“DECELERATION: IT'S THE LAW”
by Rick Jones, Husband of the Minister's Wife
The rural town I lived in for many years was primarily a farming community. At the center of town was our lone traffic light located at the intersection of two state highways.
Many moons ago, when I was in high school, the main north-south highway in our state was being rerouted to bypass several towns, including my own. It was deemed better for the state's economy if vehicles didn't have to slow down from 55 MPH to 45, 35, even 25 MPH as they traveled. Not that they all did, of course. It was commonly believed that many out-of-town drivers were dyslexic. The signs at the edge of town clearly said “SPEED LIMIT 35 MPH”, yet many people drove as if they thought the signs said “53”.
The railroad crossing at the south edge of town had not been repaired for quite a while. It was also slightly elevated. Motorists could elect to  slow down and ease over the bumpy rails, hoping that no semi truck was bearing down on them;  follow the posted speed limit, which would still rattle one's teeth;  accelerate on the incline and go airborne over the bumps. Judging from the number of mufflers and hub caps by the side of the road, option #3 was quite popular. But overall, that crossing worked as a better speeding deterrent than the speed limit signs.
The other method of slowing vehicles was the posted warning from the local police: “SPEED CHECKED BY RADAR”. These signs were displayed at the north, south, east, and west edges of town. As part of the high school's driver education class, I talked to the chief of police about traffic safety. I asked about the effectiveness of this system, and he believed that drivers were slowing their vehicles significantly since the signs had been put up. He also mentioned that it had proven to be very cost-effective. When I asked for specifics, he said that the entire deterrent system had cost the town only $140. I was amazed, guessing that just one radar gun would cost more than that.
He replied, “Radar gun? No, all we bought were four 'SPEED CHECKED BY RADAR' signs at $35.00 each.”