We all just know better

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We all know better. If you live in Robertson County, you know where the police in Calvert are sitting, everyday with speed detectors. There are only two ways into town, and lets face it, they are on one end or the other, all times of the day and night.

Since I know better, I really can’t complain, well except for a few minor issues. This past Sunday I was headed to Dallas when Calvert Officer Mike Hoyt pulled me over for speeding. He was a nice enough fellow, set about doing his job, but offered little explanation for the obvious speed trap that Calvert has become, only stating that there were no speed traps in Calvert.

Well, here is where a lot of folks and I can quickly disagree.

Several businesses offer a 10% discount if you present your speeding ticket at the checkout counter. The Rusty Duck, the local wine / beer pub in fact offers two free beverages if you present your speeding ticket. Now what is that saying about the lack of a speed traps in Calvert?

I have attended meetings for the Calvert Chamber and the Discover Calvert as well as the Downtown Merchants Association. These business owners all ask the same two questions. First, how do we slow down the traffic on Hwy. 6 and what is keeping people from shopping in Calvert. In other words how do we get more business?

I give the same answer each time I hear the questions. Petition your city to stop the obvious speed traps.

Now please don’t read this wrong. While I have a reason to contest this ticket, and will do so, this article is not in retaliation for the ticket. Officer Hoyt did his job as instructed by his superiors and he was polite, quick, and got me back on the road.

All the stop did was remind me, to remind all of you to slow down while entering Calvert from either direction. It was a reminder that the businesses of Calvert need to address this situation. A speed trap reputation is not good for any city. When your local businesses are offering discounts to apologize for a speeding ticket, it is safe to assume that they are aware of what their city has become known for, a speed trap.

There are other ways to slow traffic down, and I’ll be the first to agree with these merchants, that traffic is horrendous, especially the 18-wheelers. I visit Calvert at least once a week. I perform there once a week at The Rusty Duck, which is located downtown on Hwy. 6. The semi-rigs are loud and moving fast, very hard to do business in that environment. But the merchants persist and for good reason. If they can implement a few good ideas, they should come out on top and have the nice, shopper friendly downtown they have all worked so hard to achieve.

So let these reminders serve a purpose. The City of Calvert needs to abandon this speed trap mentality and implement a new system for slowing down traffic in Calvert. Here’s how. Take a dummy car and dress it up to look like a Calvert Police vehicle. It helps to darkly tint the windows, so no one can see into the vehicle. Park the car, in the medium on either end of town. I promise, folks will slow down. You can move the car to downtown, put it on a side street by the school; you can move it to where ever you need to reduce the speed of drivers.

The downfall? Calvert will lose a little money in traffic violations, but with fewer speeders, perhaps the city can reduce its budget by letting go a position on the police force. After all, there would not be a need to station an officer at one end of town, 24-hours a day.

Just for the record, on my return from Dallas, late that evening (around 1:30 a.m.), I did not see a single police officer in more than nine small Texas cities, well, except for Calvert, this time the officer was on the north end of town.

Dennis Phillips | Robertson County News

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