AAA Designates 3 'Traffic Traps'

For the first time in six years, the American Automobile Assn. has designated three small towns in north Florida as "traffic traps" after a three-month investigation.

The three towns--Hampton, Lawtey and Waldo--are located along a 20-mile stretch of U.S. 301, southwest of Jacksonville. U.S. 301 is a major link to central Florida.

Lee Vincent, city manager of Waldo, says that according to most recent figures, more than 27,000 vehicles pour through Waldo--population 1,047--a day and that the city is trying to protect residents and children who must cross the busy highway to get to the Post Office and the Community School.

But AAA Auto Club South, which is headquartered in Tampa, said its investigation determined that Waldo and the other two towns were using traffic law enforcement to generate revenue rather than for traffic safety or accident prevention. AAA is advising members to drive with caution through all three or to avoid them. AAA will conduct a follow-up investigation in November to determine whether the designation should be continued.

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