11/21/2005Man Fights West Virginia Speed Trap with Signs
A Summersville, West Virginia businessman fights back against a small town speed trap.
Fed up with excessive ticketing by the Summersville, West Virginia police department, local businessman Charles McCue is fighting back. He has put up a giant sign reading, "Summersville, The World's Largest SPEED TRAP 4 MILES AHEAD" to warn motorists of the upcoming danger.
The $350,000 sign marks the portion of Route 19, a popular interstate shortcut, where the speed limit drops from 65 to 50 MPH -- and police are invariably waiting with radar guns. Police write between 10,000 and 18,000 tickets a year generating millions in revenue for the town of just 3250 residents.
McCue, 60, maintains that the police are scaring away business. About ten years ago, he banned the police from using his shopping center parking lot as a staging ground for activities.
"I'll be damned if they're going to set up radar on my customers and take the money they were going to spend in my shopping center," McCue told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Despite giving away 6000 bumper stickers ridiculing Summersville's efforts, McCue is not satisfied. He is planning on installing a second billboard on the other side of town to ensure that everyone entering and leaving the city gets the message.
"We definitely consider what they're doing a speed trap," said Eric Skrum, spokesman for the National Motorists Association. "There's just a few in the country that really stick out like Summersville."
McCue said the issue was simple. "Thomas Jefferson once said that opposition to tyranny is obedience to God," he said. "If this is not tyranny, then I don't know what the hell is."Source: Speed trap or safety measure? Summersville, W. Va., police wrote 10,000 tickets in 2004 (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 11/20/2005)
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