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Dear Mahatma: Why are there no speed limits posted on the Main Street and Broadway bridges? -- Doug

Dear Doug: This reminds us of the question Bill Cosby posed decades ago. Why is there air? So physical education majors can blow up volleyballs.

Oh, feet of clay.

An answer comes from the indefatigable Bill Henry, Little Rock's chief traffic dude. He refers us to Arkansas Code Annotated 27-51-201, which is a blob of gobbledegook that does offer up a nugget of information -- the default speed limit in urban districts is 30 mph. If there is no other sign, then do 30 mph.

A second answer is a variation on the first, and comes from David Nilles of the Arkansas Department of Transportation, the agency whose bridges those are. He says the speed limit does not change on the bridges from whatever is posted on the approaching roadway. No need to post more signs.

Our own check of those signs approaching the Broadway Bridge showed 30 mph on the Little Rock side and 35 mph on the North Little Rock side, on that small piece of street known as North Broadway. Either way -- 30 or 35 -- ain't much difference.

The third and final answer comes from our truck. Have we lately mentioned our beautiful, black, shiny, low-mileage truck? Sometimes, when no one is looking, we hug it in the garage.

This truck has a feature on the dash that tells the driver the speed limit on the roadway being traversed. The thing is remarkable. Pass by a sign that changes the speed limit and the speed changes on the dash.

How this works, we don't know, except to speculate on some Great Satellite Eye in the Sky. Never mind government surveillance, imagine what General Motors knows about us.

Dear Mahatma: Sadly, we decided to quit vehicle inspections. So put it on your schedule to check your headlights, turn on your signals and look to see if you notice a blinking light in front or in your rearview mirror. And while you are looking back there, put your foot on the brake. Do you see bright red lights on BOTH sides? -- Tony

Dear Tony: You forced us to jump into the Way Back Machine and set the dial for 1997, so that we could read Act 974 of that year, titled "An Act to Streamline the Vehicle Registration Process." Part of the streamlining was the elimination of the annual vehicle inspection. Mike Huckabee was governor, is how long ago that was.

Section 9 of the act does require drivers to keep their vehicles in good working order and safe for occupants, the driver or any other person. Police officers have the authority to stop any vehicle which appears to be unsafe, issue a safety summons requiring a repair, or even require the vehicle be parked at the owner's expense until safe to operate.

Vanity plate: FAB5MOM.

Fjfellone@gmail.com

Metro on 12/07/2019

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