Rosedale, Louisiana Speed Traps
I entered the town from the south and as I came around a bend, a police car was coming in the opposite direction. I saw and obeyed the signs that reduced the speed just before entering the town. When I saw the police car, I looked at my speedometer to see that I was going 32 in a 35 mph zone. (I never knowingly speed and I have not received a ticket in over 33 years.) The instant the police car came around the bend and into view, he turned on his lights, did a U-turn and pulled me over. He literally had his lights on the second I came into his view while he was driving in opposite direction. (officer’s description was deleted.) He said I was going at “a high rate of speed.” When I told him that I knew I was going 3 miles under the speed limit, he said I was going 58. He then went to his car and then came back and said he had been wrong and I was going 45. He told me that I had to pay him about $170 in cash (I can’t remember the exact amount at the moment.) He told me I had to go to a particular store at the other end of town, get cash, and then meet him in a building he specified. I went to the store and, when I used the cash machine, the people who worked there apparently knew what was going on and they laughed. They knew who the officer was and said he does this to strangers all the time and that his radar hadn’t worked in a very long time. Everyone in the store knew about this scam and they all laughed about it. I got the cash and met the officer in a dark, virtually abandoned building. it was do dark that I could barely see him sitting at the only piece of furniture in the building – a long table. I paid him the money and asked for a receipt, but he refused to give me one.
This was nothing but an old-fashioned shake-down by a corrupt policeman, in my opinion. This is one reason why I am particularly careful to obey all traffic laws in small towns although I always try to obey them everywhere. I know that many small towns, especially poorer towns like Rosedale, often generate income by ticketing strangers who are passing through. In my case, he probably saw my out-of-state plates and knew that I wasn’t from town because he probably knows just about ever car in the tiny town.
My advice is to avoid this town completely. It doesn’t make any difference if you are obeying the law or not. The police will ticket you anyway.