Several small rural towns around Acadiana rely heavily on money collected from fines and ticket citations written by law enforcement. Because of that, some people have labeled them speed traps.
If you’ve ever driven through towns like Dry Prong, Dotson, or closer to home in Maurice, or the Town of Washington, chances are you’ve seen police camped out waiting on law breakers, or at least one person pulled over receiving a ticket
In the Village of Maurice, it’s not uncommon to see police posted at each Highway 167 entrance.
The speed limit drops 15 miles per hour from 55 to 40 within meters causing some to cry speed trap.
Ronnie Angelle, Vermilion Parish “I’ve heard some people say it’s a speed trap”
Chester Turner, Lafayette Resident “Well at one time.”
“I’ll do the speed limit and they got people that’s flying by me. Most of the people, if they follow the speed limit then they would have no reason to complain about it being a speed trap.”
“They got to get money from somewhere. If you’re going to speed then you’re going to pay.”
Wayne Theriot, Mayor Village of Maurice says:
“We enforce the speed limit within reasonableness to protect our citizens, for the safety of our people of our town.”
Theriot says speed limits along the four lane highway that divides their town in two, are clearly visible, and so are the officers.
If you’ve ever driven through towns like Dry Prong, Dotson, or closer to home in Maurice, or the Town of Washington, chances are you’ve seen police camped out waiting on law breakers, or at least one person pulled over receiving a ticket.
And you may have heard the same speed trap stories about the town of Washington. Police chief Latoya Trent says otherwise.
Latoya Trent, Chief, Washington Police Department:
“Speeding speeding. A lot of times when we do write citations we find several other things. We find people with warrants, we found people with drugs, people with no insurance, so we actually enforce a lot of other things than just speeding.”
In the past two years, her department has issued 55 hundred tickets worth more than one million dollars in fines.
Officer Nick Frank, Washington Police Department:
“Sometime you get good people out here with sense and understand that we have a job to do. Then, sometimes you get people up here that I guess just don’t have no understanding. But it comes with the job. It’s not they we’re out here trying to focus on just writing tickets or anything like that, we’re trying to uphold the law.”