Letter: Speed traps churlish and mean-spirited

Published 10:27 am Sunday, April 3, 2022

Adley Cormier

Lake Charles

On a major road connecting two good-sized Louisiana cities (well, in fact, the only road connecting the two cities) are two communities.  Let’s call them “Woodbine” and “Fennel.”

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Now, “Woodbine” has a long-time and well-deserved reputation as a so-called “speed-trap,” a clever mechanism by which many unaware, or downright careless, passing visitors are treated to a personal talk by a uniformed representative of the community. This talk generally ends with a compulsory “donation” by the visitor. This “donation” is generally used to fund infrastructure improvements (town halls, signage, drainage, fire protection, paved streets, etc) in “Woodbine.” The local voters, choosing not to tax themselves for their own community improvements, put the burden of funding those improvements on passing motorists. You can see the manifest and impressive results if you visit “Woodbine.”  But do be careful as speeding laws are enforced strictly.

Somewhat closer, the community of “Fennel,” seeking some sort of supplementary income for its own infrastructure needs, has decided to consider, to emulate, and eventually to copy the “Woodbine” scheme. So, if you plan to use the highway, watch your speed very carefully, as some communities like “Woodbine” and “Fennel”— without any other practical means of raising money, it appears — feel the need to strictly monitor and control the speed of motorists through their jurisdictions.

Certainly, to the point of traffic safety, speed control is a laudable endeavor, but as for being a reliable source of fresh outside money, it’s a churlish and, frankly mean-spirited one.

Don’t be like “Woodbine” and “Fennel.”