Proposed features/Speed trap

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Speed trap
Status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: Rw
Tagging: amenity=speed_trap
Rendered as: PDspeed.png
RFC start: 2008-08-12


Speed traps are covered by Relation:enforcement since 2009-01-08.


This proposal was revised for RFC on 12 August 2008.

What ?

Some places are regular locations for enforcement of speed limits. These places can be a permanent automated speed camera emplacement, or a convenient hiding spot for an enforcement officer. Speed traps, or customary enforcement locations can be:

  • nodes - Enforcement hides cruiser in the dead end on Spring Avenue and targets southbound traffic on Parkside Drive (Toronto - High Park).
  • ways - Enforcement is frequent on I-90 / New York State Thruway during weekend daylight hours.
  • areas - Enforcement is present in Lyons, Colorado, unless an emergency call is in progress.

The initial proposal envisioned only speed traps operated by enforcement officers and not speed cameras. Speed cameras were introduced in Ontario in 1994 and removed when raised as an election issue a short while later. To address the distinct nature of speed cameras perhaps they deserve their own tag.

Why ?

  • Because we want to reflect reality.

And the more controversial reasons...

  • Because it is of interest to motorists who want to know where the speed limit is being enforced (because they want to avoid being caught for speeding) This throws up some moral questions
  • "helping" the police to operate their speed enforcement activities in a more open and transparent manner
  • ...or to put it another way, we want to counter their big brother activities which are "waging a war on drivers"


Perhaps the officer-centric amenity = Speed_trap should be changed to:

amenity = speed_enforcement
enforcement_type = speed_camera | radar_trap | laser_trap 
enforcement_period = permanent | frequent | occasional 
enforcement_method = automated | manual

How ?

How about with an icon like this? PDspeed.png

Above graphic is inspired by the State of Pennsylvania, where large billboards welcome drivers to the state with a "menu" of speeding violations and fine amounts. It features a large outline of an officer holding a radar gun that is foreshortened by distance as it recedes from antenna to hand grip. Improved icons are always welcome. Eat the meat. Try not to choke on the bones.

Proposed UK Fixed speed camera icon: Fixed speed camera.png

I think that there shall icons of the same look for speed, distance and redlight enforcement. Therefore I am agains the icons shown above. My idea is to have the signs that give the rule, only in different colors. Example: If is is 60 km/h, there shall be a 60 km/h speed limit sign as an icon at the point where the speed camera is, only not with a red circle around a black 60 on white ground but with an orange circle around a blue 60 on a yellow ground. If there are traffic lights, there is a sign that's a triangle with a red border and a set of traffic lights in the middle in black on an white ground, and the traffic light enforcement camera shall be indicated by a triangle with an orange border and blue traffic lights on yellow ground etc. --Lulu-Ann 17:06, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

I think the blue P icon is too close to parking area sign.--Japa-fi 14:46, 29 October 2008 (UTC)


Enforcement Period?

IMO vague enforcement_period tag is of no use. One could tag all major ways in Finland because there is frequent speed enforcement by moving police force. This information provides no additional value. Tag only permanent speed traps/Cameras. --Japa-fi 10:26, 22 October 2008

traffic lights with camera?

What about traffic lights with camera? -- Jms 16:48, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

A red light camera is a separate issue for a separate tag.

I don't think so. Red light cameras and speed traps as well as dictance-between-vehicles measurings are the same class of object and therefore should be in the same tag. We already have enough tags, let's try to have differences in values, not in tags. --Lulu-Ann 16:31, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
See improved proposal: Proposed_features/Traffic_enforcement --Lulu-Ann 17:50, 24 September 2008 (UTC)


It is illegal here in germany to use a device that will warn you of any speed traps aka plays a sound if a speed trap is nearby - any other thoughts on this? Ulfl 07:52, 30 July 2007 (BST)

Don't use this tag if you are concerned about using it in your jurisdiction. Don't use any tag that you consider inappropriate or uninteresting, or illegal.

Earlier discussion suggested that renderers can filter tags that are inappropriate by jurisdiction. So there are two ways to avoid falling afoul of your local laws; don't use tags that you think that you shouldn't use, and use a renderer that filters inappropriate tags in your jurisdiction.


Is this really an amenity, and not rather something like 'man_made=speed_trap'? --Pweemeeuw 08:33, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, amenities are generally useful things :) What about highway=speed_trap? Or is that overloading the highway tag too much already? --Breezer 01:41, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree. highway=speed_trap makes more sense than amenity=speed_trap Rorym 09:38, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

A speed trap has almost the same logical meaning than normal traffic lights, which are for a long time under the highway section. BTW: In the meantime it seems to become common sense to use highway=speed_camera for this. This obviously leaves out the cameras situated near traffic lights, but using a separated tag for this might make sense anyway ... -- Ulfl 22:11, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

How about traffic_calming=speed_trap? Besides of inserting cameras to collect money from drivers the cameras are installed to calm speeds down, just like speed bumps etc. --Japa-fi 15:02, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

There are some strong points in this proposal. And nice ideas as well, like traffic enforcement = traffic calming. But what I'm really concerned about is the existence of the Traffic_enforcement proposal. That was not mentioned here before, while this speed trap proposal is referenced in that proposal. Why? First it is definitely parallel and more generic, so IMO a better way to go to avoid many specific keys. Second this very proposal is going to be rejected for not being clear enough about what exactly should be mapped. I see this problem here as well, especially the debate about sense of mapping non-stationary enforcement does apply. So while I see some need for mapping several real world features of traffic enforcement, the final thing

  • shouldn't go in amenity at all because of complaints already raised here
  • has to be more generic than this proposal (much more like Traffic_enforcement mentioned above)
  • does need a main subject to map, that must be even clearer defined than in Traffic_enforcement proposal
  • does need straightened additional tag definitions as well

So I'd recommend to dump this proposal and try to improve the Traffic_enforcement proposal instead. Maybe reshaping it for another voting round? --Hasienda 00:37, 30 October 2008 (UTC)


Pre-RFC votes erased.

  • Can you publish the start of voting in advance, please? --Lulu-Ann 13:04, 14 August 2008 (UTC)