In early December we gathered in Burlington once again to celebrate Merry Significant Observance Day and a Happy Beginning of the Gregorian Calendar, and play with different LIDAR guns. Good time was had by all and once again, thank you Scott for graciously providing the toys.
Did anybody ask why would any company do that? Why would insurers fight to be able to come here, set their own rates and design their own policies unless they saw big profits ahead, profits they are not able to get under the current state regulations?
Consumers beware! This unbridled enthusiasm may not include motorists.
It turns out the problem where the teen was ticketed was the illegally posted speed limit, while in the old lady's case she admitted she never saw the man in the crosswalk in front of her. ("Something big hit my car but I don't know what it was. The damage made it difficult for me to see and I was lucky to make it to where I was going without anything else happening," she was quoted as saying after the police found her a couple of miles away.)
But what is really interesting about these two particular cases was the reaction of appropriate government officials.
About the teen caught in an illegal trap: "As you know, the new junior operator law was put in place to help curtail the tragic loss of life that has been all to prevalent, especially among teen drivers. I am sorry, there is nothing we can do for you," was the official response to illegal speed limits.
And about the accident caused by the old lady: "Area could be treacherous around sundown and at dusk, if the pedestrian is wearing dark clothes. We are looking at the feasibility of putting bright yellow sign in the middle of the street."
In other words, that teenager's ticket must've been his own fault, while the nice old lady drove over a pedestrian because there must've been something wrong with the area...
And so the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority is now pushing troopers patrolling the 10 miles inside Route 128 to write $2.3 million in speeding tickets next year. That's up from $1.7 million the Pike raked in this year in speeding fines inside Route 128.
Additionally, to help pay for the mismanaged Big Dig, the board approved a series of toll hikes that will once again affect commuters from the western suburbs.
The final 3-to-2 vote paved the way for an increase of 25 cents at the Allston-Brighton and Weston tollbooths, to $1.25, and 50 cents at the Ted Williams and Sumner tunnels, to $3.50.
The increase also has to pay for the $1.6 million Allston U-turn ramp that's too tight for trucks, cabbies don't like, and the general public is not allowed to use, because the Turnpike Authority never filed for a review under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act.
So Happy New Year to Turnpike commuters and good luck to all the other motorists in Massachusetts.
And a Happy 25th, NMA!
MA State Chapter Coordinator
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