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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Speed Traps

I haven't posted for awhile, I have been very busy with work, and we have had family in town. I have several topics that I planned to write about and this was one of them. So here is the first of what I hope to be a consistent string of posts until I am caught up.

A few weeks ago I was driving home from work and got a speeding ticket. My problem is not with the ticket itself, but with the circumstances surrounding it. The area I drive through to get home each day could be described at best as a "bit sketchy" or more accurately a "wretched hive of scum and villainy". The road I drive down is a fairly large road. It has four lanes, and it passes along the borders of 3 or four cities in the St. Louis area. The thing that is really weird is the speed limit is only 30 miles an hour. Everywhere else in the vicinity a road that size (and many much smaller roads) are at least 35mph. Even this wouldn't be especially strange except for the fact that in a maybe10 mile (at the most) stretch of road I regularly see 4 or 5 speed traps a day. Usually one or two in each community I drive through. It seems to me that these cities are less interested in public safety, and more interested in collecting ticket revenues by artificially lowering speed limits and ticketing the heck out of commuters. I hear daily about murders and violent crimes happening in these communities, but the officers I see are too busy writing tickets to worry about that sort of stuff.

To be honest I have never seen an accident on the stretch of road I drive on but I think that has less to do with the speed limits and traps and more to do with the low traffic volume. I don't have a problem with ticketing speeders in general, but this is more like a scheme to make money. Maybe instead of letting the community die and patching the problem with their ill gotten gains they could clean it up so people and business would move in and increase the tax base.

Unfortunately this isn't the only shady police deal in the St. Louis area. The City of St. Louis' Police department is being looked into for some strange behavior involving towing of cars. I guess I can be grateful that we are moving in a few weeks and I will have a different route home.

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