States of denial

In one of the memorable scenes of the James Bond franchise, Bond is strapped to a table while a laser beam moves towards his double-0s. He defiantly asks, “Do you expect me to talk?”

The villain replies, “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”

I remembered this scene recently while reading yet another story about a government official refusing to admit what the speed limit already is.

There was the Nevada DOT boss who refused to comply with a law raising the speed limit to 80 because he thought it should be slower. An Oklahoma DOT spokesman thought speed limits could be justified by a repealed law. A small town cop in Connecticut didn’t want to “raise” the limit to what it already was. After a decade cities in Michigan haven’t complied with Public Act 85 requiring them to justify speed limits. And so on.

I don’t want to negotiate with you. The law says you lost. I want your unconditional surrender. Remove all the illegal speed limit signs.

Posting illegally low speed limits is not just misconduct, it’s conspiracy to violate civil rights. If prosecutors had any guts they would throw all these people in prison. But prosecutors love low speed limits. The Attorney General of Montana lost the court challenge against “reasonable and prudent” in a successful bid to make the legislature lower the speed limit from “maybe 85 or 90 or 100” to “not a bit over 75.” Federal prosecutors rely on “75 in a 70 zone” pretext stops to keep the war on drugs moving.

If I had an unlimited budget I would post billboards reading “Ticketed for violating an illegal speed limit? Ask your lawyer if 42 USC §1983 is right for you.”

The opinions expressed in this post belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of the National Motorists Association or the NMA Foundation. This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal advice. No representations are made regarding the accuracy of this post or the included links.

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