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Prescott Valley Tribune | Prescott Valley, Arizona

home : opinions : letters August 1, 2014


12/5/2012 12:27:00 PM
Letter: PV running a 1950s era speed trap
Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

Editor:

You know, it's sad. We just spent four nights and three days in Prescott Valley, staying at one of your local hotels, eating in your local restaurants, shopping in your local stores and filling up at your local gas stations. However, our trip to your community started off on a very unpleasant foot.

After driving for almost 12 hours to visit your city, as we were approaching Prescott Valley at 9 p.m., we got disoriented and unsure of where the hotel at which we would be spending the next four nights was located.

I was the only vehicle on N. Glassford Hill Road, and I was driving at the posted speed limit of 45 mph and watching for stop lights, when all of a sudden I was greeting by flashing strobe lights. At first it really startled us and then I thought it was a warning of some type.

The next day, driving down the same road, now in the daylight I saw the two almost imperceptible, especially at night, almost back-to-back signs changing the speed limit from 45 to 35 and then the stop light and cameras, all in a very short distance of each other.

It then occurred to me that your city is running a high tech 1950s era speed trap. You should be ashamed. So our welcome to your city was my first ticket in more than 40 years. To say the least, it was disappointing. And, since I'm from out of state, appearing in court to challenge this abuse is impracticable, and Arizona state law does not allow me to attend traffic school. So in effect I've been assessed a tax of $223 by your city.

We had planned to make Prescott Valley a yearly destination for a mini vacation, but we now have no interest in visiting a town that has such low standards as to use a speed trap and promote it as "Focus On Safety."

It is my belief that if we had been stopped by an actual officer, and if your focus was really on safety, I would have been warned about the change in the speed limit, and then safely guided toward our destination by the officer. If your focus was truly on safety, even the person who processed the camera image would have sent us a warning to be careful on that stretch of road. I think more appropriately your promotion should be called "Focus On Rip-Offs."

I would have thought that in this economy tourism dollars would be encouraged, not abused. I have paid your city extortion fee of $223, but rest assured we will not be leaving any more tourist dollars or extra fees in your city ever again.

Since we had originally planned to take a yearly quick vacation getaway to Prescott Valley, your short sightedness toward out of town guests will cost your local business economy a lot more in lost revenue and adverse publicity than the amount of the fine. So all of you will be safe from this speed demon in your town in the future, we will not be coming back.

Since it is my personal belief that a speed trap is the lowest of all forms of traffic control and using cameras is even more disgraceful, like a 1950s era film noire for a blackmail plot, I will be sending this email to the LA Times newspaper as well, to help protect your city from tourists.

Bob Neill

San Luis Obispo, California


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012
Article comment by: Tammy Cease

I am so sorry this happened to these tourists. I think the town should do away with those cameras at that intersection and put one of the many photo radar vans they have there! Was this really worth the loss of revenue for the town? At least peeps can see the van and slow down........

Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012
Article comment by: Anita Wulf

IAW the Prescott Valley (PV) Police Department, there is no such thing as a speed trap, but I truly agree with Mr. Neil there are speed traps. PV is definitely running tourism out of the city and even Prescott suffers since most will not go around PV to get to Prescott, so people will not come up to visit either city. The cameras do no good since local drivers speed before the camera, then slow way down until they get past the camera, then speed up again. I believe the cameras are meant for the out of towners because they don't know where the cameras are placed. The cameras are really hurting the ecomony up here. Wise up PV and take down the cameras so we can have more tourism up here instead of running it off.

Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012
Article comment by: me again

If you were driving in the 35 school zone and got ticketed, that would mean you were traveling at 46 mph. The cameras allow 11 mph over the posted speed limit. I understand your frustration, but you broke the law and paid the price. There are signs along Glassford informing drivers about the cameras. I, too, have traveled at night in unfamiliar territory.

Perhaps you should have been driving slower since you weren't familiar with the area. Again, I understand you are upset but quite frankly your letter shows you don't feel you did anything wrong. Too bad you won't be visiting our charming town anymore. Your loss.


Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012
Article comment by: GET YOUR FACTS RIGHt ...

If you are going to write a letter get your facts right Mr Neill. You entered our town, went 11+ miles over the speed limit (at a intersection with two schools), got a ticket at this intersection that was clearly marked that it photo enforcement and then complained about it. You can go to school, you just want to complain about breaking the law instead of taking responsibility for your actions. And if a ticket for speeding keeps you away from a vacation spot you might just want to stay home... you're going to get a ticket for speeding anywhere you go and speed. Be responsible for your actions instead of whining and if you're going to whine, at least be accurate in your information.

Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012
Article comment by: Makes Sense

Makes total sense. Punish local business owners for something that the government does.

That's the spirit.


Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Article comment by: Get Your Facts Straight ...

Let's get the facts straight Mr Neill...
1. You have to be going OVER 11+ miles an hour to get a ticket with photo radar. If you were looking for a hotel why were you driving so fast?
2. People from California CAN attend defensive driving school. Anyone, from any state can attend.
3. A speed "trap" is when you have no idea that someone is hiding and trying to get you to break the law. There are TONS of signs in our town that say we are part of photo enforcement, plus two before the light. So no one trapped you into going 11 miles over the speed limit.
4. And the fee set for speeding are done COUNTY WIDE...they are based on speed over the limit. Plus these fees that the town is getting about 25ish dollars actually go to the town itself. The rest is sent to the county, state and other programs, per the law.
5. There are TWO schools in that intersection, which is why we ask people to slow down!
6. One more thing...there is photo enforcement ALL over the state, Phoenix, Scottsdale, etc. The only place that it was taken away was on the Highway's controlled by the state...not in the cities.
Instead of complaining about speed limits why don't you take responsibility for your actions of speeding. I would never go into another town and complain about their laws! Grow up and be responsible....


Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Article comment by: Briana PV resident

Dear Bob,
Although you left bitter. I am glad you visited even if once. I hope you see this but doubt you will. Although the cameras are a pain they have helped slow people down in this city. The general standard is speed limits are from sign to sign. There are many stretches or road around the country where you do not get a warning that the speed will increase or decrease which is why we learn to keep an eye out for speed limit signs when we drive. Where that camera is located is also right in front of a High school and Middle school. In general the only people that complain about the cameras are the people that get a ticket for speeding or running a red light. And technically its not a speed trap if the clearly posted sign says 35 and you were speeding especially since the cameras go off in exceed of 10 miles an hour. So technically you were speeding over both the 45 and 35 MPH sign. I know a ticket is frustrating and it happens however to bash a whole town because you sped threw an intersection and got caught is a little sad. I am sorry you had a difficult time trying to locate your hotel and I hope you take a moment to realize that your speaking out of emotion instead of logic. Maybe you will decide to return someday and if not that's ok too.


Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Article comment by: Beth Alden

I feel the same way in regard to the "1950's era Speed Trap," that Bob Neil spoke of in the letters to the Editor.

I warn all new comers, that are coming to visit the area to watch out for the speed traps around town, some stationary and some mobile. And the fact that some streets change speed limit and you hardly notice the signs. I feel for them and what they had to go through. I love Prescott Vally, but I am thinking of selling and moving as I feel the town is very "greedy" in traping unsuspecting visitors.



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