“Get back into your truck and get out of here or I’ll write you a ticket for obstructing traffic.”
The policeman in the black squad car was obviously quite irate. He had been friendly and curious about why I was standing atop the guardrail up on the railroad overpass in south Newcastle. When I gave him my reason, he gave me his ultimatum.
I was there to take a few photos of your local “speed trap.” He strongly objected to my words. Kinda touchy about that, eh?
I had just received a citation by a gendarme named “Peg.” The 30mph speed limit on a wide open four-lane, fairly straight, moderately downhill section of State Hwy 16, marked “truck bypass” seemed artificially low to me. And, the policewoman’s profitable location at the bottom of a long downhill section was no accident. She pulled me over just beyond her parking spot, right next to a (more reasonable) 45 mph sign. This is where it narrows down to only two lanes… go figure.
If that isn’t a speed trap, I have never seen one. I have driven 100,000 miles (over 10 years), ticket free until Newcastle. I was there to consider the purchase of a $500,000 piece of commercial real estate for my family. Newcastle is somewhat less appealing to us now.
The curmudgeonly cop’s threat was as groundless as it was stupid, unless your city council has made it illegal to “obstruct traffic” while standing on top of a guardrail.