Monday, September 21, 2009

Speeders beware!

The past weekend was a pretty good one for the Jackson clan. The weather cooperated beautifully both days. It did get a little cool at night. Well, actually it was closer to cold. We got some necessary chores accomplished, and Gator Daughter got a couple of good meals.

I think my lawn mowing days for this year are slowly coming to an end. The nights with temperatures in the 30s, even though they’re the high 30s, are slowing down growth immensely. There are some places around the state that have already received their first frost. The lawn was mowed yesterday, but from a lawn that usually yields four to six trips to the grass compost corner didn’t fill the bags once yesterday.

Today should be another fairly nice one here in Southern Maine. Although they’ve now tempered them down a little, over the weekend the weather people were hinting that we could get into the 80s Wednesday before a front moves through bringing another spell of cooler weather. We also could see some rain or showers Tuesday night into Wednesday, and my yard certainly could use some; but if we do get any, they’ll be few and far between.

A couple of news stories over the weekend caught my attention. Neither really affects me, but I’m still glad to see that they may affect some people.

The first one really arrived in my home last Friday with the delivery of the Scarborough Leader, our weekly free newspaper. There was a story in it about the Scarborough Police Department’s new strong speeding enforcement plan. (You can find the story on the Scarborough Leader website. Once there, scroll to the middle of the newspaper and click “Traps set for speeders” to get a larger version.)

The police are using what they call innocuous vehicles for officers to use with radar guns to record the speed of drivers. In the article, an officer with the radar gun was in a public works vehicle. There were other officers nearby ready to take chase of speeding cars.

I sure do hope they also will be near traffic lights around town, especially lights along U.S. Route 1. There are more times than not when a motorist entering the highway is in real danger as car after car “blow” the red light. Often, it appears speed is involved.

The other story was in yesterday’s Portland Sunday Telegram and on the paper’s It told of the state’s installing new equipment to weigh trucks and to deter overweight truckers from using alternate routes around weigh stations.

New scales and cameras will be installed on selected popular routes used by the truckers to avoid those stations and the picture and weight report will be sent to Troopers. The new, modern technology will also be used a weigh stations to get truckers through much faster.

Now if only State Police cars could be slowed down on the Interstates to set good examples for motorists to obey the law. Too many Troopers frequently travel well over the speed limit even when they are not flashing lights or using their sirens, obviously not on an emergency trip. A retired police officer friend of mine told me they travel that outside lane with relative impunity.

There was a time when I didn’t necessarily obey the speed laws, but at my age I’m always right at the limits these days. It irritates me when cars speed past me, especially when the drivers have those cell phones stuck in their ears, and there are no police officers anywhere around. It’s partially jealousy; I just know if I were the one speeding, I’d get stopped.

And in sports…Great weekend for the Red Sox, lousy weekend for the Patriots, and a fairly good weekend for my Gators.


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