BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC)-On any given day, it’s nothing for Alabama State Troopers to catch drivers going well over the posted 40 miles per hour speed limit through the Interstate 20/59 construction zone that runs through Birmingham.
“We’ll continuously write speeds down there in excess of 70, 80, 90 and at times during the early morning hours, very excessive of over 100 miles per hour speeds,” Corporal Steve Smith with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said.
That area is a hot spot for speeders. So far this year, troopers have issued about 3,000 speeding tickets. Troopers say more people seem to be in a hurry these days.
“It’s not worth everyone else’s life for you to get there 30 seconds or a minute or two sooner,” Smith said.
Outside of the construction zone, some drivers feel they are being targeted through speed traps around central Alabama. Traffic data sent by drivers to the National Speed Trap Exchange, a site run by the National Motorists Association, shows cities around the country with the reported speed traps.
“If you are a victim of one of these speed traps, the National Motorists Association encourages people to fight those tickets," Jim Oakes with the National Motorists Association said.
In 2016, researchers with Cheapinsurance.net analyzed 15 years worth of NMA traffic data and found the top Alabama cities with the most reported speed traps per 100,000 residents:
- Madison – 39.30
- Decatur – 26.87
- Auburn – 25.61
- Montgomery – 22.85
- Hoover – 22.59
- Mobile – 15.39
- Florence – 14.98
- Huntsville – 14.50
- Dothan 13.24
Here’s a list of other user-reported speed traps found in past years around the Birmingham metro according to Speedtrap.org:
- I-65 & I-20/59 Junction
- Cahaba Heights Road and Autumn Lane
- Highway 280 and I-459
- Roebuck Parkway
- Highway 31 near Lakeshore Boulevard
- Montclair Road near the Jewish Community Center
You can see the complete list here: https://www.speedtrap.org/alabama/birmingham/
The NMA claims traffic tickets are a multi-billion industry. The NMA writes on its blog that speeding tickets have virtually nothing to do with highway safety but everything to do with money.
“The National Motorists Association firmly believes that speed limits should be based on sound traffic engineering principles and consider that its based on responsible drivers with actual travel speeds," Oakes said,
Here’s a breakdown of the number of speeding tickets written by ALEA in the Birmingham Post over the past year:
- Jefferson County- 21,225
- Shelby County- 6,678
- St. Clair County, 8,022
We asked ALEA about the possibility of speed traps in our area. ALEA says speed limit signs are there for a reason.
“They’re not traps. There’s posted signs down there that will say the speed limit through here is 35 miles per hour. So that’s not a trap. You just need to pay attention to those big white signs with numbers in the middle of them that are black. They’ll tell you exactly what the speed limit is,” Cpl. Smith said.
You can read more information on speed traps from the NMA here: https://www.motorists.org/issues/speed-traps/
If you have the Waze app then you know you can report things like speed traps. Now Google maps is jumping on board. Some of its users are noticing you can report crashes and speed traps as well. It seems technology is giving more people a heads up now of real time conditions on the roads.