Sunday, April 27, 2014

Speed Traps

  How many TV shows, movies and books have used a scene in which characters are driving down a rural highway and find themselves caught in speed trap? You've seen it. The speed limit suddenly drops from 55 mph to 25 and there's the stereotypical pot-bellied redneck deputy sitting right there ready to pull them over and drag them off to pay an exorbitant fine to a grumpy old judge or else spend a night in a one-cell jail.
   Of course, such places do exist and there are plenty of people who will tell you that they (or someone they know) has been caught in one. many of these municipalities use their ticket revenue to run the town.
   These days, however, they don't need deputies sitting in cars. They just set up a camera which takes a picture of your license plate. Then they send a ticket to the owner of the car with directions where to send the fine. They don't bother to identify the driver which, I suppose, is good news for perpetual speeders because they don't get any moving violations tacked on their license.

   We have a number of roads nearby with schools on them and the speed limits drop by ten or fifteen mph within them, usually "between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on school days." Perhaps a bit extreme when it's an elementary school that is open from 9 till 3, but okay. We don't want somebody barreling into a crossing guard with a crowd of third-graders.
   Nassau County is petitioning the state to be allowed to install speed trap cameras in fifty of these school zones. Why? They need the revenue these cameras would provide to fortify their budget. They aren't even pretending that it's to increase the safety of school children. No, it's simply, "We want the money."
   I think the state should tell them to hire some potbellied deputies instead.
   Hey, it would create jobs!

1 comment:

  1. Or they could cut police salaries. I know it's a hard job, but there's no justification for their six-figure salaries.