Cuba, New Mexico Speed Traps
As I was driving from Moab, Utah, to Albuquerque, where there are very few discernible towns, out of nowhere, I got pulled as I entered the very small town of Cuba, New Mexico. The local policeman informed me that I was going 48 in a 35 mph zone (which, by the way, he stated was clearly posted, as are all posted speed limits in New Mexico). He was professional and respectful the entire time. I admitted my error, and he wrote me a ticket for 45 in a 35, thus “reducing the fine from $84 to $69.” He stated that I had two options: (1) Return to court in one month; (2) Mail a check for the amount of the $69 fine. Obviously, because he knew I was on a cross-country trip, and returning to the East Coast, the second option was the one I would have to exercise. Speed trap? You bet. Cuba, New Mexico, aka “Land of Entrapment.”
I’ve read the numerous postings on this sight, and what happened to me is almost word for word what my situation was, while passing through Cuba, on July 10th, 2010.
I slowed to 35mph as I passed through Cuba, when I reached the south side of town and passed the 45mph speed sign, I accelerated and passed the 55mph speed sign, when I noticed lights flashing behind me. I pulled over and came to a stop in front of the 70mph speed sign. An officer approached my car and said he "clocked" me doing 47 in a 35. I was very careful about my speed, because I have been warned about the "cops" in Cuba, so naturally I was shocked.
The officer was nice, and informed me that he would drop the citation down to 40mph in a 35mph speed zone and that I could see the judge or pay a $69.00 fine. Since it was saturday, and the judge wouldn’t be available until monday, $69.00 is cheaper then staying in town or coming back at a later date. I needed to be in Fort Worth that night, so I was on my way. Because I have Texas tags on my car, I’m sure the officer knew I wasn’t in a position to do anything but pay the fine and I also feel thats why I was targeted and pulled over.
I’d be interested to learn the statistics on the number of traffic stops made in Cuba, and the monies/revenues, generated from those activities. I really feel this was more about my $69.00 then my being a danger to the town of Cuba, New Mexico.
Officer waits north of town with radar aimed towards cars coming through the town. Fairly strict enforcement of 30 mph limit.
Southbound on US 550 (NM 44) through the Village of Cuba. Posted speed limit within the town was 35 MPH which I obeyed scrupulously. At the south end of town, US 550 crosses NM 197 and immediately becomes a four lane divided freeway. As you pass through the intersection, you can see a sign about one-tenth of a mile away announcing that the speed limit for the freeway was now 50 MPH. I immediately accelerated after I went though the intersection entering the freeway and quickly reached 45 MPH at a point between the start of the freeway and the sign, continuing to accelerate to a final speed of 50 MPH at some point north of the sign (but south of the NM 197 intersection).
Perhaps a mile or so down the road, I was pulled over by a unit of what I assume is the Cuba Police Department. The officer indicated that I had exceeded the town�s 35 MPH limit by 10 miles per hour just north of the 50 MPH sign. He told me that despite the placement of the 50 MPH sign on that portion of the divided four lane highway south of the NM 197 intersection, the reduced speed limit does not officially change until the bridge over Nacimiento Creek.
I was cited for going faster than 35 MPH on the southbound portion of US 550 between the intersection of NM 197 and the Nacimiento bridge, despite the fact that I was looking right at a 50 MPH speed limit sign. The placement of the sign is deceptive and designed to get folks to exceed the limit even if they are thinking they’re law abiding citizens. If that doesn’t count as a speed trap, I don’t know what would.
Speed drops from 45 to 35 then 30 for one block. $123 for 12 over and my detector never went off. Officer refused to show me radar screen