Hammondsport, New York Speed Traps
This was September 27, 2016. My wife and I were en route to Branchport, NY to visit friends. We had a rental car from Enterprise and were coming up from Fort Lee, NJ. We had been traveling most of the day mainly on interstates and we were on our way into the center of Hammondsport with the intention of continuing along the western edge of Keuka Lake to our final destination. Even though when I checked Google Maps for the route, I was given a route that avoided Hammondsport which is the shortest mileage in favor of Route 53 which goes north several miles further west than the west lake route. Inasmuch as we had been up there several times over the last few years, I was intending to gas up at a filling station on the north side of route 54A. As we rode into town, though I did not pay careful enough attention to the speed limit signs, I felt that our speed was appropriate to conditions. After so much interstate driving, we were admiring the buildings in the village as we progressed to the service station. As we pulled into the service station up to the gas pumps, I noticed a police care pull in behind me with his red flashers on. I got out of my car in order to fill the tank not aware of the fact that this policeman was after me. He told me to get back in the car, close the door and roll down the window. I told him that I was not dangerous. I asked him what I was doing wrong and he said that this was a school zone with a 20 mph speed limit and I was doing 47 mph according to him. That was a big surprise to me but truth be told, as a former Greyhound driver, we were trained to see the “big picture” meaning that simply focused on the speed limit and the speedometer does not fulfill this requirement.
I know that we were going much more slowly than when we were going north on Route 54 from Bath. We were also doing a bit of sightseeing which is hard to do at faster speeds and I was on the lookout for that service station I had visited on previous trips to the area. I pulled into that station of my own volition unaware at that very moment that a police car was pursuing me and got out of the car to pump gas still unaware that I was guilty of speeding. I don’t know why this guy had to leave his flashers on during the whole encounter which he managed to drag out
for better than 15 minutes. ON the way into town from the turn off from Route 54, I saw virtually no pedestrian traffic and almost no vehicular traffic. This was about 3:00 PM.
Our rented car had New Jersey plates which the police I am sure noted so one could assume that it was not worth a trip back to Hammondsport for a court appearance. I was required to send the summons by registered mail and shortly thereafter, I received the news that my fine was set $200 plus a $93 surcharge. That was bad enough but shortly after that I got the news from DMV that I have to pay an additional $300 plus 6 points on my drivers license. Frankly, I think that this is outrageous. I really don’t know exactly my speed when I passed his radar gun but I don’t think the cop can prove his case either with anything more concrete than his word. When it comes to travel, my inclination is to choose the shortest distance between two points. If I had to be in the Finger Lake area, in spite of some congestion and slower conditions I liked the drive along the lake shore.
My message to all future victims—Try to avoid Hammondsport altogether and if that is not possible, be very, very careful.
Local police like to sit & shoot radar just under the 30mph zone sign waiting for drivers coming into town from the lake road, where its 45mph all the way down, several of the local officers will ticket for only 1-2 mph over the limit.
they set in a small dec pulloff 1/2 way between the 2 gas stations on rt54 and can shoot eather way toward hammondsport or bath