Curryville, Missouri Speed Traps
When my son brought this website to my attention I had to mention Curryville, Mo. My family lives in a suburb of Kansas City. My wife’s family is from Peoria, Il. My fatherinlaw had taken a route that he thought was a short cut between the two which took him through Curryville, Mo on Route 54. he suggested it to me. The next time we drove from KC to Peoria on the return trip I took this route. My father is a retired Missouri State Highway Patrolman. I grew up with him warning me about every small town speed limits. Anyway we passed through Curryvillle obeying the 35 mph speed limit. As we were getting ready to exit the city limits I had a 55mph speed limit sign approximately a block in front of me. As I started to accelerate we passed a driveway cut into a bank. There was a police car parked there so not to be seen. He pulled in behind me with lights on. As I pulled over I had not yet reached the 55 mph sign. He wrote me a ticked for 3 miles over, 38 in a 35. The ticket was over $100.00 It has been at least 15 years ago, so don’t remember the exact amount. (3 miles over come on!)
The story continues. I warned my fatherinlaw about this. He didn’t take it seriously enough because the next time they came to visit., he got a ticket in Curryville for 6 miles over. I then decided to voice a complaint. There was a phone # listed for the city and I called it numerous times for several days before I got an answer. An older lady answered and I advised her why I was calling. Found out city hall only open 1/2 day a week. She went on to say that Curryville a town of approximately 230 people, was concerned about all of the large trucks that went through their town and concerned about saftey of their kids so they purchased 2 new police cars and had 2 officers full time. Again coming from small towns in Missouri with a State Highway Patrolman for a father, this is pretty much unheard of. Most towns this size have 0 officers. The sherriffs dept and State Patrol are their police force. Then the lady advised me that my fatherinlaw didn’t have to worry about the offense going against his driving record and causing his insurance rates to go up. All he had to do was pay double the fine and they wouldn’t report the offense. (Speed Trap).
The story goes on. Within the next year I was visiting with my next door neighbor. He did some traveling for business and he was going on about this speed trap in Eastern Missouri, where he had just received a ticket. Of course it was Curryville again. Within a couple of years after that I was getting a back treatment. While talking with the Chiropractor, she stated she was from far Northeast Missouri and her route took her through Curryville to visit her home, and she too had received a speeding ticket there.
I had a car ahead of me going 10 mph through town. As I reached what seemed to be the edge of town with the speed limit increasing, I passed that car all the time staying within the speed limit. I was pulled over by the unmarked police car that was hidden on the west side of town and ticketed for passing within the town limits. This is a pretty sad town that preys on motorists. Because of other similar episodes listed on this site, I am suspicious that the ultra slow motorist in town is part of the trap. I would strongly recommend avoiding this town. I would also suggest not doing any business in this town, although as others have noted I don’t think there are any businesses. The speed trap is the town’s business.
This has been a speed trap for the last 25 years or so. I have personally witnessed them doing all sorts of things including writing tickets for offenses for laws not on the books (the "city council" had to pass a law to cover tickets already written! They then went ahead with the original charges!), writing tickets for "offenses" commited outside the city limits (Example- once tried to give me a ticket for 56 in a 35- when the back bumper of my car was even with the city limit sign as I entered town- AFTER I was pulled over)
Try to avoid if you can. If you must, make sure you have a camera or some means to document your side of things (it has helped me before)
Curryville is a backwoods, destitute stretch of state highway on which some structures from long ago still stand. A ridiculous measure in Missouri allows municipalities to keep all proceeds from ticketing, so Curryville generally situates an officer on the West end of “town” (as the speed shifts from 45 to 35 over a very short span), and snipes people headed to or from Jefferson City or Columbia. There doesn’t appear to be a single commercially viable establishment in the town, and it looks like most of the buildings are abandoned besides a home or two (what could only be the police officer’s). They will definitely get you if they can. Tickets are fairly pricey.
Officer did not show his radar gun on request (my ticket was 11 over) but tickets are as follows:
3-10 mph over: $102.50
11-15 mph over: $142.50
16-19 mph over: $322.50
20 + mph over: $422.50
Some other ticket highlights distributed here:
Pass w/in 100′ of intersection: $102.50
Noise Ordinance: $142.50
“Following to [sic] close”: $102.50
Missed the 35 mph sign and thought I was fine at 45. Barney Fife stopped me and curtly informed me I was going 46. The pen he made me use to sign the ticket was full of grease and when I smelled my hand afterward I could smell bacon and smoke. The ticket was a whopping $142.50. We frequently drive from Jeff City to Chicago via that route and will NEVER do so again. I hope the city of Curryville is helping their merchants out because they’re losing business playing these games.