3/10/2006Colorado Towns Give Up Speed Trap Status
Alma and Fairplay, Colorado reform their ways and each lose status as 'pretty evil town.'
A number of small Colorado mountain towns are turning away from traditional speed trap status as bad for business. Police in Fairplay, for example, are no longer ticketing every outsider who passes through on the way to a skiing vacation. Instead, they are now issuing warnings to the majority of those who missed the lowered speed limit signs on Highway 9.
"We did have the reputation as being a pretty evil town," Police Chief David Gottschalk told the Colorado Springs Gazette. "I don't want people to be afraid to come to Fairplay."
Now the town has lowered the speeding ticket fine from $105 to $65 and cut the annual revenue from tickets from $100,000 to $22,255 last year -- a quarter of the town's budget. As a result of their work, the National Motorists Association no longer lists the town on the Speed Trap Registry website.
Likewise, the nearby 179-resident town of Alma has five police officers who wrote 157 tickets last year worth $15,920. In six months, however, it wrote 353 warnings -- or about four times more warnings than tickets. Alma is no longer listed on the speed trap registry.