NJ Speed Traps - My9 New Jersey

NJ Speed Traps

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Helmetta, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

Speed traps and ticket quotas aren’t allowed in New Jersey, but some officers in small towns across the Garden State are blowing the whistle on police chiefs and mayors who are allegedly encouraging this behavior.

For example, Helmetta mayor Nancy Martin is alleged to have demanded officers ticket every out-of-towner going 5 MPH or higher over the speed limit on the town’s Main Street.

The mayor and most police officials refuse to comment on this situation, though the new Police Director Greg Bennett said that Helmetta’s speed limits are clearly posted and there is no speed trap.

However, public records show that this speed trap may in fact be underway since only two of 222 speeding tickets written between December 2011 and May 2013 were issued to residents of Helmetta. The other 220 issued summonses went to out-of-towners.

New Jersey Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon says that this is really a much bigger issue than one speed trap controversy happening in one small town.

“The traditional speed trap is when you have one speed limit posted and then a much lower one posted, that’s designed to entrap people," O'Scanlon says.  " But I would expand the definition of speed trap to be any system that is designed to assault the wallets of motorists. We have those in this state right now and Helmetta definitely falls into that category."

O’Scanlon also said that even though ticket quotas are illegal, the number of tickets written is considered a valid criterion to not promote or even take punitive actions against law enforcement officers.

O’Scanlon is working to propose legislation to close a loophole in the quotas statute so that police can get back to patrolling school areas and neighborhoods and New Jerseyans can stop getting fined hundreds of dollars for driving 5 mph over the speed limit.

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