, DON’T SPEED!

      2. I could not agree more with your article I was going 3 over the speed limit and the police department gave me a ticket for 14 over this town is so greedy over this something needs to be done.

      3. Dear Aren Cambre, my wife and I just went through Marshall TX and she go a speeding ticket just before the north loop. Where can I find data on how much Marshall takes in for citations? It does not make your top 40 list, but it is one of the only small towns to have stop light cameras and I suspect it is a real speed trap.

  2. Apparently they have now moved to the roads surrounding 114. I was clocked doing 44 in a 30. When I had just passed a limit sign for 35 with the thing on it that clocks you. And it said I was doing 35.

  3. I would like to divert from the debate for a moment, and ask: How much of the revenue police collect from traffic tickets is used on more important crimes such as homicides and burglaries (especially important since burglaries are on the rise while recovering stolen property is nearly impossible) ?

  4. Policemen have a tough job, and most perform with honesty and integrity. There are, however, some bad guys in uniform. I can tell you horror stories from policemen I know personally. But here it is, if you follow the traffic laws, your chances of getting a ticket are very slim. If you push the boundaries, your chances are better. Also, these guys and gals in uniform are human beings and subject to the occasional human error. I think they do a pretty good job overall. Except for the few bad ones.

  5. Aren,

    I see you use state records, but, do those records reflect tickets that are dismissed as a result of people taking defensive driving school or opting/pleasding for deferred adjudication before a judge (where no record or report is made to the state)?

    Thanks for your work on this topic too.

    _Jim

    1. I believe that the ticket counts are for all tickets filed with the court regardless of disposition. I am not sure if revenue numbers include deferred disposition. By the way, deferred adjudication is for things more serious than Class C misdemeanors. Texas traffic tickets are generally class C, so a different process applies, called deferred disposition.

  6. Roanoke, TX is a town that is out of control. Do not go to Roanoke, TX or pass through Roanoke, TX. Roanoke, TX police -tax revenue-officers are circling around like sharks…just waiting for you. There is no doubt in my mind. Rebellion is close at hand. The citizens need the governor of Texas to bring in the National Guard to eradicate this cancer.

    I used to go to Roanoke, TX to eat in the restaurants. I never go into Roanoke, TX any more unless I absolutely have to. The risk is just too high. The Roanoke, TX police-tax revenue- officers, judge and prosecutor are racketeers that extort millions of dollars from innocent drivers. Example: The Roanoke, TX police-tax revenue- officer sits on the side of the road with his emergency lights permanently on. He never shuts off his emergency lights. The Roanoke, TX police-tax revenue- officer pulls over any driver that passes then tickets for “Passing an emergency vehicle.” Extortion cost is $350. One Roanoke, TX police-tax revenue- officer de-frauds hundreds of drivers during each day. There are 33 Roanoke, TX police-tax revenue- officers defrauding drivers. Do the math. Meanwhile these Roanoke, TX police-tax revenue- officers constantly break the traffic law at will and hourly. I have seen the violations of the Roanoke, TX police-tax revenue- officers countless times. This is a real den of outlaws. The governor of Texas should bring in the National Guard to eradicate this cancer…before the citizens have to surgically remove this malignant cancer themselves. The citizens do not want these gestopic thieves since the Roanoke, TX police-tax revenue- officers are more of a danger than other outlaws. The Roanoke, TX government is pure tyranny. Don’t spend a penny in that town.

  7. I am trying to find out about Menard Texas. They have a great little deal going there where the speed drops and the local cop is waiting. They also like to select college students to pull over. Have you updated your information?

  8. This area of Southlake, Westlake, Roanoke and surrounding small towns is tough on traffic enforcement. There’s no doubt it’s more about revenue than safety. I am retired law enforcement from FL with a large portion of that time assigned to the traffic division as a motorcycle officer and traffic homicide investigator. I know from experience a ticket is not always warranted, a warning in many cases is the appropriate action. I have never heard of such blatant disregard to the public and tax payers as how these departments choose to treat the public, they should be ashamed and not allowed to get away with it.

  9. I got a failure to make a complete stop on Davis last night. I’m a vet figured the would check for warrants and let me go. Putz comes back with a $177 ticket. Really? They are greedy non caring schmucks that pounce on the good paying jobs there. Oh and don’t mind the 30 minute wait because they cut the 3 lanes to 1 and traffic is lined up for a mile because they have a stop sign posted. Why don’t they work on that so traffic can flow at a normal speed. Karma is a bad mo fo. A town in AL was taken over by the state and dissolved for such actions. The State needs to investigate this bull. Million dollar homes doesn’t raise enough revenue to finish a half mile of road? Or do they want it that way?

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