McArthur: ‘Speed trap’ angers visitor to county |

McArthur: ‘Speed trap’ angers visitor to county

Reid McArthur, Vidalia, Ga.

On July 8th I was ticketed for travelling 45 in a 30 mile per hour zone and I admit I was driving 45 mph but … it was on a stretch of road (Ryan Gulch Road) that is approximately 3⁄4 of a mile of empty road without even a drive entering it from either side. Deputy Thymian said the 30 mph speed was posted and when I checked my previous route I did see the sign. After receiving the citation I was told by multiple local residents that this is a “well-known speed trap.” If I had driven in a school zone or a crowded city street at 15 miles over the limit I would deserve a citation and would pay this fine with no argument but driving 45 on an empty stretch of road and not receiving a warning is nothing more than a way to extract $165 from some out-of-town sucker.

My family has vacationed in Summit County in both winter and summer for the past 15 years and happily pay the housing and sales taxes but we choose to pay these taxes because we want to visit a beautiful place. A speed trap is unethically extracting money from someone because the victim has no power. Receiving a citation in this situation is similar to being a crime victim because I have no recourse. Law enforcement psychologist believe that speed traps (and similar officially sanctioned shady behavior) encourage officers to feel that their supervisors condone pushing the limits of their position and can lead to the use of excessive force by officers.

Simply stated, citizens believe that their law enforcement leadership should set a forthright and moral example and a county that condones a known speed trap sets a very poor example indeed.

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