DOVER, N.H. - A man with a penchant for speedy driving has come up with an unusual tactic for beating speeding tickets — raise the limit. So far this year, Larry Lemay has been ticketed four times for speeding.
Rather than slow down, Lemay is suing the state Department of Transportation to study traffic and speed limits across New Hampshire, to see whether limits could be raised. Lemay's lawsuit, filed in Strafford County Superior Court, also asks a judge to order the Transportation Department to pay for his legal fees and the cost of the study, an estimated $1,853.
Lemay said he believes many speed limits are set intentionally low so the state can cash in on drivers.
"The state is making a lot of money doing this, and I want it stopped," he said. "It's wrong."
Dave Hilts, the assistant attorney general representing the state, said Lemay's view that higher speed limits would lead to safer driving is shared on the Internet by many speed limit abolitionists, but is misguided.
"Common sense will tell you that going too slow is only a hazard when other people are going much faster," said Hilts. "It's kind of a weird case."
As for Lemay's suggestion that the state sets low speed limits just to catch people with tickets:
"It seems ridiculous to me. I don't know what incentive the state would have to do that," Hilts said. "I've not seen any evidence that that occurs. I don't believe it."
This guy should really consider himself lucky. I've travelled New Hampshire with my family numerous times and must tell ya - most NH speed limits are quite reasonable. You want to see ridiculously low speed limits, come to Rhode Island! Most roads posted at 50 MPH in other states are usually posted 35 here. Most roads posted at 30-35 in nearby MA and NH (including city streets) are 25 here. And those few 50 MPH roads (one lane each direction) you see in RI - those are usually 55 in MA and NH, maybe 60-65 out west. You want to talk revenue-generating speed limits, come to Rhode Island. The city of Pawtucket alone makes a mint on speeding tickets and municipal services are still among the country's worst. Don't take my word for it. Come see for yourself. If he succeeds in NH (and I doubt he will), he needs to come to RI and do the same.
That's my political banter for the month.