Letter: Traffic stop on repaved highwayraises questions of resources

July 27, 2013 

Late Friday night, with no traffic on the road, I was stopped for doing 55 where the state has just repaved the Parks Highway from the Kashwitna River to Sheep Creek. There are even reflectors down the center line (which the old pavement doesn’t have). A few minutes later, on older, narrower, less-well-marked, poorer-quality pavement, the speed limit was again 65. But here the “loose gravel” and other construction signs were still up, including 45-mph speed limit and double traffic fines.

Admittedly the shoulder lines hadn’t yet been painted on the new section — the officer kindly only gave me a warning — but is this a good use of state resources?

Do the troopers use this technique to check for sobriety or for outstanding arrest warrants? If so, is it justified?

Enforcing laws whose reason is obsolete seems unnecessarily authoritarian. Being threatened with a $170 fine plus four points on my license for driving moderately, well within safe parameters, seems outrageous. Perhaps wrongly, this feels more intrusive to me than NSA data collection.

— Rick Wicks



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