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KOA speed trap - beware

NYC, NY
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KOA speed trap - beware

So that others don't repeat my mistake:

We recently left the BI and are now on Kauai. As we drove south from the Kohala Coast to KOA airport I was attentive to both my speed limit and possible speed traps, cops on the side of the road. I had seen a few cops pull over some drivers during our time on the BI. In any event, as you approach KOA from the highway, you make a arching turn into the airport. Obviously, to make the turn you have to reduce your speed from highway speed, which I did.

As you turn into the airport you drive down a low sloping rise. I had my foot on the brake and certainly didn't think I was speeding. Right there, dead ahead was --- a cop car with his laser gun. He motioned to me and pulled me over.

"Do you know how fast you were going?"

Long story short, I was going 44 mph in what had in a few dozen feet gone from a 55 mph zone down to 25 mph. No one else was on the road I had turned onto and it wasn't near the terminal. Just me heading down a hill to the departure terminal in the distance. Its the area right after you turn off the highway. "License and registration" and about ten mins later (tick tock as the flt departure time approaches) the nice local copper handed me a ticket for over $100.

We dropped off our rental car after checking in and, on the bus to the terminal, the driver told us the cop hangs out often there, catching multiple drivers who did the exact same thing I did. As the driver said, "its as if he doesn't have anything better to do all day."

Its a heck of a way to send off tourist who just spent a very large penny on a week on the BI. I call it a classic speed trap. Live and learn . . .

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: KOA speed trap - beware

I don't understand. Are you claiming that there were no signs about the 25 mph zone? If there were signs, what is the basis for your complaint?

Washington DC...
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2. Re: KOA speed trap - beware

Hard-working individuals and tourists and people headed to Sibley or Georgetown Hospital are all routinely zapped as they enter the 25 mph zone heading to Chain Bridge where I live.

Cost of not complying....bummah but they got me and I deserved it.

Honolulu, Hawaii
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3. Re: KOA speed trap - beware

"a few dozen feet"....

Right.

If you had turned onto the airport access road long enough to notice it's slope and to acknowledge you were hammering on the brake, at 44 MPH, it was far, far more than a few dozen feet.

You were in a hurry (which you speak to), you sped, and you got caught, now your'e bitchin' about it.

I think it is a great lesson for all the new arrivals to see that speed limits are enforced on the island from the moment they arrive. What better place than the road into the airport.

Or should the police as goodwill ambasadors allow visitors to knock over a bank or burn down their hotel on their way out of town as a "parting gift".

You were big time speeding and you got caught. Thank God you didn't have that attitude while booming through a school

zone. You are on vacation from YOUR everday life, not ours.

Waikoloa, Hawaii
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4. Re: KOA speed trap - beware

Speed limits are well marked in the area. That turn is not "arching". It's a regular right turn. Were you going 44+ mph when you took that turn? That's way too fast. No wonder there are police there if that's the speed people are entering at KOA.

washington
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5. Re: KOA speed trap - beware

Sorry, I MIGHT have had more sympathy for you if you we just arriving, had never read a TR on TA or never picked up a guide book. BI speed limits are legendary! But you spent a week driving and observing. Spending a pretty penny does not excuse you from the rules.

Island of Hawaii...
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6. Re: KOA speed trap - beware

We all speed and we all get caught sooner or later, it's part of life. The airport road, as well as the highway between the airport and town, and the Waikoloa Beach Resort access road all are well known for speed traps. I would watch my speed carefully on the way to Hawii too. Alii Drive at the Royal Kona Resort is well known for the seat belt trap.

Denver, Colorado
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7. Re: KOA speed trap - beware

Thanks for the general warning about speeding as others can learn from your mistake. You learned a valuable lesson to go slow in unknown territory especially when approaching towns and airports. Make sure you just pay the fine if you are planning on coming back to the Big Island.

However, the converse is true, I get really upset locals behind me wanting me to speed up even if I am right at the speed limit especially speed demon truck drivers in the lower Puna district or impatient residents wanting to do a death wish thru the winding turns thru the lower west part of Saddle Road

NYC, NY
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8. Re: KOA speed trap - beware

Holy moly, this is a tough crowd.

The purpose of my post was to alert others, and to say that I was caught in an obvious speed trap. When a cop hangs out in one place repeatedly, catching tourists (I forgot to mention that the same rental car driver told us the cop never pulls over delivery vans or others working at the airport but also speeding), and that place in on a slope, then its a speed trap. Indeed, if you google "speed trap" you find hundreds of postings, including helpful ones as to where they are, and how to avoid them. Perhaps those posts shouldn't be there, since, if yo speed, you should be happy to suffer the consequences of a ticket.

Was i going above 25 mph? Yes. Was I a danger to anyone else on the road? Well, there were no other cars on the road in front of me, not a one.

Frankly, I've never, ever, seen a speed trap like that so close to a departure terminal. Nowhere in the world. It had one purpose, to catch tourists driving into the airport, and not quick enough to slow from highway speed to 25 mph. The other purpose was to write a large ticket. That was the local send off. Others may disagree, so be it. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I think that of most others.

Others can take heed. Aloha.

Edina, Minnesota
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for Lanai
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9. Re: KOA speed trap - beware

This story reminds me about the time a taxi was bringing us to the airport in Las Vegas and got pulled over. This was also on the entry road to the airport. There was a trooper with a radar gun as we turned onto the road and as we approached the terminal the taxi was waved down by another trooper who had been called on the radio to alert him of what car to pull over. The trooper waited till we paid the cab driver and then started to write him a ticket.

Victoria, Canada
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10. Re: KOA speed trap - beware

I'm very happy you posted this.

I sent it along to my husband. We are going to the BI shortly and let's just say... any way I can persuade him to lighten his foot on the pedal, the better, and the possibility of a hefty fine will (hopefully) do just that!