Sorry folks, but this entry is not about flying. It is about the abuses that an unjust government commits against people passing through its jurisdiction.
Lenox, Georgia is a small town of about 900 people in rural southern Georgia. It isn't a particularly attractive town and it contrasts sharply with the beautiful homes and central town areas of Adel and Hahira just a few miles to the South. It appears that the bulk of the town's business centers on the production of cotton or watermelons although there is a BASF factory just south of town. This is a very poor town.
Just to the west of Lenox is the town's moneymaker, I-75. In December 2005, the town annexed just enough land to include the I-75 overpass at Exit 49. From about 10 miles north of Lenox to 5 miles south, construction barriers have been set up for the apparent widening of I-75. Throughout the construction area, the speed limit is reduced to 60 miles per hour. As I learned in court yesterday, the construction company that is performing the work sets the speed limit. For the entire duration of the construction zone, the speed limit is 60 mph...EXCEPT for Lenox. For the small little bit of I-75 that passes through Lenox, the construction company changes to a Lenox-based company. It seems that the workers for the SCRUGGS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY are just a bit dumber than the rest of the I-75 concrete contractors because they need the speed limit reduced to an absurd 50 MPH.
In court yesterday, I witnessed numerous people, many of whom were unemployed and most of whom were obviously poor testifying before a redneck judge all with the same outcome. All of the speeders were caught using laser. The speeding tickets were for between 74/50 and 84/50. In each case, the judge reduced the speed to 64/50 which prevents points from being assessed against the offender's license. However, the speeding fine is still double the usual amount. In every case, the fine was $550. Yesterday amounted to at least a $10,000 take for the small town, and that doesn't include the people who simply sent in their checks. Unlike Florida where a plea of no lo contendere will generally result in the waiving of the fine and an assessment of court costs, this judge gives no quarter. He assesses the full and excessive fine.
The only good thing about the town is that the police officers are very polite.
Scruggs Construction set the speed limit at 50 MPH. I suppose that once Lenox collects enough tickets, they might actually build a proper courthouse. When that happens, I bet that Scruggs is chosen to build it.
Even though these people were speeding, the punishment does not fit the crime, and furthermore, the creation of a blatant speed trap with very little warning is damn close to entrapment.
Coming from the north, the speed limit drops from 60 to 50 in less than half a mile. The city limit only extends 2/3 of a mile north of the Exit 49 bridge and about a tenth of a mile before the actual off ramp. In my case, I never saw a 50 mph sign until after I was pulled over. Sure I was speeding. But I was driving a reasonable and prudent speed going with the flow of traffic on the interstate. There was no construction going on in the area. Unlike Florida where speeding fines are doubled When Workers are Present, the fines are doubled through the entire 15 mile long construction zone.
The bottom line, Lenox, Georgia is a terrible speed trap. It should be examined by the Justice department for abuse of power and entrapment. Avoid it like the plague that it is. Lenox, Georgia simply sucks!