Waldo Florida Speed Enforcement
Waldo, FL Speed Enforcement
Speed Traps

Who hasn't had the frustrating experience of speeding by a police car, parked by the side of the road, and noticing that a notorious bit of technology, the radar gun, has been pointed directly at your speeding vehicle? Sometimes, it's a small town policeman claiming you exceeded an excruciatingly low speed limit by an exceedingly narrow margin. Or maybe it's a major speed trap on I-95, seemingly designed to boost the highway patrol's "ticket quota"... In any case, "speed traps" are as American as driving (and just as old).

The race to build a better "fuzzbuster," radar and laser detectors, has spawned a multi-million dollar industry that uses space age technology to build devices to detect the spurious emissions of police speed detecting devices. Some technology mavens have even attempted to build devices that actually neutralize the radar and laser guns employed by the police. While their legality is in question, from state to state, their effectiveness has also been called into question. The police, on the other hand, continue their quest to build more efficient and sophisticated speed detecting devices, some of which prove costlier than the entire budget of a small town police department.

With all this in mind, Pacific Street Films produced Speed Traps, an engrossing one-hour documentary that explores the on-going battle between police and drivers. The program explores the new technologies available to both police and drivers, as well as investigating the ins and outs of avoiding tickets and keeping those costly points off your license. PSF's cameras ride with both sides in this show and the result is an informative and sometimes humorous look at our nation's obsession with speed.

Our approach to this one-hour special is multi-layered, capturing the often comedic battle between speed detection and "stealthy" speed detection avoidance. We take to the road with members of both AAA and RADAR, touring areas they claim provide examples of the most egregious perpetrators of the so-called "speed traps." On the flip side, our cameras also prowl alongside the highway patrolmen who take "aim" at the worst of the vehicular maniacs, who hurl thousands of pounds of metal carelessly down the nation's roadways. Also highlighted is the development (and history) of speed detection: from the purely "eyeball" approach, to primitive VASCAR, "bears in the air" (aerial patrolling), to the most advanced "instant on" radar and laser guns. Conversely, we'll look at the history of radar detection, from the original "fuzzbuster," to the super-sophisticated technology of the Valentine One, considered to be the best detector on the market today.


Broadcast Premiere on TLC June 2001

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Produced by
Steven Fischler
Joel Sucher

Directed by
Clark Bortree

Edited by
Alanna Yudin

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