As THE professional hot-shotter, I’ve driven all over the country with expensive cargo in tow. Along the way, I’ve seen more than a few speed traps and learned just about everything there is to know about avoiding them.
Starter Tip: Don’t Speed In the First Place
I’ll give you the full rundown on avoiding speeding tickets in another post, but here’s the gist of it: keep a consistent speed that isn’t more than 5 miles over the limit, and don’t be stupid. Cops can smell your fear, especially if you’re an idiot. The second you stuff your brakes after spotting a patrol car, they’re going to see your “nose” dip. That’s a dead giveaway.
If you hit your brakes, they’ll know you’re a sucker that deserves a ticket. So be cool, watch the road, stay up on your logs and authority if you’re a commercial driver, and don’t be an idiot — and you should be fine.
That said, some roads and no-name towns in this country are designed to nab even perfect drivers like me.
Here are the five worst speed traps I’ve seen across the country.
5. Estelline, Texas (as if Texas could get any worse)
When I’m hauling, I try to avoid going west of the Mississippi if at all possible. That said, I avoid going to Texas at all costs.
It’s no help that somewhere between Dallas and Amarillo is this tiny, backwards town with a single cop that probably rakes in 7 figures for his town of 200 people.
As far as I know, this town exists for one reason: So a cop can catch you going 65 in a 45 mph zone — a speed limit tha
t dropped without you even knowing it.
*TIP* SO just remember: if a highway is going through even the smallest of no-name towns, know that the speed limit can and will drop quickly. And the cops want your cash.
4. Waldo, Florida
If you’re driving anywhere in Florida, best of luck to you. There are speedtraps scattered throughout this sweat-stained, money-grubbing state, but this one outside Gainesville on some swamp-stink highway is among the worst.
*TIP* Most of the time, speed limit changes have to do with something changing on the road. Whether it’s the road conditions, pedestrians, state lines, whatever. This one, however, makes no damn sense — goes from 65 to 35 mph or less for no reason at all. So there you have it– be aware of Florida logic.
3. Oklahoma along I-40 – Moffett, Moore, and other awful towns
In my years on the road, I’ve heard this one more than a few times: What’s the best thing ever to come out of Oklahoma?
Depending on who you ask, the answer is either I-35, I-40, or nothing.
Make no mistake, Oklahoma is mostly nothing for hundreds of miles. But they manage to sneak in more than a few speed traps along I-40, the east-west route that leads you from incredibly exciting places like Texas and Arkansas into this forsaken no-man’s land.
*TIP* Don’t travel through Oklahoma at all.
2. Camden County, Georgia
Camden County is the last county in Georgia just before you cross the Florida state line. I’ve made my name (it’s actually Perfect — look me up) hauling high-value shipments up and down the eastern seaboard for years, and this is one of the few places I’ve ever been stopped.
The cops here are relentless idiots. I’ve even seen the cops search old ladies’ Cadillac Devilles on the side of the road here. Who knows why — I-95 obviously brings in enough cash and fines to begin with. Apparently Camden County police think grandma going 5 over is worth another dollar.
*TIP* My only advice is to set cruise control at 2 mph under the speed limit along I-95, and relax.
1. Lawtey, Florida
Whichever direction you’re coming from, this worthless town between Jacksonville and Gainesville is now flanked by giant signs telling you — “HEY! THIS IS A SPEED TRAP.” So in reality, you’d have to be a complete idiot not to go the speed limit. But for years, it’s been notorious for catching drivers off-guard.
*TIP* Again, my best advice is to set your cruise control, and watch the signs when you’re approaching small towns.
*Honorable mentions: Detroit, Michigan, and all of Canada. Canadians drive like grandmothers to begin with, and they want your American money. So don’t speed.