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Letter to the editor
Best watch your speed when in Cherokee
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Forsyth County News
For most of the current residents of Georgia, Ludowici, the tiny southern town of Georgia, doesn’t mean a thing. For thousands of Georgians and hapless motorists in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, it was synonymous with “the mother of all speed traps.” Prior to the opening of 1-95, drivers were caught up in a “Boss Hog” type scheme that netted this little hamlet hundreds of thousands of dollars in traffic fines.

The first scam was a trick traffic light where a policeman would hide in a store and as an unsuspecting motorist entered the intersection he would flip the switch and instantly change it from green to red. The light was later replaced by local merchants who were losing business. Not to be deterred, the local “officials” would hang out just outside of town where the unsuspecting motorist assumed they were back on the highway and 60 was the speed limit. Not so fast! Technically, they were still in the city limits and the 35 mph was strictly enforced.

“Boy, you were exceeding the speed limit. Follow me to see da judge” was the operative phrase.

That was then, this is now. On SR 20 just inside the Cherokee County line is a short uphill passing lane. Having driven a car for almost 50 years I assumed a passing lane was built for that exact purpose, to pass slower moving vehicles. Apparently not in Cherokee County. Recently, I used this “passing lane” to overtake a slower moving panel truck. Since the 3-lane stretch is quite short, I gunned it to get around the vehicle and low and behold, a Cherokee County trooper traveling the opposite direction nailed me faster than the trick traffic light in Ludowici. As I pulled over, to my surprise, there were several other sheriff’s cars meting out similar punishment to at least four other offenders in the few short minutes we were there. How many other motorists were pulled over for passing in a passing lane? The fine: $350. I realize the various governments are hurting for revenue just as their citizens are, but is fleecing the public the proper way to go?

Bob Bell