Jul 3, 2016

What the Hell?

A few weeks ago, my wife was snagged on her way to church in River Falls by one of Pierce County, Wisconsin’s mobile tax assessors between Red Wing and Ellsworth. The fine for “speeding” (not quite keeping up with 70mph local traffic) on this unmarked section of US highway was $175.30 and three license points. As a regular passenger in vehicles driven by her, I can state unequivocally that I have never seen her pass anything but farm implements (and not the Harley implements) in 50 years. She is always content to be the slowest vehicle on any roadway, ALWAYS. Just before getting pulled over by Wisconsin’s armed tax assessor, she was passed by a pickup and three cars and one semi. Locals no more pay attention to the unmarked 55mph speed limit than they do to the declining state of their pitiful economy. Cops on that section know that the speed limit is unmarked from Red Wing to Ellsworth (except for a small sign hidden as close to the Mississippi bridge as possible) and they prowl the road and hide behind trees and signs looking for fresh out-of-state victims.
But this isn’t about that. At the whole opposite end of the “law enforcement” spectrum, I was about knocked off of my motorcycle traveling between Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Wolcott, via Colorado’s Highway 131. At the city limits of BOTH Toponos and Yampa, patrolmen were stationed a few feet in front of the 35mph city speed limit signs with lights flashing to warn drivers of the lower speed limit. With nothing to do but “protect and serve” the locals and travelers, they were both protecting the local residents by assuring traffic would responsibly travel through those citizens and serving travelers by drawing attention to the much lower (65mph to 35mph) speed limits.
Other than the incredibly rare actual traffic cop directing traffic at intersections, I have not once in my life seen police officers do a better job that at those two towns. I can only ask, “What the hell is going on there?”

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