Local News - Billboard Wars Over Lawtey As A "Speed Trap"
Join the discussion below, or Read more at First Coast News Jacksonville.
#1 Oct 20, 2007
I lived in Ocala for 30 years and drove to Jacksonville routinely for 4 of them. If you are one of those "if you obey the law you won't have any problem" types, you are sadly mistaken, as far as Lawtey is concerned. I've personally seen people pulled over who were going far under the speed limit, just because they were from out-of-state. The cops know you're not going to come back from Michigan to some podunk town in north-central FL (read: southern AL) to fight a bogus ticket in a kangaroo court, where the judge is probably brother-in-law and/or cousin of the cop who gave it to you. Also, many people who have received these bogus tickets while passing through (attorneys and business people, for instance) have tried in vain to do something about this corrupt fly speck on the map. Lawtey receives 25% of their revenue from traffic citations, every year. The state of FL doesn't care, because the majority of each citation goes to it. Lawtey has a population of 800 people (it shouldn't even exist as a separate municipal entity) and 8 of them are "city" police. Yet, in Lawtey, if you dial 911 for an emergency the county sheriff's office will respond. The police department exists solely to hand out citations.
#2 Oct 23, 2007
Yes, there are signs to indicate a reduction of speed from 65 to 55 to 45, BUT there is absolutely NO forewarning of the school zone going southbound until you have ALREADY PASSED the school. We have photos we obtained when traveling through this town. We saw all of the warning AAA signs abided by the speed limits and still got a ticket at the intersection of Lake Road and US301 because there was a school on the southbound side that instantly changed the speed limit from 45 mph to 20 mph when flashing. This sign was AFTER you have passed the school and commenced through the intersection. We received the ticket going under the posted 45 mph speed limit at 36 mph with the flow of other traffic going appx the same speed -- all with FL tags. We were in FL with VA tags and were singled out knowing it would be hard to fight the ticket from out of state. Why were other FL motorists not stopped instead of the VA tag? In addition, when we circled back to get photos because we felt we were wronged, another OUT-OF-STATE vehicle was pulled over. It appears this town is USING their school to trap motorists. It is shameful! They have a website indicating they have strict enforcement, which anyone can appreciate for safety purposes. However, I feel the safety of their children are NOT important to them because they absolutely DO NOT warn motorists of the school zone until the school is already PASSED. This is so ONLY SOUTHBOUND. There is plenty of notice northbound. I have been a prior resident of FL and never was ticketed there as a FL motorist, only when I came through as a VA resident. The officer that pulled us over said he could not help where or how the state DOT placed the signs, he only enforced them. There was no comment made on correcting the problem of placement of the signs. I, along with other out of state individuals who bring millions of dollars to the state of Florida as a tourist, am shocked and amazed that this has not been stopped by now. It simply requires the signs be repositioned to ensure the safety of the children and the "STRICT" enforcement as they do promote as their way of protecting the community. Use of a school to get ticket income should be stopped somehow. This town has earned its reputation ONLY because it is true. I don't think that millions of people just pick on Lawtey FL and dub them a speed trap for no particular reason.
Thanks for your time.
#3 Mar 31, 2014
LAWTRY IS CORRUPT, AND PROUD OF IT. They have a good laugh at all the good people who, they Rob every day. There is NOTHING worse than
allowing criminals to enforce laws. Talk about one terrible town.
#4 May 19, 2014
Screw Lawtey and all their pigs who prey on unarmed citizens. Soon... LOL
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