Biggest “Speed Traps” in NCW
It's only mid-February, but the weather is already starting to make it feel like spring has arrived early.
Every year, when sunny days and warmer temperatures return to the region, the right feet of many motorists in North Central Washington also strangely seem to get heavier; and this not-so-unleaded phenomenon leads to an all-too-familiar problem on the area's roadways...speeding!
Law enforcement agencies all over the state are quite savvy to the fact that when the winter starts to wane, plenty of folks will celebrate by putting their pedals a little too close to the metal; and that's when they are most likely to catch you in the act!
Despite the fact that they are commonly known as "speed traps," law enforcement officers everywhere are quick to remind that they are not allowed to entrap anyone in the line of duty. But they certainly can cozy up their squad car alongside a rocky outcropping or tuck it behind a roadside berm at the base of a hill and turn on their radar guns to see who might be going too fast when they whiz by.
Why in fact, a co-worker of mine here at Townsquare Media in Wenatchee (who shall remain nameless but to say they're on one of our stations with a lot of W's in the call letters ;-) actually just got a speeding ticket on their way into the office just a few weeks ago.
So with my co-worker's lead foot and the one that might be attached to your right leg in mind, I present you with a list of six places around North Central Washington where the Washington State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies just love to sit and lie in wait for speeders to zoom by.
And by the way, as someone who drives the state's highways all the time for leisure and business alike, I'm immensely grateful to have our troopers, deputies, and officers out there to make things safer. So think of my list as something of a public service announcement designed to make you slow down all the time and not just a warning about where you might get caught exceeding the speed limit and receive a citation. Speeding can have serious consequences, so all kidding aside, please obey the posted limits for your own life's sake and that of others.
U.S. HIGHWAY 2 (& 97) - WENATCHEE TO LEAVENWORTH
This twenty-mile stretch of highway is always loaded with traffic and has one of the most visible law enforcement presences in the region.
It's also a bustling corridor for Westside drivers who just love to test the limits of their fast and fancy cars on the wide open spaces of Eastern Washington.
The road is constantly patrolled for speeding and chances are, if you're too many digits over the posted limit, you're going to get nabbed and you're going to pay for it.
U.S. HIGHWAY 97 - BLEWETT PASS
Although it might not generally feature as many Staters sitting by the roadside with their JUGS guns turned on, you can be sure that roving patrols on this very busy mountain pass are always checking for speed.
Like U.S. Highway 2 (& 97) between Wenatchee and Leavenworth, this 35-mile stretch of pavement is also filled with Westside motorists - some of whom seem to have more horsepower than sense - which only adds to the volume of those who are speeding.
Blewett Pass also outnumbers several of the state's highways for fatality and injury accidents as well, so for goodness sake, slow down and just enjoy the beautiful scenery as you cruise across this mountain road. There's really no need to rush, is there?
U.S. HIGHWAY 97 - WELLS DAM TO BREWSTER
As someone who puts in roughly 35,000 miles on the state's highways and byways annually, I can easily say that the 29 miles of asphalt on this portion of U.S. 97 has plenty of state patrolmen and deputies who are very eager to make a dent in the number of people going way too fast.
One of their favorite hangouts is along the hilly stretch just south of Pateros with the passing lanes in either direction, but I've seen them in plenty of other spots by the road too.
Better slow your roll, Charlie...cuz if you don't, there's gonna be some citatin' goin' on 'round here!
U.S. HIGHWAY 97A
Again, as someone who logs a ton of miles behind the wheel throughout the state every year, I can definitely say that this is one highway that I'm especially glad has a hefty law enforcement presence.
The drive is always breathtaking no matter what the season, but admittedly I avoid this road as often as possible - especially in the summer - due to the sheer number of overly-aggressive drivers going egregious speeds and making outlandishly-unsafe passes.
There really can't be enough cops on this road for my liking, but there are still always quite a few. So if you're needle is redlining and you're making like Judas Priest and "Breaking the Law," think twice, lest you be ready to open your wallet...or worse!
STATE ROUTE 28 - ROCK ISLAND TO TRINIDAD
Here's another road that's gotten so much busier since I started driving for fun over 30 years ago - and not for the better.
While SR-28 between Soap Lake and Davenport features very few cars and is an absolute pleasure to cruise anytime, the 53 miles it covers between East Wenatchee and Soap Lake are often a nightmare, especially the 15 miles from Rock Island to Trinidad.
It's here that you can very often find plenty of troopers angling their well-aimed radars at passing vehicles from the side of the road, and I see scores of folks every year within this stretch who have been pulled over.
It was also on this part of the highway some years ago, that I was unlucky enough to witness a triple-fatality accident occur right in front of me - and yes, the scene was as graphic as those scary driver's ed films they used to show us in high school. Sadly, it's a set of images that will never leave my mind. So please, remember what's most important within this experience and take it easy on the throttle.
STATE ROUTE 172 - FARMER TO MANSFIELD
This is perhaps the most surprising inclusion among our entries, since there aren't as many folks who use this highway, but nevertheless it's still a very active one for speed patrols by law enforcement.
The prime territory of this stretch for well-veiled police vehicles is just north of Withrow where the road rolls for several miles over a series of hills with blind crests.
The heaviest volume of both cops and speeders here can be found during the summer months, since the highway sees more use by tourists and recreationists heading to and from Lake Chelan.