April 9th, 2007

cars that can lick things

Speed trap towns

Here's why a lot of people refuse to set foot in Texas: because of places like Estelline that make all their money from speeding tickets. This news article makes me feel vaguely ill, as it seems to glorify someone whose job is to steal.

The police force of Estelline, and in particular the officer profiled in the story linked above, are basically legal muggers. Speed-trap towns like these are predatory, unfriendly, and hypocritical. I say "hypocritical" because the stated duty of the police is to stop lawbreakers, yet in order to function, they hope for more people to break the law.

The speed limit drops suddenly from 70 mph to 50 mph. This is one of the symptoms of a speed trap. Sure, they say it's clearly marked, but why don't they do like many towns along US 59 in East Texas and put up a series of speed limit signs, each reducing the speed by 5 or 10 mph? Why force motorists to suddenly drop 20 mph in one go? Because they care more about making money than safety.

If you visit Texas, keep a scrupulous eye on your speedometer. And, if possible, stick to the interstates.
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