They Give You A Warning In Waldo
November 24, 1999
If you're heading into Waldo, FL on State Road 24, you'll notice new highway markings that are supposed to help you slow down before you hit a speed trap.
The American Automobile Assn. and the Florida Department of Transportation striped the pavement of State Road 24 with 100 white bars made of 3M reflective tape. The bars, spaced progressively closer together, give drivers the illusion they are traveling too fast.
The speed limit drops suddenly from 65 mph to 35 mph in Waldo, and AAA has put out a traffic advisory about it being a speed trap. It's one of only two towns to earn the dubious distinction; the other is Lawtey, FL, about 25 miles to the north.
Waldo gets 33.5% of its revenue from traffic tickets, while Lawtey makes up a staggering 68.2% of its budget from tickets. AAA says ticket revenues of more than 25% of total revenue are unreasonable.
A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety determined that speed could be reduced by the markings, which have been used for several years in Europe. The club will watch closely for the next six months to see if it works.