Speed traps: 156
Dallas is one of three Texas cities that made the top 10 for speed traps.
“Here’s what happens in Texas: We have these safety standards that you have to apply to make sure the speed limit is safe,” Dornsife said. “They follow none of them! They have what’s called ‘home rule,’ which means they don’t have to follow federal law.”
Dornsife said it’s not uncommon here for tickets to be issued for drivers going just a few miles over the speed limit.
Also, good luck keeping up with fluctuations in the speed limit on a given road. Dornsife recalls being at a DOT speed-limit conference and a presenter from Dallas said there are sections of the freeway where the speed limit can change three to four times within a few miles.
And speed limits can be changed arbitrarily: “Somebody stands up in a city council meeting … say, a police officer with no training in traffic engineering … and proposes a speed-limit change and they vote on it,” Dornsife said. “Traffic engineers are supposed to decide what speed is safe – and law enforcement is supposed to enforce it,” he said. “Half of these cities don’t have traffic engineers.”
Correction: An earlier version of this story quoted Dornsife as saying the city might set school zones a few miles away from the school; he was actually referring to some small towns in Nevada.