Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Massachusetts State Police encourage speeding

Jerry Stratton, July 24, 2005

In Nahant, Massachusetts, the causeway’s speed limit drops from 45 miles per hour to 35 miles per hour for a short stretch of road that connects the peninsula town to Lynn, Massachusetts.

This portion of the causeway is under the joint jurisdiction of Nahant Police and the Massachusetts State Police. But the two police departments apparently have differing views on what to do about speeding along that stretch of road. When it came to the attention of Nahant that lots of motorists were being ticketed for going 40 to 45 in that zone, they decided to do something about it: they stationed two cruisers near the speed drop and warned motorists to slow down.

It apparently has worked.

State Police Sgt. Richard Donovan thinks this is “ridiculous” and that “if Nahant officers were warning vehicles to slow down... they were interfering with state police operations.” They’ve asked the Nahant police to stop asking motorists to slow down.

If the speed drop from 45 to 35 is about safety, why is it ridiculous to successfully convince motorists to slow down?

For the state police, speeding laws are not about safety. The state police wants that revenue. If breaking the law means more money for the state governments, then state governments want motorists to break the law, and they will design roadways to encourage lawbreaking, and set speed limits that are unsafe so as to ensure that motorists will not follow them.

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