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America's last 'Speed Trap Town' is a speed trap no more

Two months ago, First Coast News told you about Lawtey – the tiny Florida town with an outsized reputation.

Two months ago, First Coast News told you about Lawtey – the tiny Florida town with an outsized reputation.

For as long as anyone can remember, the town on Highway 301 has been a designated speed trap -- the last one in America.

It’s a reputation Police Chief Shane Bennet fought to get rid of. And now, it appears, he’s succeeded.

Chief Bennet contacted First Coast News Monday evening to say that the American Automotive Association – the agency that gave Lawtey the Speed Trap name – is removing the designation.

AAA will release a formal press release Tuesday morning, but a version provided by Chief Bennet says the group “applauds” the town’s efforts to shift to warnings and speed awareness campaigns instead of excessive ticketing practices.

Credit: Schindler, Anne

"I am pleased to inform you that the request has been approved. All AAA travel products will no longer have the Traffic Trap designation on them for the city of Lawtey."

The letter continues, "AAA strongly believes that traffic law enforcement is intended to promote highway safety and facilitate traffic movement, not generate revenue," the letter says.

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