The city of Chattanooga has come up with a new method of funding. It’s called Mobile Traffic Enforcement. Actually, I have no idea what the city calls it. MTE is my name for it. And I’m sure other people have names like #@#**!!
Here’s how it works. The city bought a special van equipped with four windows on one side. Each window has a camera for taking pictures of speeders’ license plates. The city then hides this van and photographs any and all speeders. Don’t get me wrong—I think speed limits are a good thing, especially in residential neighborhoods, etc. And yes, I do have “sour grapes” as the MTE has ticketed our van. But here’s the thing, the powers-that-be have hidden the MTE at the end of a sharply downward sloping tunnel. As if this weren’t bad enough, the tunnel is so poorly lit that you can’t read your speedometer. In fact, the tunnel is more dimly lit now than what it used to be. Conspiracy? Maybe.
Of course, the MTE isn’t always at the tunnel. Sometimes it’s downtown, concealed behind a tall building. Other times it’s hidden on a side street at the bottom of a hill near the old industrial area. You, skeptical reader, might be thinking that the MTE is reducing traffic accidents. You’d be wrong. I’ve had to warn our kids, “Watch out when you exit the Brainerd Tunnel, drivers are slamming their brakes at the end because they don’t know if the MTE is there.”
The other day, I was driving out of the Brainerd Tunnel in the left lane and another car was beside me in the right-hand lane. Both of us were driving exactly 35 mph. (A quick glance in my rear-view mirror told me the MTE was there). A BMW came up from behind and couldn’t get past us. Immediately, he began tailgating me. I looked into my rearview mirror and saw him gesticulating and becoming apoplectic. I just laughed and thought, “Dude, we’re saving you $50. Cope.” So, remember that the next time you’re driving behind someone driving exactly the speed limit—they’re probably saving you from a ticket.