Elida, New Mexico Speed Traps
I was traveling west on route 70, at 68 mph, (2 miles below the posted speed limit) when I was suddenly confronted by a 35 mph sign as I entered the town of Elida, NM. Since there was a car fairly close behind mine, and I was far from any dwellings, crosswalks or any people in sight, I immediately knocked off the cruise control rather than jam on my brakes. Within 17 seconds, I was clocked at 51 mph and pulled over by a police officer.
My point is that had I jacked on my brakes to get within reasonable range of the posted speed limit I would have put both me, my wife, and the people in the vehicle behind mine, in great danger. In short, I correctly reacted to a highway hazard and I would do the same in that situation again.
Elida has created a situation where you are destined to fail if you use the most appropriate safety procedures. From Clovis down to Las Cruces I did not find any other community where a 70 mph speed limit changes instantly to 35 mph. Reduced speed signs are progressively posted as one enters every community, except in Elida.
Personally, after driving for 59 years and over a million miles all across the USA and NEVER having been stopped for speeding (or any other traffic violation), I was set up by a well-constructed SPEED TRAP, the kind usually associated with rural areas set up to collect revenues from out of state vehicles.
In sum, I would advise you to warn your colleagues, friends and family to avoid Elida if at all possible, not only because it is a speed trap that serves as a community fund raiser, but especially because it poses a potentially very dangerous situation.
Stopped at the gas station on the east end of “town”. Pulled out to head east and was stopped within less than a 1/2 mile for speeding. It’s a four lane highway center turn median, with nothing but desert and scrub brush on either side. A 35 mph speed limit without a building in sight.
I am a professionally licensed engineer who has spent my entire 30 year career in transportation engineering. There is no way that a 35 mph speed limit or the following 45 mph speed limit are appropriate or meet any engineering standards. Unless there is some safety issue (can’t see what it would be here) you typically try to place speed limits where approximately 85% of the traveling public would choose to drive, if left to their own judgment of safety. In this case, that would be far above 35 mph. Artificially setting the speed limit considerably lower, just brings otherwise prudent and safe drivers into non-compliance.
Like some of the others who have posted, I was from about three states away away. What are you going to do, spend days and hundreds of $$ to return and fight the ticket or just pay it? Sure, you pay it, just like they know you will.
Want a laugh, get on Google Earth and find Elida, then go about a 1/2 mile east of town on I-70 and click on the street view. What do you see? Elida’s finest with someone pulled over for speeding. Perfect.
Driving on an early Sunday morning in this fair city, the speed limit drops to 35mph. after going 70. After slowing down while going through town, the lanes open up to 4 lanes and I increased my speed thinking I was getting out of town. The officer pulled me over at the 55mph sign. He was parked at another 35mph sign. I showed him my proof of insurance card. He looked at it for a second and asked which vehicle I was driving. I described the vehicle he just pulled over and I had to show him on the card which vehicle I was in. Being out of state, he asked if I wanted to appear in court to pay the fine or mail it in. Being 8 hours away, I mulled it over for awhile and said I would mail it it. The officer also kindly gave me an envelope with the towns address already printed on it. He said he gave me a break and lowered the speed on the ticket and reduced the fine. I really hope everyone slows down while going through Elida, NM as they can focus on other issues. Thanks for letting me vent.
Speed limit drops from 70 to 35 in 2/10ths mile.
We were driving on the "back-roads" highway, 70, from Clovis, NM to Roswell, NM. The highway speed limit was 75 mph, which I had been abiding by. Suddenly, as we approached the VERY SMALL, run-down town of Elida, the speed limit dropped from 75 to 50 to 35, with each drop being less than one tenth of a mile apart. I put my brakes on to slow down, but short of slamming on them, skidding, and possibly having an accident, I apparently didn’t slow down sufficiently. The (probably one-and-only) policeman stopped me and said I was doing 57 in a 35 zone. I was in the process of trying to slow a fully-loaded, full-sized van from 75 to 35 mph. I told the officer I was braking and slowing down, but it didn’t matter. I felt fully pressured, being from out-of-state with a van full of people, pets, and personal possessions, to say I wanted to handle it by mail versus "returning to court". However, I did not know I would then be forced to an admission of guilt because if I refused to sign, I would be "detained immediately and held in custody until taken to appear before a judge, when one becomes available". This seems like a form of extortion to me. There is absolutely nothing in this town, and I am certain that this town has set up this speed trap and that their officer just lies in wait all day to give out tickets to make up his salary.