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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

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