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Prescott Valley Tribune | Prescott Valley, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions February 5, 2016

12/5/2012 12:27:00 PM
Letter: PV running a 1950s era speed trap
Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo


You know, it's sad. We just spent four nights and three days in Prescott Valley, staying at one of your local hotels, eating in your local restaurants, shopping in your local stores and filling up at your local gas stations. However, our trip to your community started off on a very unpleasant foot.

After driving for almost 12 hours to visit your city, as we were approaching Prescott Valley at 9 p.m., we got disoriented and unsure of where the hotel at which we would be spending the next four nights was located.

I was the only vehicle on N. Glassford Hill Road, and I was driving at the posted speed limit of 45 mph and watching for stop lights, when all of a sudden I was greeting by flashing strobe lights. At first it really startled us and then I thought it was a warning of some type.

The next day, driving down the same road, now in the daylight I saw the two almost imperceptible, especially at night, almost back-to-back signs changing the speed limit from 45 to 35 and then the stop light and cameras, all in a very short distance of each other.

It then occurred to me that your city is running a high tech 1950s era speed trap. You should be ashamed. So our welcome to your city was my first ticket in more than 40 years. To say the least, it was disappointing. And, since I'm from out of state, appearing in court to challenge this abuse is impracticable, and Arizona state law does not allow me to attend traffic school. So in effect I've been assessed a tax of $223 by your city.

We had planned to make Prescott Valley a yearly destination for a mini vacation, but we now have no interest in visiting a town that has such low standards as to use a speed trap and promote it as "Focus On Safety."

It is my belief that if we had been stopped by an actual officer, and if your focus was really on safety, I would have been warned about the change in the speed limit, and then safely guided toward our destination by the officer. If your focus was truly on safety, even the person who processed the camera image would have sent us a warning to be careful on that stretch of road. I think more appropriately your promotion should be called "Focus On Rip-Offs."

I would have thought that in this economy tourism dollars would be encouraged, not abused. I have paid your city extortion fee of $223, but rest assured we will not be leaving any more tourist dollars or extra fees in your city ever again.

Since we had originally planned to take a yearly quick vacation getaway to Prescott Valley, your short sightedness toward out of town guests will cost your local business economy a lot more in lost revenue and adverse publicity than the amount of the fine. So all of you will be safe from this speed demon in your town in the future, we will not be coming back.

Since it is my personal belief that a speed trap is the lowest of all forms of traffic control and using cameras is even more disgraceful, like a 1950s era film noire for a blackmail plot, I will be sending this email to the LA Times newspaper as well, to help protect your city from tourists.

Bob Neill

San Luis Obispo, California

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Article comment by: Excuses, Excuses Take responsibility!

It's human nature to make excuses so you don't have to take responsibility for your actions. This "Visitor" is talking about safety.....Well Bob Neill Of San Luis Obispo CA, if you want to talk safety then WHY weren't you and your wife practicing safe driving through a town you had never been before?? You clam there was NO one on the road, so does that make it ok to miss ALL of the post signs warning of the various speed changes or the warning signs of the PHOTO RADAR??? Driving is about paying attention, you failed at it, meaning you put the citizens of our town at risk with your HORRIBLE CA driving!! Then you make up a ton of excuses for your pour driving and not paying attention and blame it on the town. You don't even want to get me going about the HORRIBLE roads/sign system you all have over in CA!!! Pay the "TAX" and NEVER come back!

Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013
Article comment by: Darrell Cobb

I live in PV and am terrified of the town's ridiculous speed limits which seem to change every fifteen feet. Robert Road, the town's primary business district, has a 25 mile an hour limit, though there seems to be a stop light every few blocks which would naturally keep traffic moving a safe clip. I get a ticket in the mail every few months although I practically crawl everywhere I go. The city knows what it's doing -- it's a revenue producer, plain and simple. Shame shame. I'm 60 years old and on a fixed income, and cannot afford to live in this town if they're going to keep harrassing me like this.

Posted: Saturday, January 5, 2013
Article comment by: viki ketiko

oh my god! what a bunch of WHINERS. everyone knows the cameras are there to extort money for this beautiful city. I knew the day would come when computers had the last laugh. If you contest your photo enhanced ticket the state will not proceed any further because they cannot prove beyond that shadow of a doubt you are in fact the driver. Add that with additional court costs and you have a dropped ticket! Its about money and 99% of the time on anything if you follow it back to the source its about MONEY the ruler of all thats said or done unfortunately. Only humans should be detecting human error not computers. However, the old saying goes a picture tells a thousand words but in this case they are never PICTURE PERFECT ! hence...theres your shadow of a doubt.And our tourst should NEVER let this kind of thing stop him from where he wants to go or what you wants to do! I mean really you could be in some third world country starving ! Be greatful for what you do have and just fix what you do wrong. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013
Article comment by: Hazel Haufneffer

The visitor is correct. PV is nothing but a great big speed trap. I don't live in PV but on the outskirts and I try very hard to NEVER shop or do much of anything in the town because of the speed traps. The person who pointed out that the speed limit changes 3 times on Glassord Hill Rd said it all.
I am sure that these "speed lights" and those horrid little cars on the side of the road are not legal. Hope someone challenges it soon.

To beat the speed trap lights all you have to do is cover your face...wear a cowboy handkerchief on your face like the cowboys did to protect themselves from dust and they cannot ticket you. This is a legal problem.

Posted: Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Article comment by: BETTY BARNES


Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Article comment by: Oliver Klouthsoff

That's all it takes to get rid of Californians?
Should have thought of that earlier..

Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Article comment by: Reed Winfrey

You said you were driving the posted speed limit of 45 MPH on Glassford hill Rd when the speed trap flashed you. That was a lie.
Then you said the signs were almost back to back. That too was a lie.
Then you say state law does not allow you to attend traffic school. That was a lie.
I could go on but the fact is you would probably just try to lie your way out of everything so I'll save it for someone that can understand the laws and is willing to learn from their mistakes.
A real man would man up and take responsibility for their actions. That is not a lie.

Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Article comment by: Still Another Commenter

Let's see now.......... Beth, Anita, Tammy, Blinded, John, seems all of these nice folks have a bone to pick with the use of photo enforcement for speeding and red light running at intersections. And many times the comment about cops in the donut shop is used. If only they knew that the cameras actually worked and make a big... no huge difference in the number of accidents, they would not be so critical of their use. As a retired traffic design technician for a major city, I had the occasion to study the use of photo enforcement and the impact it had on accident statistics. The numbers were remarkably lowered simply by the use of cameras. You can say what you want but the facts do not lie. The cameras work, period.

Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012
Article comment by: Robert Walker

Typical Californian. Your type is what we don't want here. You need to grow up and take responsibility for your actions. By the way, Prescott Valley will survive without you.

Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2012
Article comment by: Steven Norman

Okay you haters of people who visit our wonderful place. Why is there photo radar right when you enter PV? Why does glassford hill have three different speed limits, yes, it 40 mph when you come close to highway 89a. If all you people who are talking about safety for the kids, middle school and high school, then riddle me this Batman. Why has the city not put in concert sidewalks for the kids to travel on in that area? Its a money maker, you know it, I know it and the city knows it.

Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2012
Article comment by: John Lopez

I feel the same way about the darn cameras, If they had more police officers procontroling the roads instead of being lazy and at the donut shops. We wouldn't need cameras

Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2012
Article comment by: casey kelly

I am new to this town and i see the signs all over the place so pay the fine!

Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2012
Article comment by: Joe Pandoli

Let's see, what is the reality here?

Southbound on Glassford Hill Road:
There is a regular size, Reduced Speed Ahead Sign,

Then a regular Size, 35 MPH sign.

A big YELLOW Photo Enforcement Zone sign.

Another regular size 35 zone sign.

Then ANOTHER big YELLOW Photo Enforcement Zone sign.

That's FIVE signs you sailed past, "with no warning."

But you were caught in a "speed trap?"

Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2012
Article comment by: JustAnother Commenter

It would seem from the last sentence in Mr. Neil's diatriab that the extortionist is Mr. Neil himself. Also obvious to anyone who lives and drives in the area of this intersection is the exaggerated description of the road sign locations etc. that Mr. Neil has made. If Mr. Neil cannot be honest and own up to the fact that he broke the law and now has to pay the price, then he cannot be taken seriously. In my opinion, if Mr. Neil does not come back to Prescott Valley, then good for us. One less law breaker and speeder to deal with.

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012
Article comment by: Blinded by the Light

Try traveling southbound on Glassford at night when the Bradshaw (High School) has their football field lights on. You can't see the signs because of the glaring light. Lucky I remembered the camera but got caught. As for those that whine you were breaking the law...I'm sure he knows that. But it was not intentional and the school is not open at 9pm on the weekend. DO AWAY with the cameras. Please stop me officer if you see me doing something against the law or unsafe....I'll own up to it.

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