By Pete Waldmeir
With July 4 holiday travel upon us, I 94 drivers heading westbound between the exits at 10 MIle and 9 Mile roads in St. Clair Shores are prime targets for $120 speeding tickets - even for doing a mere 5 miles and hour over the cleverly placed 55 mph limit.
This has got to be the biggest, most profitable speed trap in Macomb County.
Here's how it works, so don't tell me you weren't warned. I write from experience, not this year but from close observation over a number of years. And a $120 contribution to whatever fund where the St. Clair Shores District Court places "Energy Tickets."
This is how the SCS speed trap works.
You're whizzing along at the legal limit of 70 on westbound on I 94, either heading down from Mt. Clemens or Port Huron or having exited westbound off of the NASCAR speedway called I 696. You fly past 10 Mile Road and approach a right-sweeping curve before 9 Mile Road and there's a small sign that says "Reduced Speed Ahead."
If you're in the left or center lane and there's a truck in the right lane, you probably never see the "Reduced Speed Ahead" sign. The speed trap's got ya!
About 200 yards ahead, around a blind curve, the speed limit drops quickly from 70 to 55 m.p.h.! About 200 yards ahead there's a St. Clair Shores radar car sitting right there, taking your picture and handing out diplomas.
He chases and nabs you and then the fun begins. No matter how fast you were going, he tells you, he's a good guy. He'll give you "a break." He writes an "energy ticket" for 5 miles an hour over the 55 speed limit, which adds no points on your insurance or your driving record.
But you were speeding, endangering life and limb etc. etc. "Don't worry," this sworn law enforcement officer advises, "just pay the Energy ticket" and everything's forgiven. So you go to the SCS District Court and hand over $120 and all's forgiven.
Why doesn't St. Clair Shores just be honest and declare that section of I 94 a toll road, make the speed-trap cops sworn deputy court clerks and let them levy the $120 on the spot, give offenders receipts and be done with the travesty of law enforcement?