What can be said about 2003?
"The two-year project," she said at the FHWA/NHTSA Speed Management Workshop in Columbia, Missouri, "will reevaluate posted speed limits through engineering studies on targeted roads, strictly enforce revised speed limits, and educate the community and the judiciary on how speed limits are set and enforced."
At the end of the day, as implemented in Natick, legal speed limits didn't change (the yellow signs are only advisory) and all the money (including the portion earmarked to "educate the community") went to the police for around-the-clock enforcement.
"You are absolutely right about the study guidelines," she e-mailed me a year later, when I asked her about the 85th percentile speed limit she promised at the workshop. "But oh my gosh, you should have come to the community meetings!!! I can give you the blow by blow!"
I'm sure she'd much rather give all the residents radar guns to rat on each other, then try to present them with the rational speed limit concept as required by the study.
"I was testing my troops," he explained.
Why wasn't anybody in the media complaining about this?
Winstead, 25, was arrested April 6, 2002, in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart Supercenter. He had been dropped off by a friend after returning from a club in Keene, Winstead said. He went to sleep with the car running, in neutral, and the emergency brake on and slept until police officer Shawn Hallock woke him around 3 a.m.
However, the state can't wait until they implement the toll increases in April 2004, and so the Troopers began setting up speed traps right behind the toll booths to ticket vehicles as they are approaching them.
An NMA member sent us the following note:
"Just letting you know that I am out here on a crusade. I am linked to the national site, but since I live in Mass I felt I should let you know as well.
At about the same time, a National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine study found that a person is twice as likely to be killed by a preventable medical error than in an automobile accident.
It would add another $50 to the existing $25 "head injury surcharge" and the $25 "general funds surcharge." If it passes, that would bring the minimum cost of a speeding ticket to $150, before any speeding fines are even added!
So, please be careful on the roads between the following dates. The police will be very aggressive in their pursuit of this grant and ticket money at your expense:
"There were certain specific milestones that we had wanted to meet, and some items of concern that we raised to them, and we would like to see them doing some extra work to catch up," said state Transportation Secretary Daniel Grabauskas.
Good luck, Daniel.
But as usual the Massachusetts bill is badly written. It authorizes Springfield to impound cars regardless of noise, but cars are already subject to forfeiture if the drag racing violated state law defined as "increased noise from skidding tires and amplified noise from racing engines."
And so as we watch the pretty red and yellow twinkling lights of the season, let them remind us: for every lane change and every turn in the coming year - use your blinkers!
NMA MA Coordinator
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