That moment when you spot the red-and-blue flashers in your rear-view mirror, emerging from behind a conveniently large shrub, is not a pretty one. Wouldn't it be nice if you could avoid it, and do so without the bother of having to obey all traffic laws all the time?
The Keller Police Department is here to help. On Friday, it announced that it will now preemptively post speed-trap locations on Facebook and Twitter.
"Yep, you read that right," the department wrote on Facebook. "In Keller, Texas, traffic enforcement is about public safety, not revenue. So with that in mind, and in the spirit of transparency, KPD followers will get a heads up on officers looking for speeding, seat belt violations, illegal turns and more."
The data, which ranks Keller slightly below the median for traffic citations per capita, backs up the department's claim that it's not overly concerned with tickets as a revenue source.
The claim that this is motivated at least partially by a desire to improve public safety also seems legit. If the current system were working as intended, there wouldn't have been a 27-percent jump in car crashes in 2013, a year that also saw a 17-percent increase in traffic tickets.
But will posting speed traps on social media actually make a difference? It might to the small minority of Keller residents who follow their police department on Facebook and Twitter, who may drive more carefully down a particular stretch of road (likely) or may become safer drivers (less likely). For the everyone else, Keller's speed traps will be the gotchas they always have been.
The biggest impact is probably on the department itself. It gets a nice dose of positive PR and boosts its reach on social media.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.
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