Residents in Brewer, Maine, home of The House on the Hill, were up in arms today over what they believe to be an unfair speed trap set up by the Police Department.

As I type this from my front porch, I can see angry neighbors, some armed with torches and pitchforks, milling in the street and moving like an angry mob that intends to do some damage.

What has sparked such outrage?  “It’s a speed trap the cops set up to make some money by hitting us with these outlandish tickets,” Bernie Smythe yelled at this Modern Philosopher as he waved a traffic ticket angrily in my face.

“It’s not a speed trap,” Brewer Police Chief Stu Simmons assured me as we checked out the area in question.  “This change in the speed limit was approved at a Town Council Meeting, and it’s not our fault that no one showed up for it.”

I’ve lived here 10 years and I’ve never gone to a Town Council Meeting.  I believe they’re held in secret locations that change every month to prevent residents from attending.

I’ll let you be the judge, Modern Philosophers.  Here’s a photo I took of the sign that’s the cause of all this debate.  What do you see?

 

My neighbors and I see a 25mph sign with a bolt between the numbers to hold it in place.

The Brewer Police Department insists that the so called screw is actually a decimal point, and the posted speed limit is 2.5mph.

“There are a lot of children in the area, there’s a hill and a bit of a blind turn,” Chief Simmons explained when he saw me roll my eyes.  “The Town Council agreed that a reduced speed limit of two and a half miles an hour was the only way to ensure the safety of the children and any pedestrians trying to cross that road.”

Two and a half miles per hour?  Seriously?  “Extremely,” The Chief insisted.  “So when drivers zip through there at 25 miles per hour, they are traveling at ten times the posted speed limit.  That is a major fine.  That would be the same as going 250 miles per hour in a 25 zone.  Extremely unsafe.  We have no choice but to ticket these drivers.”

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