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Beware the State Trooper speed traps!!

Moncton, Canada
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Beware the State Trooper speed traps!!

While driving just north of Great Falls, we were given a speeding ticket in a vacant "work zone". The new pavement was all done, the new lines painted and no one was there working except one guy doing landscaping in the field at the very beginning. The only remnants of a work zone was that they hadn't removed the orange cones from the outside lanes and the 35 mph speed limit sign. I was the only car on the road for miles and inadvertently sped up to 45 when a state trooper comes along from the opposite direction. No warning for out of country tourists from this guy. He gives us a ticket anyway and wouldn't listen to reason. I got the impression from his responses that he had been doing this for a while. I sent a complaint to his captain and received a basic reply of "too bad, so sad, that's the law". We've all seen cops ignore traffic violations and basically give out tickets when they feel like it. This trooper accomplished nothing more than aggravating tourists for the few $ they collected. Lost tourism will cost a lot more than revenue from speeding tickets. I for one, will not be going back to Montana anytime soon.

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Montana
Montana
United States
10 replies to this topic
Ennis MT
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for Yellowstone National Park, Ennis
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1. Re: Beware the State Trooper speed traps!!

It's really not a good idea to second guess the "work zone" signs - no matter what state you're in. We drove through UT and AZ a couple of weeks ago and encountered similar situations in both places. Not worth the aggravation - and the fine - to decide not to slow down where posted based on lack of current activity. JMHO

Edited: 12 November 2015, 04:38
Georgia
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2. Re: Beware the State Trooper speed traps!!

"...no one was there working except one guy doing..."

A work zone is a work zone.

Obviously the trooper didn't agree with your assessment of "a vacant "work zone". "

Obey the laws or run the risk of a ticket. It's really that simple.

Billings, Montana
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for Yellowstone National Park
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3. Re: Beware the State Trooper speed traps!!

A family member of mine was working in a highway work zone here in Montana and was killed by someone that didn't slow down as directed by the "Men Working" and speed signs.

The law is the law for a reason! Thank goodness that Montana cares more about our highway workers then about tourism money that might be lost because a person like you will use it as an excuse to not come back.

Deb

Edited: 12 November 2015, 07:55
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Montana
Montana
United States
Bigfork, Montana
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4. Re: Beware the State Trooper speed traps!!

I'm sorry you feel that way about our great state...however, it is the law. My husband's and my own background is from law enforcement....yes, there is such a thing as letter of the law and allowing a professional courtesy, but a courtesy is just that...courtesy. He may not have felt it was warranted that day. Please, for everyone's safety, just obey all traffic signs and signals.

Moncton, Canada
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5. Re: Beware the State Trooper speed traps!!

I totally agree that worker safety is vital on the highways and would never have sped up on purpose. You will note that I said that I "inadvertently" sped up to 45. My point was that there should have been some better judgment used on his part since I was miles from anyone else. It's very frustrating and confusing for out of state drivers to know the exact speed limit everywhere since speed limits constantly change up and down over short distances and even have limits of 50 mph on mountain roads where you have constant sharp blind curves. I was barely comfortable doing 25 on those mountain roads and practically everyone passed me. I was making a conscious effort to purposely drive below the limit for most of our trip contrary to most drivers on Montana roads.

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Montana
Montana
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Georgia
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6. Re: Beware the State Trooper speed traps!!

What does all that have to do with the speeding in a work zone?

When you see a work zone, slow down. It doesn't matter if you've not seen a person yet or you only saw one person. Slow down in a work zone or pay the ticket.

It's not rocket science.

Montana
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7. Re: Beware the State Trooper speed traps!!

" You will note that I said that I "inadvertently" sped up to 45"

Cruise control? I live in MT and sometimes it does seem like the cones and signs stay up too long. But maybe there's one detail left. I don't know because I'm not on the crew. Regardless, if it's posted, that's the way it is.

Spery, Iowa
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8. Re: Beware the State Trooper speed traps!!

" they hadn't removed the orange cones from the outside lanes and the 35 mph speed limit sign."

" I inadvertently sped up to 45"

I can see no reason for your claim of a speed trap. You didn't plan to speed, OK, that's why they are called accidents and not on-purposes, because people "inadvertently" crash into something or someone. I can only recommend you rethink your response to this. I am sorry you dislike driving in Montana now, but it really has nothing to do with Montana, as this could have happened anywhere.

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Montana
Montana
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Fremont, California
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9. Re: Beware the State Trooper speed traps!!

It is 10 miles over the speed limit.

Since you've been, why is there a loss of tourism?

Many will drive particularly carefully in these types of zones.

They have done a lot of informational marketing in the Western States to pay attention to this.

Its not just a Montana thing - you will see this throughout the west (we did when we traveled this past summer through 10 western states.

Its important to drive carefully through these areas.

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Montana
Montana
United States
Nevada
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10. Re: Beware the State Trooper speed traps!!

I ask the OP --

Would you have considered this as a *speed trap* had you not been driving over the speed limit? And had therefore not been stopped?

My point being -- some people call these things a *speed trap* only after they are stopped by a highway patrol.

Second question -- What would have happened in New Brunswick in a similar situation? Just wondering, for when we vacation in your beautiful country!

We'd love to have you come back and visit, but please be careful to observe the road signs. That's all!

Copper

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