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El Paso Speed Traps-obstacle or benefit to road safety?

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Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 11:21pm

Has social media and apps on your phone gone too far? Log on-line and you can find several resources that help drivers avoid check points and tickets.

You've probably been caught off guard by a law enforcement check point or as they're properly called , stationary vehicle checks. They can happen at the most inopportune times, wh you're in a rush to get to work, your kid is late for school and your stuck in a long line of cars.

Chief Sheriff's Deputy Eddie Campa says these check points are routine, meant to keep the roads safe.

“Ensuring that the motorists that are driving on the road right now, are insured and that their licensed," said Campa.

El Paso Speed Traps is designed to alert you where law enforcement has set up check points, so you can avoid what some may say is a hassle altogether. It could appear that El Paso Speed Traps is probably hindering the process right? Well not quite, turns out EP Speed Traps is actually helping law enforcement, whether it meant to or not.

"They actually help us out. El Paso Speed Trap, if you actually look at them, they have more traffic updates then they do the speed trap stuff. If they detour one or two people from turning in here well that's better for us because it'll help us move traffic along," said Campa.

But it could also give lawbreakers a chance to get away.

"There's always two sides to every story. Some people will look at it as a tool where it's working against us. Because you're absolutely right, if you do have an intoxicated driver that says hey I'm leaving the bar let me check my speed trap and see where they're at so I can go around them. So that could happen and unfortunately cause an accident as they avoided our area," said Campa.

In a county that has more than 800,000 people, Campa isn't sure that the El Paso Speed Traps really makes a difference when only 8,000 to 13,000 subscribe to it.

Try asking a family whose lost somebody in a traffic accident.

"Fifty dollars for a cab then to have to pay to bury him. There's no comparison," said Rebecca Torres, a grieving mother who lost her son 10 years ago in a drunk driving accident. His friend had been drinking and driving.

"You never get over it. you never over the loss. You never get over the hurt, you just learn how to deal with it. You learn how to get up every day and how to deal with that pain," said Torres.

She thinks about that night too often, wishing a cop had seen them, and pulled them over.

"For him to have gotten into trouble for drinking and driving and whether it be his friend that was driving or you know I just would have rather him to have gotten into trouble and to be able to have him at home then to have this type of outcome. If there had been a checkpoint, might have saved his life, I'm not for being warned about them. If you're well enough to be able to get on an app to check if there's a road block then you should be well enough to check yourself and think about whether you should be getting on the road or not," said Torres.

She shows News Channel Nine the place in East El Paso, on the side of the road, where her son lost his life.

"This is where they told me the car wrecked into, and the day after the accident, this is the rock wall that was broken down. Apparently they were coming down the street here. They were headed towards Viscount. The driver was speeding and was drinking and hit the median, and the car lost control. The car flipped upside down right into the rock wall," said Torres.

Campa says deputies focus on problematic and congested areas in the county, whether or not EP Speed Traps blows their cover.

"We can't be everywhere all the time and theres too many what if's, we just try to do the best we can," said Campa.

Torres has a message for parents and teenagers.

"You know with all this social media and all these different apps and different things that can get them to go around obeying the law and doing things they're not supposed to do, be vigilant watching your children and make sure that they're using this new technology for the good and not for the bad," said Torres.

We did reach out for comment from the creators of El Paso Speed Traps but did not hear back. On their Facebook page they list a disclaimer saying:

“Public safety and traffic information is verified by a scanner, the Public Alert and Incident Notification system, and TXDOT cameras. This is not a hate page on police/sheriff departments. Please use common sense when posting. Some posts may be automated.”
 

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