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Dear Mahatma: You have written that the law can't be everywhere all the time. I beg to differ. I was caught in Baltimore two feet into an intersection by a traffic camera. Cost me $70. I didn't know they had such cameras. Now I do, and I don't try to sneak through intersections on my visits there. So why don't we put in cameras in Arkansas? -- Using Both Brain Cells

Dear Friend: Two brain cells? Lucky guy.

We used our one brain cell to look up Arkansas Code Annotated 27-52-110 and 27-52-111, both of which say no county or municipality or state government agency may use traffic cameras to enforce state or local traffic laws and ordinances.

Exceptions are made for school zones and railroad crossings, but a certified law enforcement officer must be present to issue citations at the time of the violation.

What this means, in practical terms, is that the General Assembly has outlawed traffic cameras.

On a different topic, construction has started on a third way to get into and out of Maumelle.

The topic was addressed years back in this column. Yo, we asked Mayor Mike Watson, when will that road be built to connect with Interstate 40? Dude, he responded, the city has been pushing this rock up the hill since memory runneth to the contrary.

Turns out the project struggled to reach the top of the priority list for the Arkansas Department of Transportation. Then it turned out that the voters of Maumelle self-imposed a temporary half-percent sales tax to pay for 75 percent of the $14.6 million job.

After which the department felt more warmly about the remaining 25 percent.

So on Tuesday, ground was broken. We asked the department for some details.

Work has, as previously reported, begun, and likely will run through the end of 2019, give or take.

The road will connect to Interstate 40 at the old Morgan rest stop. How old? That rest stop was closed in 1992. Our memory says the rest stop was closed because of hanky-panky, but 1992 was a long time ago. We're happy to hear other explanations.

A full interchange will be built. We asked the department about expected traffic on the new road. Its spokesman, David Nilles, said there was no way to measure future traffic, but noted that Maumelle Boulevard -- Arkansas 100 -- carries 39,000 vehicles a day.

Traffic at Morgan, on the north end of the boulevard, is predicted to increase by 38 percent. On the south end, at Interstate 430, traffic is expected to increase by 30 percent by that date.

With the new exchange in the middle of the boulevard, traffic congestion should be greatly relieved, about which we shall see.

As someone who goes to Maumelle on a regular basis, we can testify that the boulevard at morning and evening rush hour is packed to the gills, and is busy most other times.

Vanity plate on a Cadillac: OH MAMA.

Metro on 12/15/2018

Print Headline: DRIVETIME MAHATMA: No traffic cameras? It's the law


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Archived Comments

  • GandKW
    December 15, 2018 at 8:10 a.m.

    Was not aware of the camera law. I'm proud of my state for not allowing municipalities to milk drivers for minor errors.

  • GeneralMac
    December 15, 2018 at 9:45 a.m.

    Even in my former liberal state of Minnesota, the use of cameras was challenged in court and cameras were outlawed.

    The reason?

    You can not issue traffic tickets to an object ( automobile )
    A camera does not have the means to positively identify the driver at the time of the infraction.

    Proud of Minnesota for ditching it.
    Proud of Arkansas for outlawing it .

    Seems PopMom's state ( Maryland) should " get with the times" and outlaw cameras also.

  • Foghorn
    December 15, 2018 at 1:16 p.m.

    Stupid law. Ledge should take it up and reverse it. More cameras = less crime.

  • MaxCady
    December 15, 2018 at 7:50 p.m.

    Hanky Panky is putting it mildly. That rest stop was one of the most notorious gay hook up meeting places in the country. It wasn't a rest stop it was one big glory hole.

  • Jfish
    December 16, 2018 at 7:26 a.m.

    I agree with Foghorn, we need cameras and we could at least fine all the pigs who litter our roadways. I believe Maxcady is right if memory serves correctly, the Arkansas State Police eventually said that they did not have the manpower to police and deter the volume of illicit sexual activity at that particular rest area.