I’m the RoadGambler. I’m not the FlyingGambler, although I do a lot of flying. When possible, I like driving from casino to casino. Driving allows me time to think about my businesses and also conduct business via phone conference (hands-free and parked at a rest stop).

I drive through the midwest and south a lot. Last year, I bought a new gas efficient car and put about 80,000 miles on it.

One piece of advice that I’ve learned is that when I’m driving from town to town it’s best to stay on major freeways, even if the freeway route takes longer or is a farther route. The reason is that a lot of the little towns in the south have speed traps where roads go from 75 mph down to 35 in a very short span.  And coincidentally or not, there’s sometimes a cop who is ready to pull over the driver.

I have a lot of respect for cops. I have family members who are cops and my father was a former police officer. But I’m not a fan of ticketing drivers for the sake of city coffers.

If you’ve been reading my blog since the beginning, you’ll know one of my favorite gambling destinations is Shreveport, LA.

I’ve been pulled over many times in these small towns. Usually, the cop just lets me go because I’m genuinely remorseful and I know what to say and do (I’ll cover that in a future post…I gotta create some suspense and anticipation).

I have business in Killeen, Texas and also business in Tyler, Texas. So I’m in Texas quite often.

To get from Killeen to Shreveport, GPS would tell you to take this route, which is the most direct route:

This is the GPS suggested route from Killeen, which is a centrally located city in Texas, to Shreveport, Louisiana.

This route will take you through Tyler, Texas. For those who are skeptical that speed traps exist and that little towns raise revenue by issuing traffic violations (‘quotas are illegal’…blah blah blah), here is some hard data about Tyler, Texas: http://raycomgroup.worldnow.com/story/32169200/state-data-shows-tylers-9m-in-citation-revenue-exceeds-comparable-cities

TL;DR: Tyler citation revenue of $9,000,000 annually far exceeds comparable cities, such as Waco, College Station, and Wichita Falls. Simple as that.

Also, while the route above is the most direct and the shortest route, it’s usually the slowest route because there will be stretches where you are driving 35 mph and there will be a good chance that you will be pulled over for speeding. Despite the long drive time shown on the maps, take the I-35 route through Dallas. You will save time and money, in the long run.

The better route form Killeen, central Texas to Shreveport, Louisiana. You will drive at a constant speed and have a much smaller chance of being pulled over for a traffic offense.

If you are tempted to take the first route, you will encounter this…

Ah, the open roads of Texas, where most speed limits in the countryside are 70 MPH.
Laws in Texas set the maximum speed limit at 70 MPH, but Texas Transportation Commission can move the limit up to 85 on certain roads.
70 MPH, even near residences, as evidenced by the mailbox near the posted speed limit.
Oh oh, entering a small town. Gotta slow down.
Approaching businesses. This sign was about 200 yards apart from the 55 sign above.
After another 200 yards or so, the speeds start to precipitously drop, to the point where the driver must start actively and, in some cases, quickly applying brakes.
Approaching the heart of the small city, the speed limit drops again and is now at 40.
Hit the brakes! Speed is dropping some more! Now at 35.
Now going 19 MPH. There goes all your time saved by taking the shorter route.

All the above pics were within about a 2-mile distance (notice the consistency of the sky in all the pics). You will encounter the above scenario multiple times as you drive through small towns.

The gambler in me likes to talk about expected value and costs. Well, there’s the cost of an eventual speeding ticket that will ultimately make your drive more expensive, and the time wasted as you try to fight that ticket in a municipal court that is 300 miles from where you normally travel.

That’s why my advice is that if you want to go on a gambling trip and drive across America, stick to the main traffic arteries, if possible.

Next time I write about the issue of driving to your favorite gambling destination, I’ll help with some advice on how to get out of a speeding ticket. Let’s just say I have a background in such things.

 

Posted in: Gambling

6 thoughts on “RoadGambler on the Road: Small Town Speed Traps”

  • JERRY CRABILL says:

    LOL Hi Mr. Road Gambler. I had to chuckle over your concern of speed traps. I am a professional traffic engineer and feel qualified to comment. The reason so many signs are installed (as you correctly pointed out/illustrated) is to allow counties/municipalities to avoid litigation on just the subject you mention – “speed traps”. Sure there are plenty of those signs (personally, I would not use so many), but there is ample spacing between each to give the driver enough time to recognize the situation and then slow down. Actually, it has been successfully argued in court that those many signs HELP the driver avoid speed traps by incrementally “telling” him/her to slow down (as you did). Trust me, we who have the legal authority to install speed limit signs are on your side. We simply want to assist you in creating a safe driving environment.

    So enough of that, I now have to get back to your videos and keep testing my various strategies and make the big bucks playing craps :):)

    Jerry Crabill

    • HI Jerry,

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the videos.

      I love debating this issue. You might say I have a background in this issue.

      I absolutely agree with everything you wrote.

      I never said that the traffic control schemes – let’s not use the word ‘trap’ for now – are illegal. They’re legal, and actually, they’re good for small town America. We can’t have drivers zooming from one end of small town America, to the other end, through downtown and residential areas at 75 MPH.

      Even though the traffic control schemes are prima facia legal, doesn’t mean that they aren’t speed traps.

      My main objection is when the town decides, hey we need money for the coffers for X reason. So they send out a motor unit or a traffic unit to sit at the 45 or 35 sign.

      Traffic control laws should be used for public safety, not as a form of de facto taxation. That’s a social statement on my part, not a legal argument that would hold water in court.

      BTW, this argument that ‘we do not have quotas’ is a BS argument. But that’s another debate for a future RoadGambler article, for when the day comes that I receive a speeding ticket OTW to my next casino.

      Also, even when towns aren’t engaging in revenue collection through traffic enforcement, psychologically and habitually, it’s really hard for a driver to go from 70-75 down to 35 in such a short span.

      That’s not a defense to a speeding citation, though. If pass-through drivers are habitually endangering the local residences, then public safety needs to engage in motorist behavioral modification. If public safety decides that ticketing is the most effective modification method, that’s ok with me.

      For the sake of the driver’s own driving record and associated headaches, and for the sake of the town’s safety, motorists should avoid driving through small towns and stick to the major arteries. Eventually, a pass-through motorist will be unlucky and drive past a local officer or county deputy at 40 MPH in a 35 zone. The motorist is then at the mercy of the officer’s discretion. On an expected cost basis, eventually, the motorist will get a ticket.

      TL;DR: Just because a traffic control scheme is legal doesn’t mean it’s not a trap for the unwary driver. You’ll eventually get a ticket. So stick to major traffic arteries.

      I’m back to making more videos. Working an a good one right now.

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  • Hello RG

    I have two residences that I travel from to mostly Louisiana casinos. (Lake Charles, Kinder, and Shreveport/Bossier). When I am working and can take a quick casino trip to either Lake Charles or Kinder it will be from Deer Park TX. I miss all the small town travel from there. In a couple of years I plan on retiring to a small town between Houston and Dallas. From there I head to Shreveport/Bossier. I go out of my way to go through every small town I can find that does not put me too far off path. I enjoy seeing places that I have not been before. Yes I have been stopped but somehow I seem to be able to talk my way into warnings. I guess at some point I will have seen all the small towns on my route but I still don’t mind going the small town route. I have did the route to Oklahoma (Winstar) and when I got there I found (No Dice) and just really did not enjoy as much as Louisiana. (Did I mention I love Cajun Food)

    I recently found your videos by way of youtube, which I was able to find your website from there. I never thought watching a craps game on video could be almost as interesting as being there. Great stuff. Hope you are able to keep up this enjoyable experience. I would love to financially support this but I don’t believe online gambling is legal in Texas and I have never tried it. That’s is the only form of advertisement that I see on the site. Any suggestions.

    Mostly wanted to say hello and maybe someday our paths will cross as we seem to visit the same casinos in Louisiana.

    Larry

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