Cops Say The Darndest Things

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.

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6 responses to “Cops Say The Darndest Things”

  1. Bill says:

    “Finally, there was only one obscure speed limit sign to warn you of the upcoming robbery.”

    Robert, doesn’t the state have some very specific signage requirements (“Reduced Speed Ahead” and such) on highways? I believe a failure to post the required signage invalidates the reduced speed limit.

  2. Brandon says:

    So much for getting deferred after this blog posting!

  3. lynn says:

    As for the speed limit signs TXDOT has posted the speed limits for that area, NOT the CITY! In checking all public records, Keene has not asked or requested the speed limit to be raised or lowered on hwy 67. You may also find that the enforcement in the 6 miles of Hwy 67 through Keene has lowered traffic accidents and fatalities since 2000. The do not give tickets unless you are traveling 10 over the speed limit and the records show the average speed of the tickets issued were 18 miles per hour over speed limit. Sounds like they are doing their job…saving lives…maybe your relatives lives.

  4. Robert Guest says:

    Thanks for reading.

    First, good information on the city of Keene. I had not researched those points.

    However, just because the city didn’t set the speed limit doesn’t mean they don’t run the speed trap. It’s their cop writing these $150 tickets.

    As for saving lives; going 60mph on 67 endangers no one. It was more dangerous being pulled over on the shoulder while traffic flew by.

    I can see how a LEO would want to believe that speed traps save lives. That doesn’t make it true.

    I also disagree with your statement that cops don’t pull drivers over for less than 10mph. I see it all the time (especially for pretext stops).

    Some speed trap cops may not stop those going “only” 10 over. What does that tell you about the speed limit? If your “saving lives” position was valid, cops should stop all violators lest someone die.

    If a cop is willing to ignore violations under 10mph, it tells me that the limit is 10mph too slow (and that even the police know it). That’s good for raising revenue, but nonsense for public safety.


  5. Ron Wilson says:

    I have been a cop for well over 30 years. Most of these small town speed trap cops such as the ones in Keen have no idea what real police work is. These types are all over the state of Texas. Several friends and family have been robbed in Keen Tx. Don’t stop or spend money in Keen. And pass it on.

  6. Byron says:

    Actually, 67 does run through a portion of the Keene ISD’s school zone. Here is a tip, active school zones generally reflect a 20mph drop in speed. So with an active limit of 30mph + 20mph that equals the regular speed through town of 50mph. Go through or skirt any small town and its the same way. Id also like to know where your rant on Alverado is found since they bring the speed limit down to *gasp* 45mph. You must not travel much in rural areas.

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