Cheyenne corrects an error

Since I call out crooked local politicians for ignoring the law and running illegal speed traps or otherwise violating traffic control rules, I thought I’d point out an example of an error being corrected.

In 2004 Cheyenne, Wyoming passed a law — ordinance 3612 — setting the speed limit within city limits to 25. That exceeded the city’s legal authority, because state law sets a 30 mph limit. Speed limits can only be changed one street at a time based on an engineering study.

So shame on them for doing this, but maybe it never even occurred to councilors to ask “is this legal?” The law requires compliance with DOT rules. Perhaps wishful thinking assured them that the rules say “whatever the city council wants, the city council gets.” In fact the rules require speed limit changes to be justified.

It didn’t occur to their successors in 2014 that they were doing anything wrong by repealing the requirement that speed limits be posted. The goal of ordinance 4048 was to “assist in enforcement efforts”. Telling drivers what the speed limit is undermines ticketing efforts.

Such lawbreaking is common, but this story ends differently.

It took over a decade, but finally somebody decided to correct the error and the 2016 council repealed the law.

The city admits that the speed limit is 30 except as posted, like state law says.

Now is anybody going to refund 12 years’ worth of speeding tickets?

The opinions expressed in this post belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Motorists Association or the NMA Foundation. This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. No representations are made regarding the accuracy of this post or the included links.

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