Monday, April 11, 2011

Some thoughts on the Itasca Texas speed trap

I was thinking about the (local) cops from a little hamlet called Itasca Texas, who are always handing out speeding tickets on (federal) Interstate-35, and decided to link to this bit o' greatness by Victor Davis Hanson.  (The city of Itasca has absolutely zero responsibility for safety on I-35.  It's where the Itasca cops go fishing for funding.) 

Here's Mr. Hanson, explaining why we're becoming a nation of speed traps, red light cameras, and desperate policemen trying to hit their quota:

California in the Balance.

We calibrate California’s decline by its myriad of paradoxes. The nation’s highest bundle of gas, sales, and income taxes cannot close the nation’s largest annual deficit at $25 billion. Test scores are at the country’s near bottom; teachers’ salaries at the very top. Scores of the affluent are leaving each week; scores of the indigent are arriving. The nation’s most richly endowed state is also the most regulated; the most liberal of our residents are also the most ready to practice apartheid in their Bel Air or Palo Alto enclaves.

We now see highway patrolmen and city police, in the manner of South American law enforcement, out in force. Everywhere they are monitoring, watching, ticketing — no warnings, no margins of error — desperate to earn traffic fines that might feed the state that feeds them. I could go on. But you get the picture that we are living on the fumes of a rich state that our forefathers brilliantly exploited, and now there is not much energy left in the fading exhaust to keep us going.

I see California in terms now of the razor’s edge with disaster not far in either direction. A postmodern affluent lifestyle hangs in the balance here without a margin of error. Let me give some examples.

The examples are worth reading.  Hit the link.  It seems that stopping a genuine criminal activity is a huge administrative hassle and bother, and is a net minus for revenue.  But some dude driving while talking on a cell phone?  Cha-Ching !!!!
And in case you're wondering, the Itasca cops haven't caught me in a year and a half. 
If I ever win the lottery, I'm renting "Speed Trap Ahead" billboards to put on either side of Itasca so everyone on I-35 can watch that corrupt little 'burg struggle with living off legit revenue for a few years. 


Anonymous said...


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The Whited Sepulchre said...

Dear Itasca TX Civil Servants,

Have you ever heard of a program called "Statcounter" that will show a website owner where his traffic is coming from?

You need to hide your URL's as carefully as you hide your revenue generators, no, excuse me, your cops.

Ok, let's take the rest of these in order.... Very few other towns along I-35 have decided that it's their duty to shake down motorists for their own protection. The town where you guys work is notorious for doing so.

I don't block ANY comments. The Blogspot program that I use automatically applies comment moderation to any posts that are more than two years old.

Yes, people who speed are law breakers. And people who can't spell "thieves" and "you're" are violating the laws of spelling. You have confirmed all of my suspictions about government employees and government schools with only one comment.

No, it wasn't my first speeding ticket. First one in a long time, though.

Just out of curiosity, could you clowns in the Itasca City Hall even fill your potholes without revenue from (Federal, not city) Interstate 35?

Harper said...

Beautiful, Whited. I believe there are several state agencies that would like to know about the language municipal employees are using on the internet.

Oh, and there is that little matter of the time of day - surely they weren't trolling the internet on the clock AND on a government computer. If I were a taxpayer in Itasca, I think I would be complaining.

Anonymous said...

Attention Itasca revenue generating clowns:
Your citizens would be much safer, if you would spend your time patrolling the town streets...yeah, that town that is several blocks away from the highway (I-35) that you are busy hiding in the bushes along... Why ambush good, hard working, American citizens and give them an outrageously expensive speeding ticket for 5 MILES AN HOUR ABOVE THE LIMIT, when you could be taking scumbags off the streets? You guys are pathetic!!

Anonymous said...

There are obviously Itasca police responding to this site. When I received a citation in Itasca and was in court there was a man there with a citation for 31 in a 30. Obviously Itasca police aren't the best or the brightest or they wouldn't be in Itasca. There is a little angry one armed "judge" who sits in traffic court in a black robe he probably took from a local barber. He is also the head of the Itasca Chamber of Commerce. Anyonesee a problem with that? Just because you are a LITTLE SHORT HANDED, doesn't mean you have to get bent out of shape. He lost 50% of his sex life when he lost that left hand.

Anonymous said...

I live in itasca....the local judge here is also the city that legal?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your the one out of shape there 2 comments up. I feel sorry for your kids (if you have any) having a role model like yourself. Karma comes around. I too have a ticket in itasca and just got online looking to find info.. unfortunately i found more hate and it really is sad.. i get being upset... but to bash someone like the above did is just a shame.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Yeah, the judge is probably just trying to make a living, much like everyone else.
But Itasca has no more business patrolling that stretch of I-35 than Buffalo, New York does.

Anonymous said...

It is obvious this a corrupt city and is in the business of generating revenue. I travel from San Antonio to Fort Worth each week to go to work, have been since August 2010. I was the receipient of a ticked for going 72 in a 65 zone when the speed lime used to go from 75 to 65 at night. I really did not think much of it until I started tracking/counting how many times I went back or forth I saw people getting tickets. I take a 260 mile trip one way, the Itasca area of "responsibility" covers 3 miles. 87% of the time I was going or coming through - they were ticketing somebody. This is just corrupt and pathetic. They will never get me again, but in the end what goes around comes around. I believe if the State Attorney General gets enough complaints and looks at the base of city revenue generated from tickets given on I35, it could shut this systemic criminal activity down.

Anonymous said...

My son goes to school in Austin. He travels from DFW to Austin a couple times a month. He has had tickets twice for less than 10 miles over the speed limit in this sham of a town. I think it's closer to legalized racketeering posing as a town. Both times other people were flying by & he was the easiest to catch. Have heard similar stories from dozens of other folks. Insanity. I'd be embarrassed to work or live in that place.

Anonymous said...

Recently got pulled over on I-35 for doing 6 over in a 75 by a cop from this lovely little town. It was late at night so not many cars on the road but I certainly wasn't the fastest on the road nor was I driving at an unsafe speed. I've driven through there at least 10 times and, like others have said above, have seen much worse offenders fly through. Total BS.

Anonymous said...

I got a ticket for going 5 miles over the posted speed limit on my way from Austin to Ft Worth. When my daughter told me the speed limit i was a little surprised i was even pulled over, figured he was get an opportunity to do a traffic stop make sure my insurance, registration was up to date and the no warrants were on me, then warn me with a slow it down. NOPE 5 miles over the speed limit ticket. So I contact the court before my appear by date to inform them that I was planning to take Defensive driving to have the ticket dismissed. I sent my check and ticket in 14 days after contacting the court with the expectation that I have 90 days to complete the course and get the court back my certificate of completion. However I receive in the mail 6 weeks after contacting the court a letter telling me I have to appear before the court because I failed to send them a certificate in the given time frame. So I contacted the court after reading the letter asking for an explanation because by my math I still have 26 days to complete the course and mail the certificate. The court clerk informs me that I was not given the full 90 days because my check and ticket were not in on the required timeframe. well why wait 6 weeks after you receive my check and ticket to mail me a letter telling i am out of time. I tell you why an extra $45.00. This is a complete racketeering sham. If the court clerk knew when my check and ticket was received late or after a set date when I contacted them why not explain the consequences. The city of Itasca does not represent the Great State of Texas with there refined method of extortion. You all should be ashamed of yourselves.

Anonymous said...

I live in Itasca and everything said about the police force is 100% true!.
They are badge heavy and are very disrespectful. I have filed a few complaints , witch I had notarized and have a copy.
I did this knowing that they would do nothing, only to have a record of there actions down the road when they really do something awful!
I am posting on here in case someone else gets leaned on by them or decides to fight any action or traffic stop by them .
I will gladly testify to this in court so as to show a pattern of behavior.
also Fyi ,Whited If you get what looks like city employees commenting on this please send me the URL's
Also if you are being pulled over by them video it and record them!

Beau said...

I've been dealing with this city since 2004. I'll split the billboard with you. Do you have an recommendation on who we can write letters to?

Anonymous said...

recently recieved a ticket going through this sad sorry small town. I was stopped and didn't even know why because I wasn't speeding. The officer stopped me saying I was going 83 in a 75. I was going no more then 80 and a car beside me was going way faster then me and looked at exactly like my car. does anyone know if on 35-N at mm8 or 7 if the speed limit is absolute or presumed? going to try to fight this ticket.