Out on the Maine turnpike yesterday, I got a speeding ticket from an state trooper in an unmarked light brown Ford Crown Victoria near exit 43 (Maine Mall). He got me for 68 in a 55 when cars regularly go much faster than that through that section of road and where other cars were traveling faster than I was. He warned me to slow down. Statistically speed is not the cause of most accidents (especially on interstates), cell phone use, texting and alcohol are. This is simply a revenue raising exercise. And since the State Police are patrolling a private toll road, the private toll road should be footing the bill for them being there. But that’s another discussion.
I have never gotten a speeding ticket in Maine except from an unmarked car. So to that end, if the Maine State Police want to be sneaky, that’s fine. I’m going to publicize it so that if you’re traveling in Maine, you know what to expect. So keep your eyes peeled, here. I intend to take photos of every speed trap that I see and document it’s location. I intend to take photos of every unmarked police vehicle that I see. So far I have seen several Ford Mustangs, Several Mercury Marquis (Mercury’s version of the Ford Crown Victoria), a Dodge Charger, a black Jeep Cherokee, a red Chevrolet Z71 pickup truck, a Ford Excursion and several Dodge pickup trucks. The Dodge pickup trucks tend to be marked.
The Maine State Police use a combination of Ka band radars and when stationary, they use infrared laser. Many traffic cameras and other construction signs have a K band radar on them. The emergency “speed limit 40” signs along I-295 all have K band radars on them (necessitating the police use Ka band) as well as traffic cams. However, it is illegal in Maine for the police to use traffic cams for speed enforcement purposes.
If you’re a trucker, the police tend to hang out at the barrier tolls in New Gloucester, South Portland (I-295) and York.
I have seen speed traps (usually at exit 40) where the State Police will park an unmarked white van on an overpass and will use a laser to gauge your speed. They then have chase cars positioned on the on-ramp to chase you down. They will use marked and unmarked cars in that effort. It is usually set up during the day. Their new lasers do not set up my older cobra laser detector. I’m shopping for a newer radar/laser detector. As I put in the memo field on my check, the payment was a down payment on a newer/improved model.
So be alert, the police don’t know it, but after doubling of the fines a few years ago and then stepping up enforcement shows a policy that this level of speed enforcement is revenue enhancement and nothing more.