You probably recall that I was cited for 35 in a posted 20 mph zone on Millard Ave. in Lynn.

After we last talked I did the following:

  • Conducted an informal traffic study on that street. This showed that the 85th percentile speed (speed which was not exceeded by 85% of the vehicles) was 39 mph. There were NO cars obeying the 20 mph limit!
  • Visited Lynn City Hall to take a look at the speed regulation for that street. It turns out that there was none. I obtained a letter from the City Clerk stating that there was no speed regulation for Millard Ave.
  • Obtained a letter from Mass. Highway (Charles Sterling) stating that they had never approved any speed regulations for that street.
  • Obtained a statement from the Registry indicating that I had no incidents on my driving record for the last 10 years.

On November 28th I appeared at the magistrate’s hearing at Lynn District Court. I argued that I don’t speed and tendered my driving record as proof. The magistrate said that he didn’t want to look at it because previous records should have no bearing on a case. He said that a bad record would have had no influence either. I then argued that the posted 20 mph speed limit was illegal. The police officer indicated “we’ve heard this before” and assured the magistrate that the city council had passed a speed ordinance for that street. I countered with my letters from the City Clerk and Mass. Highway. This seemed to win the day. The magistrate was much more impressed with the documented evidence than the hearsay from the other side and found me “not responsible.” I thought I was free and clear until the police officer indicated that he wanted to appeal. The magistrate didn’t seem too pleased with this. Nevertheless, an appearance before a justice was scheduled for January 14, 2002.

I had started planning for the next round, but a few days ago I received in the mail from the Lynn District Court a copy of my case printout with the previous notation “Appeal to Justice 9 am on 1/14/02 1st session appeal by P.D.” crossed out and a new notation that said “Commonwealth withdraws appeal. Judgment N.R. stands.”

So I guess that’s it. I wonder why they decided to back down? Perhaps they wanted to bury this issue before it became more widely known. What do you think?

Thanks so much for your help.

Regards, C.P.