Waldo, Florida Speed Traps
On rt 24 North going to rt 301 North, by the park. I slowed down to under 35 in a 35 zone, and aproached a school bus parked on both sides of the road with their yellow lights flashing, and little cones behind each one with a school zone sign on one of the cones. No other school zone signs, before or during. I was watching those buses so I could stop if their lights turned to flashing red. It is a dangerous area especially for walkers (a guy walking his dog suddenly stepped out from in front of the one bus) since those buses block the view, not because of the speed since the speed is not that fast. I was in the supposed school zone & out of it before I knew it. I saw the cop turn his lights on and start out of the park, and pulled over so he could go by, but instead he was pulling out for me. He said he had to give me a citation because it was a school zone, never told me how fast I was going, asked if the vehicle was mine (I answered no because it wasn’t, and he never asked anything else about the vehicle), asked for my liscense, and nothing else. He came back with my ticket and explained how to handle it, and sent me on my way. He left me and went immediately back into the park to wait for others. He was fairly polite, but this supposed school zone is bogus. I didn’t even see a school, just a park. Rt 301 farthur north from the rt 24/ rt 301 junction is a school and a school zone & two cops were in the parking lot waiting for people.
When approaching Waldo from the south on State Route 24 the speed limit signs drop rapidly from 65 to 55 to 45 to 35. You are immediately into a school zone — 15 mph. The radar unit sits right there in front of the school. I was clocked at 29 in a 15 – a ticket cost of $294. I assume the Mayor and other town officials want their piece of the Florida tourist dollar and have found a way to get it. As a police instructor who has tought accident investigation and traffic control as well as a police administrator who has managed a police department, I find this repugnant and an affront to professional police officers and their departments.
It is poor engineering and takes the public by surprise (see the entry below about the school zone). But why fix it. It’s called redistribution of wealth. Your pocket to theirs.
This Highway is full of speed traps. 65 then 55 then 45 when ever you come to an intersection. I was pulled over because I didn’t slow down fast enough between the light and the fruit stand. I wanted to ask the officer if I was in Mayberry!!! I watched everys single one of these signs but the very last one before I got out of Waldo I didn’t get slow down fast enough. Complete trap….
Anywhere in this town the police lurk all over in unmarked cars. Very difficult to notice 45 mile per hour speed signs when traveling from North to South. On January 9, 2011 we saw four cars pulled over. None of them had been going very fast.
In Waldo, going eastbound there is an infamous school zone where police often stalk drivers. However, there is a discrepancy in the positioning of the warning signs/light. The signs come first, right next to the road markings close to a red run down shack and a Shell gas station. These are just regular signs with no other warnings or conditions. The big surprise is in the middle of the school zone; there is a light on a sign that says the speed limit is 15mph when flashing. Instead of being before the school zone like what most Floridian cities do, the town of Waldo chose to put it in the middle of the school zone, so by the time your realize that they are activating the “slow down in school zone policy”, it’s too late. You have sped in the school zone with no chance of actually knowing they were going to enforce it (or…more politically correct…without knowing that kids are going to/coming from school). So as a warning/piece of advice, as soon as you pass the 35mph signs… begin coasting to 20-25. This allows enough room to make sure you see the yellow signs and can come to a 15mph crawl. If the lights are not flashing by the time you get to them, then it’s safe to assume that you can return to 35mph. This might be annoying for other motorists, but if enough people start doing this…someone in power might eventually get the point.