Is Cheneyville, Louisiana A Speed Trap?
It was on Saturday, as I was headed to Alexandria on Highway 71, when I got a speeding ticket in Cheneyville.
I saw the police cruiser coming towards me, and as soon as I recognized it as such, I checked my speed: 53 miles per hour. I looked up, and the first thing I saw was a sign that indicated that the speed was about to change to 45 miles per hour; kind of a “warning, reduced speed ahead” sign. Maybe 500 feet past that sign was a “Speed Limit 45″ sign. So I removed my foot from the accelerator, and as I got to the speed limit sign, I might have been traveling 50 miles per hour.
By the time I got to the police cruiser, I was under 45 miles per hour, preparing for the upcoming 35 mile zone. The cruiser and I cross paths, and, sure enough, he turns around and catches up to me, instigating a traffic stop.
The police officer approached my vehicle, and told me that he clocked me at 55 in a 45 zone, and then asked for my license, registration and proof of insurance.
Then he tried to make small talk about my license plate, stating “That’s how they gave you your plate? That ain’t no personalized plate?” (I do have a personalized license plate) I didn’t respond, I just handed him the paperwork he had asked for. Would you like to hear how the police officer in Cheneyville, Louisiana sounds? Here’s the audio from that traffic stop:
Here is when he asked me about my license plate:
He walked back to his unit and proceeded to write me a ticket. He returned to my Jeep and handed me the ticket to sign, and then told me to have a good day and drive safely.
Okay, here’s my beef: I feel that I wasn’t doing 55 in a 45 zone. I think that he clocked me while I was still in the 55 zone while he was in the 55 zone. What recourse do I have? If I go to court to fight it, it’s just my word against a police officer (I think that the officer that gave me the ticket was a “Chief Jeter”, but the handwriting is shaky).
As I was online searching for the name of the chief of police in Cheneyville, I came across the Speetrap.org website, which lists towns that are notorious for speed traps. There were several stories on that page, specifically about Cheneyville, that resembled mine: people who knew how fast they were going (within the posted limit) but the officer was in the reduced zone with the radar gun.
So, back to my question: what recourse do I have? Do you think that if I go into the Cheneyville courthouse armed with these other stories that match mine I’ll have a chance of the judge throwing out the ticket?
I am guessing that the fine will be around $200, and well, basically, I’d rather use that money to buy a plane ticket to go visit Shannon next month…. what should I do!??!