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Wealthy attractive town resorts to speed traps

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Wealthy attractive town resorts to speed traps

Why is it that such a wealthy attractive town as Woodstock feels the need to pull over tourists who are driving liesurely through town, tell them that they were exceeding the posted speed of 25 and slap them with $150 tickets? This is a speed trap in anyone's book, it ticks off people who would otherwise spend money in town but who now will depart annoyed and with a permanent dislike for the place. Clearly in the case of very mild violations such as this, a warning suffices and will give open-minded visitors a better impression of the place.The WPD needs to prioritize its procedures and evaluate the worth of running such a trap.

I will avoid the town hereafter and will tell others to also avoid it.

Leawood, Kansas
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11. Re: Wealthy attractive town resorts to speed traps

First of all, I live in Kansas! My mother and stepfather own a home in the Northeast Kingdom, so we travel to Vermont fairly frequently. On June 24th, I had brought 3 friends from Kansas for a girl's trip to Vermont. I have frequently been to Woodstock and love the town! I was eager to show it to my friends! We were leaving town after having collectively spent $400 or so and had lunch. I was driving and we were just rounding the curve past town by ?Maplewoods, when I noticed flashing lights behind me. I was not speeding, but had answered a phone call. An officer from a Sherriff's vehicle approached and demanded "license and registration". He was quite unapproachable and did not tell us why we were stopped. No one dared ask. I handed him my Kansas driver's license and told him it was a rental car. He responded, "I think you just told me what I need to know", and went back to his car. He then came back 5-10 minutes later and handed me a ticket for $162 and lectured me about driving while talking on a cell phone. I politely told him I wasn't aware it was against the law in Vermont. He then continued the lecture about how it was legal in many states and there were signs posted "everywhere"! We were very taken aback but no one said anything to this guy. We drove up another 100miles to Lake Willoughby and actively looked for warnings! We saw one, and it was several sentences under another sign. We would have missed it if we weren't looking. A google search revealed there are 16 states that outlaw cell phone use (handheld) while driving. None of those states are Kansas or Missouri or Texas where we all live. I related this experience to a neighbor when I got home. She had been stopped for the same thing in California and was given a warning with a pleasant explanation. I just felt taken advantage of because I was a tourist and his saying, "you just told me what I needed to know" comment when I told him it was a rental car made it plain to us that he knew we were unaware of the law. He also knew I couldn't show up in Whitewater Junction to protest the ticket. I still love Woodstock, but think this practice was unreasonable. This officer was a jerk!

Woodstock, Vermont
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for Woodstock
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12. Re: Wealthy attractive town resorts to speed traps

Morning DoctorFurgie,

As we all know ignorance of the law is no excuse, but I take on board that you felt his handling could have been more pleasant. However I reflect that both parties had a degree of 'jerk' about them.

I now hope even when back in Kansas you NEVER again use your cell phone whilst driving even if it not illegal, it is very stupid and dangerous. I personally know of a person who was killed by a driver doing exactly what you did.

Coming from Europe where non hands free cellphone use is mostly illegal, I am amazed at how backward the US as a nation is when it comes to personal responsibility behind the wheel of a car. Drink driving is common, lack of seat belt wearing a regular ocurance and thus road deaths in the US are extreme.

Most of this situation is 100% preventable if more car drivers took ownership of their responsibility...simple really. I personally hope that laws can be made much stricter in the US when it comes to motoring offences..

Chicago, Illinois
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13. Re: Wealthy attractive town resorts to speed traps

I echo Dave's comments. I would also note that, although nationwide there may be many states that don't forbid use of handheld cell phones while driving (although even then, there are municipalities within some of those states that do), the overwhelming majority in the Northeast US do ban such usage. It's commonplace enough that I would think that any reasonably sophisticated traveler would think to check out the law. But, beyond that, as Dave says, it's a remarkably dangerous practice so please just don't.

14. Re: Wealthy attractive town resorts to speed traps

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