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Speed traps and burglars: What do they have in common?

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By The Staff

“Adding insult to injury” is an old adage I have grown up with and tend to use at odd times when it seems to fit. It fit this past Thanksgiving Eve for me. Yes, that is the day I received a speeding ticket near the Barnes Road exit of Interstate 75. Hopefully, I have learned a valuable lesson from this experience. Actually, I have learned two: first, you should always adhere to the speed limit. Second, there are more state policemen around than I realized.

I live near Corinth in the southern tip of the county. Some of you may not realize it is there because it is “so far away” snuggled between Harrison, Scott and Owen counties. Sometimes, even the law enforcement doesn’t realize it is there. Folks in the area have actually been told they might want to consider weapons to protect themselves.

Several years ago, shortly after we moved here, our home was robbed. There was one state policeman for the whole county, back then. It took two hours for him to get to our house. Now, there are two.

Where, you might ask, is this rambling going? Well, back to my ticket… Across the United States, our law enforcement officials have labored to find a way to cut back on highway fatalities during holiday seasons. So many more drivers in a hurry to get “home” are on the roads during these times that the fatality rates soar. It seems one of the most effective--and serendipitously the most profitable--are the increased patrolling and increased controlling of speed limits; those “targeted areas.” Or, as some of us tend to call them: speed traps.

Over the past several years the Barnes Road exit has become such an area. During the speeder hunting season, you usually have one patrol car sitting on the overpass radaring drivers. Then, you have more patrol cars on either ramp ready to snatch and grab those violators.

In general, I don’t have a big problem with this. Patrolling is a deterrent to speeding and there are so many cars out at the holidays something needs to be done. What bothers me, though, is the fact the day I was caught; there were six speeders caught by six patrol cars in the space of less than two miles in less than five minutes on I-75.

Where did all the troopers come from? Why can there be this many available for a speed trap, yet not enough available to respond timely to a robbery or break-in in our county?

Something is not right here, someone has their wires crossed! Since when is it more important to capture speeders on an open interstate than burglars in our homes? Why is the speed trap at Barnes Road exit—if they have to do this, why are they not patrolling heavily a bit farther south (yes, nearer Corinth) in the construction zone where speeders cause wrecks?

Insult to injury… Although only my pocket book is injured from my ticket, I am definitely insulted that it seems to be more important to law enforcement to catch speeders than to catch someone with a gun holding up a small, out of the way gas station or stealing from law abiding citizens’ homes.

If you want to find out where speed traps are located, here is the Web site: http://www.speedtrap.org/speed-traps/find/.

(Deborah Lucas Angel lives in Corinth.)