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New radar camera in Colorado town known for its speed traps generates thousands of tickets

Morrison installs speed cameras, citing 10,000 drivers in two weeks
Morrison installs speed cameras, citing 10,000 drivers in two weeks 03:34

The city of Morrison is known for its speed traps. It's a reputation in Colorado that Police Chief Bill Vinelli is trying to fix. A new speed radar camera sits in plain view on Morrison Road leaving town, but the number of citations it has issued in just two weeks far outpaced what uniformed officers are capable of doing.


"10,000 violations of 10 miles an hour or more over the speed limit," said Vinelli. "What we can write on a good month was 135 for the month of April with handwritten tickets. This camera captured 1,421 violations yesterday alone."

The fines are $40 each, and any driver going 10 miles over the speed limit past the machine will have a picture taken of their license plate and a citation sent to them by mail. While they are only starting to receive payments for the citations, in just two weeks the city of Morrison could see a windfall of up to $400,000 if every person paid off their citation.

In the past, the city of Morrison has been at the center of discussions around speeding citations as a means of collecting revenue for the city. A former police chief alleged that he was pushed out because he didn't have his department writing enough tickets.

Up on the main stretch of downtown, Gary Conti, the owner of Tony Rigatoni's, says that speed can be an issue on days where there are a lot of pedestrians on the streets. On Wednesday, three high school graduations were happening in Morrison with heavy traffic through downtown from around 7 a.m. until 11 p.m.

"Some days there's so many people around it looks like the night of the living dead," he joked. "In the summer time it's crazy up here, especially with concerts. As you can see, there's people everywhere walking up here so we kind of appreciate that it's a safety issue."

Vinelli says that the radar isn't a speed trap since there is signage warning drivers of the machine. But some have questioned the placement of the radar -- heading out of town instead of into town -- and if that is a means of catching people before they head out to C-470.

"25 is 25," said Vinelli. "The speed limits are posted the same all over the country. They look the same."

The city of Morrison has one fixed camera at the intersection of Highway 74 and Highway 8, while the radar camera leaving Morrison is mobile and can be moved around various parts of the area.

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