The News Editorial: Speed traps or public safety?
July 21, 2022
We received an anonymous email the other day and normally I just delete but I was curious what this person felt was so important and earth shattering that they had to write without putting their name to it.
The issue – the “speed trap at Manderson.” That got me thinking about all these supposed speed traps throughout Wyoming.
For years Shoshoni was considered a speed trap. At one time Byron was considered a speed trap.
So what is the trap? Well if you are speeding/exceeding posted speed limit/breaking the law, then you can be ticketed by an on-duty officer. Sure usually an officer is positioned somewhere where the speeding drivers may not see them until it is too late, but again, if you are not speeding there really is not any problem.
Monday night I was on my way to Ten Sleep. I was going 65 (no cruise control so I was trying to keep the speed at or under the limit. A driver headed the other direction motions the down sign and I’m thinking, what?
Then I see the Wyoming Highway Patrol pulled over on the side. I think to myself, I am OK because I am not speeding.
The email brought to mind a letter we got at the Basin Chamber several years ago. The out-of-state driver copied the mayor and the governor in the letter and complained about getting a ticket.
She was going either 60 or 65 mph in the 30 mph zone through Basin. She was pulled over near the north end of town. In her letter whining about the ticket she wrote that she decided not to gas up and buy anything in Basin but instead went on to Greybull.
However, she failed to recognize, perhaps due to her excessive speed through town, she had missed the only convenience store and both gas stations.
We discussed the letter as a chamber and we felt we must reply and we did, defending the Basin Police Department for keeping our residents, especially our children safe. Basin, much like Worland, has two state highways going through the community and pedestrians are often crossing the street, thus the lower speed limits.
We pointed out she missed her opportunities to gas up or purchase snacks. We also copied the governor and mayor in on our reply.
The email also brought to mind a letter to the editor we received in Lovell by a former state senator (who passed away several years ago). He was complaining about the Byron “speed trap” that had caught his wife in its snares. He wrote that his wife was lost in thought about her poor golf game that day.
Yes, he really wrote that and yes, we really published it.
So my message to our anonymous letter writer is as follows: Dear write, I hope the governor or Manderson mayor does not do anything about the speed trap. I am curious how fast you were going when ensnared in the trap. Did you even see the speed limit signs? Were you texting? Were you distracted? Were you thinking about your golf game? It is obvious if you were caught speeding that your mind and attention was not on driving as it should have been. Perhaps next time, for the sake of any residents out and about in “speed trap” communities, you will abide by the speed limit, focus on your driving and thus not get caught in any “traps.”