Story time. Two weeks ago I went on a day trip to the wonderful Fossil Rim Wildlife park in Glen Rose. FR offers a family friendly safari. Like going to Africa without the shots or airfare.
Drivers trek through the Texas hill country tossing food pellets to zebras, giraffes, deer, and sinister ostriches. A giraffes sticking his head in your car should be on everyone's bucket list. I highly recommending FR for anyone who loves nature, and loves sitting in a car while enjoying nature (check, and check).
What should have been a pleasant day trip was interrupted by the Keene, Texas police department. I have never been to Keene, Texas but I speak with certainty when I say that this is a town full of ne'erdowells. Who else would set up a speed trap to steal money from unsuspecting drivers?
I was not driving. A relative who shall remain nameless (attorney/client privilege) guided our car south on 67. It was a uneventful trip until I noticed a police car make a wild u turn through the median and speed off in our direction.
I wondered what the emergency was? Was this officer going to stop a bank robbery or help a citizen in distress? My idyllic notions were shattered when I noticed the cop pulling up behind our car. The emergency was purely financial. Unlike business or individuals who get by on hard work and industry Keene, Texas needed to steal some money.... now.
To enhance their ability to tax drivers the zealots of Keene, Texas have lowered their speed limit to 50 mph on highway 67. The speed limit was a reasonable 65 or 60 on the rest of 67.
Mind you, this is a 4 lane divided highway. It doesn't go through any neighborhoods, there are no red lights or school zones. Finally, there was only one obscure speed limit sign to warn you of the upcoming robbery.
The officer walked up to the car and asked the ubiquitous "is there a reason you are driving so fast?" The driver was polite and handed the required insurance and DL. The officer dutifully checked the license for warrants and came back armed with a citation.
Then Keene's finest went from zealous bureaucrat to philosopher and announced "those speed limit signs are there for your benefit."
"Really?" I thought. You, Mr. Cop, get a badge, a gun, a car, and a nice paycheck to harass drivers for the sole purpose of raising money for the local government and the speed limit is for our benefit. Surely you jest. Self awareness is in short supply at the Keene PD.
I know I am painting with broad strokes. The officer didn't say speed limit signs are "only" there for our benefit, or that he (cop) received no benefit. However, the insult was that this cop wanted a thank you from speed trap victims. It's bad enough that the fine is potentially over $150, they could have kept the smug paternalism.