Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Say "Cheese!"

I got a speeding ticket mailed to me a few days ago.  Apparently, I was speeding in front of an elementary school on a Sunday evening, going 48mph in a 35mph zone, and there was a speed camera.  I'm definitely guilty, even though I didn't even know I was going too fast at the time.  It's only the third speeding ticket I've ever received, the second via speed camera.  The other time was on a stretch of Route 108 in Olney, MD, where the speed limit changes three times in less than a mile.  Yes, I was guilty then, too.

Personally, I'm not a fan of speed cameras.  I realize there are good safety reasons for them, especially around schools.  I'm usually very cognizant of them.  My daughter used to walk to school and I was very happy that there was a camera in front of her school, especially given the ridiculous number of speeders along that stretch of road.  My issue with them is when they are posted on roads nowhere near schools solely for the purpose of making money for the jurisdiction that places them.

My first speeding ticket was given to me by a West Virginia state trooper when I was in my mid-twenties.  Though it was a speed trap, I was clearly and admittedly speeding.  He clocked me going 70mph in a 60mph zone.  The speed limit was only 60 in that short stretch of highway, jumping to 65 a short distance further ahead.  But getting pulled over by a police officer, with lights flashing and in front of lots of other drivers, was a much more intimidating and humbling experience than getting a picture of my car and a speeding ticket in the mail.  I learned a lesson that day and never received another violation until the Olney incident, more than 20 years later.

Clearly, if the idea is to get people to stop speeding, getting a ticket from a flesh and blood police officer is a better way of hindering drivers than getting something mailed a week or more after a camera gets you.  Unless, of course, the idea is to make money.  Just my two cents.

Do I sound bitter?

Have a great evening, everyone.

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