Sheriff Looks Into Launching Speed Trap Investigation

ALLPORT, Ark. - In this small town, the only few lights are the ones passing by.

"You got one highway through there," says Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley.

Some say Highway 165 in Allport is a trap for speeders.

"I know it's not a speed trap," says Allport Police Chief Ivory Gaston.

The city's only police officer, Chief Gaston, says every month he responds to about five to seven calls a month and writes about ten tickets.

"I do calls in the city and sometimes if the Sheriff's Department needs someone to go out and help them out," says Gaston.

Staley says his office is looking into starting a Speed Trap investigation in Allport after his department received about a dozen complaints over the last two months.

"We don't have a lot of calls down there but if there was a call down there, he's not willing to take those. He just wanted to do traffic, they want a traffic cop down there," says Staley. "We want to enforce the law, we want to slow folks down but we're not about making money."

There's no formal investigation but depending on what the Sheriff finds, he could ask the Lonoke County Prosecutor to launch one.

"Get enough factual information to either approve or disapprove. They may not be doing anything wrong," says Staley.

Arkansas law bans speed traps, meaning a department can't write more than half of its speeding tickets on for less than 10 miles an hour over the speed limit. It can't generate revenue that exceeds more than 30 percent of the preceding year's expenses. Either is a violation. 

Gaston says the few lights in town can be problematic.

"Cars go through there at 75 and 85, that's why it's not a speed trap," says Gaston.

If the Sheriff and Prosecutor finds there's enough to launch a Speed Trap investigation, Arkansas State Police would step in and conduct its own case.

The Sheriff and Prosecutor is asking anyone who thinks they might be a victim to speed trap violations to give them a call.


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