March 14, 2002
I Told You So Dept.

The Houston Chronicle reports that no one is paying attention to the new 55 MPH speed limit, partly because there has been no increase in enforcement efforts. Who woulda thunk it?

Here's the really annoying part:

[Lt. John Denholm, who commands the Harris County Sheriff's Department traffic division] put the priorities bluntly: "Our focus is on traffic safety issues, not pollution control. We try to put the enforcement where we're having accidents."

That emphasis is no surprise to local transportation department spokeswoman Janelle Gbur, who noted the reduced limit did not come with any new state or federal funds for enforcement.

"We were hearing prior to the decrease that law enforcement was strapped for manpower, and that even with the (previous maximum) 70-mph limit, they were pushed to the limit to enforce speed laws," she said.

So in effect the lower speed limit is merely a voluntary compliance program, just like every other antipollution effort in this state. We all know how well those have worked.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 14, 2002 to The great state of Texas