I have been spending quite a bit of time behind the wheel lately, and unfortunately, ran afoul of one of Webster Groves’ Finest a week or so ago. A moving violation, I’ll send in the check and be done with it.
But since that encounter, I have become aware of what seems to be an increasing number of traffic patrols in the metro area. I have seen LOTS of radar checking I-270 (where in the past 270 seemed to be not only the name but the prevailing speed!) many, many more patrol cars sitting with radar guns on major arteries, several lurking near major stops and even a motorcycle cop shooting radar on I-44!
I’m fairly sure it’s not just my increased sensitivity to the presence of law enforcement officers…so I can’t help but wonder, is this a product of the economy? Could municipalities be looking to supplement dwindling coffers with traffic fines?
St Louis County has made a big deal of the new property assessments that will be coming out later this year. And how they will be lower than the last one. This will mean less money for the County Government for sure, and most certainly less for the local taxing authorities also. How will they balance their budgets? Raise taxes? That will be tough to do in this economic climate. But more careful traffic patrols……hhhuuummm.
A lot of folks will do just what I plan to do, pay the fine and be done with it. After all, the officer was right, I just hate to admit it. But what prompted these thoughts is the way he sat behind me at a stoplight waiting to turn on his lights, kind of like he was waiting to see what else I would do wrong before pulling me over.
So now I’m extra careful to watch my speed, use my turn signals, come to complete stops – you know drive like I’m supposed to – and until the economic conditions improve, can only assume “Big Brother” is looking extra carefully for ways to separate me and my cash.