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Speed trap nabs 54 motorists

September 21, 2000

Speed trap nabs 54 motorists



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer


Hagerstown City Police issued citations to 54 motorists caught Thursday afternoon in a West End speed trap designed to slow down traffic that could endanger pedestrians and other motorists.

Three officers were positioned at the corner of West Side Avenue and West Franklin Street while a fourth officer operated a laser gun tracking motorists' speeds.

Police had no difficulty finding motorists driving above the 25 mph posted speed limit, said Lt. John Moulton.

"We could stay out here writing tickets all day," he said.

The officers wrote about 20 tickets within 90 minutes, with the fastest speed logged at 46 mph, he said.

The speed enforcement effort was in response to complaints from residents in the area, he said.

Ticket penalties vary depending on the motorist's speed. Those going 1 to 9 mph over the limit were handed $60 tickets and got one point on their licenses; 10 to 19 mph over the limit rated a $70 fine and two points.

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Those going from 20 to 29 mph over the limit were fined $135 and got 2 points while those driving from 30 to 39 mph over the limit were fined $270 and received 5 points.

Drivers have the option of paying the fine or going to court and trying to fight it, Moulton said.

No warnings were issued and no slack was given.

"They know the speed limit but they chose to continue to speed," said Officer Dwayne Freeman as he stood in the middle of the street gesturing at another speeder to pull over.

Speeding is common on West Franklin Street because it is wide and leads out of town, he said.

Those pulled over "aren't happy but they cooperate because they realize they were speeding," he said.

Similar speeding enforcement efforts will be conducted periodically in high-traffic areas throughout the city, said Moulton.

Speeding is dangerous because it makes it harder for drivers to react quickly and there is greater risk of injury in an accident, he said.

"The numbers will drop down but we'll still have speeders no matter what. We could put a patrol car in the middle of the street with lights flashing and people would still speed," said Moulton.

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