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Springs municipal judge gives blessing to lucrative yet illegal I-25 speed trap.


COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.- Local municipal court judge Matthew Ramirez was presented with evidence today that the city is operating an UNJUSTIFIED SPEED LIMIT TRAP in the construction zone at the intersection of Highway-24 and Interstate-25. Though drivers are regularly cited for exceeding a 30mph speed limit, the posted speed does not meet the 85% compliance rule, nor the “pedal test” for enforceable speed reductions. Both are characteristics of improper and legally unenforceable “speed traps”. Plus, it turns out, 30pmh is not even the minimum speed required to cross under I-25 before the traffic light turns red.

At 30pmh it takes a motorist 8.75 seconds to cross the intersection from West to East. But the traffic light allows only 2.75 seconds! No wonder drivers don’t want to slow down. Upon seeing the video, instead of calling traffic engineers to set appropriate speed restrictions and adjust the timings, Judge Ramirez instead put his stamp of approval on CSPD’s very lucrative speed trap.

YES, I got a speeding ticket. Haha. And yes, today I was found guilty. I’m not upset so much as disappointed that the judge made himself complicit with the city’s scheme.

I know that “speed trap” has come to designate anywhere that police monitor traffic speeds, sometimes in hiding, and issue tickets. But I’m not using the term in the general sense. “Speed trap” has a legal definition which describes a scenario where police are ticketing motorists who have been forced, by circumstances under the control of the police, to violate the law and thus become eligible to be asked to contribute to the local administration’s fee based tax. “Speed traps” are abuses by law enforcement to maximize citation revenues without having to come across and apprehend offenders operating autonomously to local fundraising schemes.

On August 31 of this year, I was clocked going 43mph in a 30mph construction zone. Except for a vague feeling that I had not been “speeding”, I had no intention of fighting the ticket. I support the enforcement of speed limits and I accept that being pulled over is more or less a random hazard of going with the flow. No objection. But my recent attendance at municipal cases brought against activists has meant a lot of time spent in courtrooms where I couldn’t help but notice that many, many drivers were being cited for the same ticket as me, crossing the same intersection, their fines doubled because it’s a construction zone, almost all of them taking a plea.

My decision to plead not guilty led to a fruitful survey of legal abuses perpetrated by our traffic courts; on the part of the city attorneys, on the part of the police officers, and on the part of the judges. It was worth the fight and I assure you it’s not over.

Hundreds, if possibly thousands, of motorists have been ticketed, and are still being ticketed, like I was. Unless they’re riding the brake as they approach the intersection, they are considered speeding. Often, hitting the brake at that approach means upsetting drivers around you impatient to build speed for the on-ramp or impatient to cross the long intersection. To slow to 30mph when surrounded by others causes you to “impede the flow of traffic”, which is itself a driving offense in Colorado. Yes, driving the speed limit, when it impedes speeders, is illegal because the disruption it causes is considered unsafe. A traffic instruction that causes a driver to commit a worse infraction is not enforceable.

Likewise, if you have to choose between maintaining your speed to cross an intersection legally, before the light turns red, or lingering in the middle at risk of colliding with cross traffic, the safest recourse is also clear.

Judge Ramirez rejected the necessity defense, which protects accused if their infraction is incurred while trying to avoid more hazardous violations. He did not find it troublesome that local drivers were being forced to decide between speeding or running a red light, knowing they could be punished in either case.

Colorado Springs traffic ticket revenues are relying heavily on drivers being fraudulently stopped and fined. At ten dollars per mile over the limit, doubled for the construction zone, the fines add up. These penalties are for driving the intuitive speed calculated by the engineers who designed the motorway, in this case also by the engineers who time the traffic lights to facilitate flow.

A FOIA request will probably reveal the revenue to number in the millions, coming from local citizens feeling wronged. And if they took their case to court, feeling further wronged by the unjust process.

To begin with, they won’t show you the evidence against you. And it gets worse from there. With just this case I’ve documented abuses to rival the ACLU’s condemnation of the corrupt court system of the Colorado town of Alamosa. Their chief judge resigned in disgrace.

Check back as I update this article to recount the unending duplicity of the city attorney’s office. Then there are the dishonest public safety managers. And the police officers who outright lie. Aided and abetted by judges who know better. It’s a long story and all the more ugly because it could happen to anyone. And if Judge Matthew Ramirez has his way it will happen to you.

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Comments

Comment from Brother Jonah   (IP: 75.71.247.180)
Time: December 5, 2017, 7:55 pm

Much like the warning given to pedestrians But Only One Group Of Pedestrians who use North Nevada St. Said pedestrian traffic from KMart up to Garden of the Gods is de facto people who are poorly housed at the halfway house /slash/publicly subsidized private prison compounds. The cross streets to Nevada are virtually empty at any time. Crossing Nevada without the almost protection of traffic lights is tempting death for about 12 hours a day. The pigs (why dignify their profession with a human title?) put up paper warnings but only on the grounds of the Halfway Houses, threatening the quasi ‘at liberty’ prisoners with double the fines and zero tolerance for jaywalking. Since the prisoners are on a strict schedule which might be compromised by waiting for a Walk signal even though there is no traffic on the street being crossed. They can be automatically sent to prison for getting a ticket. Or worse, not being able to afford the fine.

There was and still is not a single fine being imposed for drivers to roll all the way through the crosswalk. Which brings up another more callous result which the sadistic prosecutors, judges and other pigs enjoy… somebody in a wheelchair or impeded with a walker or crutches would have to go around the fronts of the cars which are illegally blocking the crosswalks. Heavens forfend the wheelchair pilot doesn’t make it across Nevada before the Don’t Walk orange hand appears on the signal. You know the pigs would not only ticket that person but also handcuff and beat the person (usually in that order) for ‘showing belligerence’ by disagreeing with the PIG regardless of how meekly it’s done. The CS Gestapo are ALWAYS right. (wing delusional sadists) They’ve already got the privilege of lynching anybody they choose. Our Leaders like Trump and Lamborn make certain their backshootings aren’t prosecuted. Ever. Sorry for the deterioration into a rant. It’s just that every time I think about PIGS I have flashbacks where I can see and hear and even feel the pig behind restraining me while the pig in front is punching me in the face. PTSD, you know.

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