a bench with a view

a bench with a view

Monday, March 31, 2014

speed trap

We live right by a speed trap.  Literally.  In fact the police line up on our street, sometimes four motorcycles and two police cars, and shoot their radar guns and start pulling drivers over one by one, causing our cul-de-sac street to fill up very quickly as they write tickets right and left.  I googled "speed traps in name of my city" and sure enough that speed trap, amongst others, came up. Obviously for privacy, I'm not listing the name of my city, but trust me, it is a speed trap, though I'm not sure what the police would call it. 

It gets people because you go up this hill at 35 miles an hour, but right at the top of the hill are the blinking lights announcing the speed goes down to 25 miles an hour once you crest the hill for two blocks.  We're the third block down.  It is easy to be doing the hill at 35-40 miles an hour and crest the hill not slowing down; you need to start slowing down before you hit the signs for 25 miles an hour right shortly before you go over the hill.  Everyone goes fast up and down the hill, except for those of us that travel it a lot or perhaps those that have gotten "dinged" with a ticket.

The police are random when they are out there doing their stops.  It can be as early as seven in the morning til as late as six in the evening if it is still light out there.  Sometimes there are the large numbers like I mentioned above, sometimes there are only one or two vehicles, rarely one.  Sometimes they stay for 15-20 minutes, sometimes an hour or so.  Sometimes they are there every day for a week at different times, sometimes there are weeks between them being out there.

Sometimes there will be tow trucks called to tow away cars (I'm figuring people driving on suspended licenses or other such infractions).

Pretty much until about six weeks ago they never ran speed traps on Sundays, but lately randomly they've started to do so.  So today driving home from church around 11:20 as we crested the hill, I saw the familiar sight of a man in the middle of the road, i.e., policeman flagging the person he has caught on his radar gun speeding to pull into our cul-de-sac so I said to hubby "police" which he wasn't speeding going over the hill, but did gently tap his brakes to slow down a bit and we pulled into our cul-de-sac to see 3 motorcycles parked across the street and three drivers having tickets written. 

When we went out about an hour later at 12:30 to take Koda for his car ride (yes he is that spoiled), the police were still working which wasn't that unusual since sometimes it will be an hour that they will work.  What was unusual was when we got back about 45 minutes later, they were still working, which was close to 2 hours out there, which was a bit odd.

I have to admit, every time they are running the speed trap, hubby and me always comment that the city must be low on revenue so they need to generate some.  And while I'm sure they only run the speed traps to keep the city safe, (okay little sarcasm here), it is not their intent just to do it to increase income.  I do realize it is not the police writing the tickets, they are only following orders from higher ups.  A speeding ticket could cost about $400 here, add $40 if you want to go to driver's school to get it off your DMV record.  Of course one always has the option of trying to fight their ticket, I'm not sure how many do or just go and pay the fine.

Because I do not know the city's motives to running speed traps like this, I get a bit irritated, even though I know people are breaking the law and even though I know once again the officers are only doing what they are told to do.  I must admit, I sometimes have glared at them when I drive by (not that they care) (I know, not very Christian of me).

However, today as we pulled into the driveway and saw they were still working, about 2 hours out there on a warm sunny day, I said to hubby "we should give them some water."  (That thought came from God).  Then I said "they probably won't take it." (That thought came from me).

Hubby said "go and get me three bottles of water and I'll take it to them." (That thought came from God).  So I did, really not expecting them to take the water. (That thought still came from me). 

A few minutes later he came back empty handed.  (That was God's work).

Later I asked him how he approached them, if they were writing tickets, what he said, etc.  He said one was writing a ticket by where their motorcycles were parked. He just waited there and the policeman asked if he could help hubby. Hubby asked if they wanted some water in which case the policeman gratefully accepted them.

Next time I drive by when they are running a speed trap I won't glare.  I might smile and then come back out with some more bottles of water for them.  And just realize they are doing what most of us are doing, doing the best they can with what they have to work with.

25 comments:

TARYTERRE said...

That was very nice of you to offer them water. On a hot day staying hydrated is important.

Carol Noren Johnson said...

Koda gets a daily ride! Wow! Love all your ( ) in this post.

Hugs,
Carol

Bijoux said...

I get that they are probably trying to keep the neighborhood safe, but what irritates me the most is that often times, they pull people over on hills (like you said) which makes it an accident waiting to happen for everyone driving by. And why does it take more than one car?

Pat Hatt said...

Sounds like they are trying to get their monthly ticket writing quota in and it is a great spot for it for them. Be annoying as can be that they are always there, but hey, at least they will keep any criminals away.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I don't blame the individual cops in a speed trap, but I don't like that some areas seem to be set up just to trick people into getting a ticket.

Jeanie said...

It sounds like they have found just the right spot for handing out tickets (whatever the motive is). I have to admit that I don't think I would have thought of offering them water.....that was a nice gesture.

Linda said...

Offer of water was very kind. Speed trap same spot frequency does seem a bit extreme. It's also a reason to pull one over and find other major offenses in the process.

Dana said...

How great of you to offer water! I'm not sure I would have thought of that—although I'd like to think I would. That was very kind.

jack69 said...

I am smiling at you, a sweet lady, and thinking of my dear mom, that would have been her. While we were taking care of mom she lay facing the window to the street. once the city was working out side and she called.
"Go and take those guys some water."

That was my mama too. YOu are a caring person. And yes they are just following orders, and keeping a job. EVEN IF I DO NOT LIKE THE WAY THEY ARE BEING TOLD TO DO IT...
Thanks for putting a better slant on things...

Intense Guy said...

The Police in my area would call it a "cash cow" and the operation of the speed trap a revenue or fund raiser. They are in NO way interested in the "safety" of those in the area - if they were, they would enforce the law on more than one or two days a year. It's really a TAX and an unfair one at that since it is not "uniformly applied" (they only enforce one street in town - so all the other hundreds of streets aren't being taxed.)

Most of time, I think they park (illegally) on private property, hidden from view and play on their tax-payer supplied laptops.

Deanna said...

Wow - those are major speed traps! We say the same thing when our local pd are running radar... "must be low on revenues". Mostly I don't mind, but I did take exception when they appeared to be targeting our church events, conveniently setting up the afternoon of the events and catching people who were not familiar with how the speed limit suddenly dropped in that area. I considered that foul play. That was mighty nice of you to give them water. And yes, Koda is one lucky and spoiled pooch!

Funny in My Mind said...

The sheriff's employees, city cops and highway patrolmen hang out and also eat at my restaurant. I find it comforting (even though my husband carries a gun) to have them there and I always wave at them on the streets. We also give them a discount and do not charge for their drinks. Their job is tough and I don't want to imagine some of the things they see daily.
You are a good person for thinking of them!

Cindi said...

Im glad u listened, sometimes we ignore what we are told to do. U made my heart happy, I hope I listen next time when Im called upon. (((hugs))

Paula said...

I am just going to address this to you and not to any of your commenters because I don't want to get eaten alive today. My youngest son is a cop! He has a job to do. All the public has to do is follow the law. It is written for a reason. Don't want to pay a fine, then don't do the crime. And yes, on these kinds of stops you will not believe how many illegal drugs, escaped criminals (ie: murders and rapists, gun runners) are gotten off the road. Speed 'traps', as you call them, are perfectly legal. Don't like it. Don't speed! And God Bless you and your husband for giving them water. They have a hard, and dangerous job to do with very little appreciation from the public.

Danielle L Zecher said...

I wish they'd set up a speed trap in our neighborhood! We live kind of between two main roads and a lot of people cut through our neighborhood - speeding and running stop signs. It makes me nervous walking the dogs and for the little kids next door.

That was really nice of you and your hubby to take the officers water. I'm sure they appreciated it.

The Brown Recluse said...

I guess I just don't understand...you have that many people there that the cops can come back for months and they come across folks who don't know it's a trap?

I think police have quotas for tickets. They officially deny that these days, but I think it's understood.

And while there are many great men and women in uniform, there are some bad apples...and it seems to be more and more bad apples.

Joanne Noragon said...

Our police men call it "rev-en-oo-ing." Accent on the first syllable.

Hollie said...

That was such a wonderful gesture!! I know they really do appreciate that!!

Lynda said...

You are to be commended for two things - - #1 that you heard Jesus and #2 that you were obedient to do what He asked. Even those who are close enough to hear Him - - not many obey HIM.
I wish they would set up some consistent speed traps on I-75 around Chattanooga and Atlanta. You have to go 15 to 20 miles above the speed limit in Atlanta to avoid being run over. It's scarey at times.

Robyn :) said...

We have a 20mph zone in the morning before school behind our school. The cops wait in the Lutheran church parking lot directly across from our playground. Those of us who line up on that side of the building in the morning regularly enjoy watching people get pulled over lol. Hopefully the kids are learning a lesson from watching that.

Mary said...

It was so nice of y'all to take the water to them. It is easy for us to forget that they're just doing what they're told.

Mevely317 said...

You're a riot, Betty! Love the back n' forth ... imagining those tiny cartoon characters of an angel on one shoulder, arguing with the little devil on the other.

Bet-cha those policemen never had something like y'all brighten their otherwise mundane workday before.

Bobbi and Gracie said...

Aww that was so nice!!
This post reminded me of many years ago, right after my oldest son had got his drivers license. He left the house to go somewhere and soon after that I left to go to church. I got stopped!! I will never forget the look on the officer's face when he looked at my drivers license. "You got a son named Jack?" he said. I shook my head. Later that night Jack and I had common stories to share at the dinner table. Mother and son (separately) given warnings as they sped down Parkersburg Road. lol

Debby@Just Breathe said...

So very nice of you. I sometimes take extra water in the car with me in case I see someone begging on the side of the road, I will give them water.

I know they are doing their job but I also agree they have goals to reach each month!

Debby

Chatty Crone said...

You know I would never have thought about doing that - what a sweet thing you are.