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Not True, But Speed Trap Title Resonates in Mahwah

Even if the claim is bogus, the township of Mahwah will take it, convinced that the tag will encourage safe driving and reduce motor vehicle accidents.

A driving-rights group, the National Motorists Association ("NMA"), has just labeled Mahwah the "worst speed trap" in New Jersey, although, in fact, hard numbers reveal that it doesn't' even rank in the top 10 in Bergen County. NMA's designation is anything but scientific, being based on multiple pages of driver complaints on its website.

Still, Mahwah wears its title proudly, seeing distinct benefits in being labeled a speed trap. Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli says that any website that targets his township and warns of speed traps is "also accomplishing our ultimate goal - compliance with the laws and safer highways."

The Star-Ledger report of the trip that one of its reporters took with Mahwah patrolman Kevin Tielemans on his rounds around the township would undoubtedly be of great interest to many motorists. It reveals the following:

• Most people do in fact drive over the speed limit, but, provided they are within 10 mph of it and within the traffic flow, they have little to worry about

• It's as we suspected, being polite helps ward off tickets

• Don't drive a red car if you want to be inconspicuous, and don't speed if you're driving a dark-colored car

• Honestly, there is no quota; according to Tielemans, that is "a 100 percent myth"

Perhaps most interesting of all, patrol officers approaching a car after a stop press down on the trunk to leave an identifying fingerprint in the event that the drive suddenly takes off.

Related Resource: "Mahwah police wear badge of 'worst speed trap in N.J.' with pride" September 26, 2010

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