HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell admitted last week he allows his state troopers to exceed the speed limit regularly, even after the crash of New Jersey Governor John Corzine, not to mention his own highly-publicized 100 mph travel three years ago. At that time, Rendell instituted a new policy that his drivers must obey the speed limit. Now that policy is out the window.
“We try to stay within the speed limit, unless traffic is going faster. Maybe the trooper will go 70. Or maybe 80, tops,” Rendell said. “And then, of course, faster if it’s an emergency, like when I’m late for dinner.”
Lead-footed drivers applauded his stand. Local plumber Noah Swayne has received 24 speeding tickets in the last four years. “I always figured they [government officials] were saying one thing and doing another. If the governor can speed, so can I. And my attorney will be happy to have a new defense for me.”
Swayne’s attorney, R. Cardamone Angini, agreed. “I’ve used up just about every flimsy excuse I can for Noah,” he said. “I’ve told the judge he was rushing home because his house was on fire, or because his father was taken to the hospital, or his wife was in labor. The guy’s not even married, but luckily they didn’t ask for proof. The judge is starting to roll his eyes when I talk, though, so it’s a good thing the governor gave us this new guideline to use. I might get more clients contesting tickets, and drivers can go as fast as they want without worrying about fines or points on their licenses. And when more accidents occur due to excessive speed, the personal injury attorneys will swoop in and file lawsuits. It’s a win-win for all of us.”
One group that does not consider this “win-win” is the Pennsylvania’s State Police. Police Commander Jeffrey Miller declined to criticize the governor directly, but “the governor counts on us bringing in a certain amount of revenue every year for the state through speeding tickets,” he said. “I don’t know if we’ll be able to meet our goal now. Maybe he can raise property taxes or add more slot machines around the state to make up the difference. Or maybe he could just go the speed limit and tell everyone else to, too.”