Oakland, Tennessee Speed Traps
Garden Springs Drive near State Highway 194
I am a resident of the Garden Springs subdivison. I am a nurse in downtown Memphis and I was leaving my house yesterday evening headed to work. As I stopped at the first stop sign, I noticed a police car parked in front of one of the houses on the street, as were several other civilian cars parked in front of several other houses. As I approached the police vehicle, I veered over into the center of the road and passed by him. I pulled out onto highway 194 (two miles from highway 64) and noticed blue lights speeding up behind me. I, for the first time since I have been driving, could not figure out why I was being pulled over. Usually I know that I am going 25 over the speed limit, but not this time. When the officer approached my vehicle, I asked him why I was being pulled over. His response was that I was speeding while passing an officer. I asked him how fast I was going and he said "25 in a 20." He told me that he was not parked at his home in the subdivision, but only parked there to clock speeders. I was stunned. The officer never asked to see my license, but asked if I were from Oakland. When I explained that I had just moved there, he told me to slow it down. This town is definitely a speed trap no matter what part of town you are coming through. I tried to set my cruise at 20mph and my car will not allow me to do so! So, be VERY aware of your odometer at all times…
US Highway 64 near Hickory Wythe Road
City of Oakland, Tn police patrol this strip from the West City limits to the East limits. During that span of road, the speed limit varies from 45mph to 55mph to 65 mph. No tolerance is allowed.
US Highway 64
Local authorities make up their budget based on anticipated speeding fines. They go out of their way to ticket. Just three miles over the limit will make you a contributor to the local coffers.
US Highway 64
I happen to have two friends who are on the Oakland Police force and I have some ridiculous info about their policies:
They do *not* give tickets to Oakland residents. This is an unwritten but well known (verbal) policy, that an officer should only give a ticket to a resident if they are doing something VERY stupid like drunk driving or 25+ over the limit, and even then they will go far easier on them then they would on an out of towner.
You know what this is known as? City fund generation. If you take money from people in town it doesn’t bring any more money into the town. If you hit up out of towners by ticketing a couple hundred of them a day in town such as Oakland, a small town that tallied up to 1,200 residents in the 2000 census, (gives out more tickets in a week than it has actual residents)… you can generate some crazy "free" revenue.
The chief of police here taught a concealed weapons permit course that I took. During the class he flat out said they pull over black people when they see them because they’re typically up to no good. They also occasionally ask drunk passengers to step out of the vehicle – causing them to be publically intoxicated – and they get arrested for it. Let me reiterrate: they weren’t publically intoxicated UNTIL they stepped out of the vehicle, but they did it to obey the officer! That’s entrapment in the worst of ways – they are arresting people who are trying to be responsible!
State Highway 64 near State Highway 64
The trap is designed to unfairly issue speeding tickets to drivers. It is common knowledge in the Memphis, TN and surrounding areas about Oakland, TN speed trap. It would be interested to know what percentage of the population actually knows about it. I am certain it will be overwhelming.