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Too fast?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

* Officials detail speed limits

Just how fast is too fast on Clay County roads?

That is the question many residents have been inquiring about lately and Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton recently spoke with The Brazil Times about the issue.

In accordance with Indiana Code 9-21-5-2, the speed limit on a county road -- in areas without a posted limit -- is 55 miles per hour (mph) unless the road is contained in an "urban district," in which case, the limit is 30 mph.

"An 'urban district' is identified as any quarter-mile stretch of road in which business and/or residences have less than 200 feet between them," Heaton said. "Speed limits on county roads fall under state statutes unless they are adjusted by the county itself."

Heaton told The Brazil Times the speed limit on a county road may be increased or decreased depending on the situation, which is also limited by state statutes.

"In order to alter the speed limit on a county road, engineering and a two-day traffic study must be conducted, which can be expensive," Heaton said. "In a traffic study, the number of cars driving the road have to be counted, the peak hours have to be identified and the average speeds have to be officially determined before a possible change in speed limit can be legitimately considered."

Chief Deputy Rob Gambill said there could be situations where the speed limit on a county road can differ depending on the concentration of buildings.

"It's possible there could be areas where the speed limit is 30 mph for a quarter- or half-mile stretch, then go up to 55 mph if part of it runs through an urban district and part does not," Gambill said.

While speeding is an issue in the county, Heaton told The Brazil Times the Clay County Sheriff's Department also watches out for slow vehicles, particularly on Interstate-70.

"It doesn't happen too often, but there are times when we find a vehicle moving too slow for the road it is on," he said. "On I-70, there is actually a minimum speed limit of 45 mph. We occasionally have problems with this, but we have to watch for it because they create a great danger and a potential hazard for other drivers on the road."

However, he added speeding is one of the biggest issues the department receives complaints about.

"We get numerous calls about people speeding, especially on State Road 340 in particular. People seem to fly down the road even though the limit is 40 mph," he said. "On the other side, drivers should always stay aware of what the speed limits are, whether they are posted or not."

While Heaton said he would love it if his department could catch all speeders, he admitted that with a patrol staff of 13, including himself, they cannot be everywhere.

"So far this year, we have had 16,374 calls for service come through dispatch," he said. "Now, not all of the calls generate case reports, but there are quite a few."

While the department may not be able to respond to all calls regarding speeding, information is taken as to the description of the vehicle and time of day if the violation is a regular occurrence.

"Usually, it is a select few who continuously speed," Heaton said.

"With the description of the vehicle and the approximate time of day it tends to happen, we can send someone out to the specific area we get the complaints about."

Heaton told The Brazil Times there are other times when a deputy clocks a vehicle speeding, but does not pursue a stop in order to maintain safety protocols.

"We still have to operate with due regard for the other drivers on the road and keep their safety in mind," he said.

"It is disappointing not to be able to catch all the speeders, but in a situation where chasing one down could put other drivers and/or pedestrians at risk, sometimes it is better to wait because chances are we will catch them speeding again."

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Just reading the list of what fines are,I have a question about it.How can the courts justify a $114 dollar court cost,thats ridiculous.

Maybe the sheriff and police should be arresting the court house staff for robbery instead of trying to catch the Meth makers and druggies and robbers ETC, at least they dont charge you a fee.

The courts thats where the real criminals work in my book.

in the old days in Brazil, you got a ticket you had to go to the justice of peace to pay your fine.It was a fair way for all.

Nowadays they have passed so many laws to be able to arrest you for even a small insignificant thing its unbelievable. Whats next a $100 dollar fine for use to much toilet paper when you go potty.That will probably happen at some time.

My real gripe here is the sheriff and his henchhmen and the BPD,very rarely drive the speed limit themselves even in non emergency situation`s.Of course they will deny this,but three years ago on a visit to Brazil,while proceeding down St Rd 59 south,a CCSD car passed arround me doing at least doing 70,Quess what he was sitting in the Brazil 70 Truck stop and BSing with other CCSD employee`s.

I say if they can do it we should be able to do it also,you know the old saying ""whats good for the goose is good for the gander also""

-- Posted by T-REX on Mon, Aug 17, 2009, at 10:24 AM

Well, I think the fines are certainly a minor inconvenience compared to the damage you'd do to your vehicle. I know the roads in my area are all unposted which means a 40mph limit. Going 40mph should get you a reckless driving ticket unless you have some sort of modified vehicle to handle that kind of terrain. In fact, I used to go down to Red Bird (the state offroad riding area) but not anymore! Why drive 40 miles when I can just drive around clay county.

Probably the fines are really designed to fix the police cars after they catch you. If they have to chase a car down those roads to catch it, there is going to be damage.

Thank you Clay County Hiway Department! Its great to feel like you're trail riding only a few miles from home and you don't have to pay any extra fees!

-- Posted by TheRider on Mon, Aug 17, 2009, at 12:52 PM

Anyone remember the old joke about the cops racing to the doughnut factory because it was on fire? Well a little truth to that. I've seen more than a few times when the Deputies were about to sit down and eat and had to leave before the food was delivered. If I knew I had a good chance to miss my meal I'd try to get there pretty quick to give myself more time!

I'm just saying we don't always know both sides of whats going on in that squad car. The two talking at the truck stop could have really been doing work. You know, like "when we go get this guy which side of the house are you coming in on?" Do they sometimes abuse that? I would be stupid if I said no. But I do know that they are trained to drive a higher speed more safely than the average driver. We gentle folks should just drive normally and be thankful that they can haul butt when we need them! Gentlemen (and lady) start your engines!

-- Posted by michael.galloway1 on Mon, Aug 17, 2009, at 3:48 PM

I recall looking at this very same itemized statement when having to pay for a speeding violation.

Since, I've taken great sport in asking others how much a speeding violation would cost them.

They had no idea that the actual fine was less than $5.

By the way, any of you lawyers out there want to try and justify the expense of three courts when I hadn't appeared in a single one?

Didn't think so.


Now ask yourselves why it is people hate you so much.

-- Posted by shadowrunner940 on Mon, Aug 17, 2009, at 6:05 PM

Looks like you all have issues with speeding. Get over it. Grow up.

-- Posted by michael.galloway1 on Mon, Aug 17, 2009, at 10:18 PM

By the way, use your real names when talking trash, punks. See you in the real world, I can back mine up can you?

-- Posted by michael.galloway1 on Mon, Aug 17, 2009, at 10:30 PM

Speeding is a contributing factor in at least 30% of all fatal accidents so there is a good reason for a healthy fine if you're caught breaking the law. Every licensed driver knows that they can potentially be fined if caught speeding, so if you decide to drive over the speed limit don't be a cry baby when you get caught.

Shadowrunner- just because you didn't go to court doesn't mean that the court wasn't involved in your case. What is this about three different courts? Your troubles must not have been limited to Clay County, we have only two courts and only one that deals with traffic violations. If you've been ticketed in three different jurisdictions it sounds like you need to get a moped or stop breaking the law. Lastly, I think it is only the criminals and criminal sympathizers who hate the police or the courts. If you were half as slick as you think you are then none of those tickets would have stuck to you to begin with.

-- Posted by Unsolicited opinion on Tue, Aug 18, 2009, at 12:02 AM


I could not agree with you more. These people who comment behind aliases are no better than those who harass under hoods. If someone believes in something strong enough to speak out, they should have the courage to take responsibility for their statement. It's fine to disagree but it's false bully mentality courage that is in place when verbal attacks are made anonymously. If more would speak out and take a stand with true conviction, this world would be a better place. Then others who may not have found the courage to do so before could follow example. Now however more are following the example of those who say one thing to your face and another behind your back. While I might not always agree with you, I know where you stand and that you are being honest. With others you will never truly know. My comment was censored from the "welcome back" article even though I told the truth. I can only guess because some one didn't like how it effected the "feel good" spirit but seems that no one has the courage to tell me why? Most likely it will be censored from this one as well even though I signed my name, while others can bad mouth law enforcement behind their masks and their posts remian. This tells me the the paper has this forum for the wrong purpose. Hopefully some of you will get to read this before it is deleted.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Tue, Aug 18, 2009, at 6:55 AM


While I agree with you that hiding behind a pseudonym in order to attack others is despicable, there is a long and respectable tradition of pseudonymous writing in this country. In fact, "The Federalist Papers," perhaps the most influential series of newspaper articles in the U.S, were published under the pen name "Publius." We now know the authors to be Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay. Men who can hardly be charged with cowardice.

Even today writers and reporters still use pseudonyms. One of my favorite bloggers until recently went by the name "Spengler." There are many reasons writers use pseudonyms, but many do so because it allows them to say unpopular things without repercussions to their career or their family. Repercussions can take the form of violence, but are more likely to be character assassinations, like comparing someone to the KKK.

-- Posted by Anodos on Tue, Aug 18, 2009, at 7:53 AM

The fine and court cost is just a small part of the cost, the real penalty for such infractions is the points taken away from your license and mabey even the lose of your driving privilege. The cost of auto insurance will be more and that can be expensive.

-- Posted by garyodavis on Tue, Aug 18, 2009, at 8:52 AM


You are correct in that pseudonyms can be helpful in protecting injustice from being done on the person making the statement but the difference between me saying that a person who makes anonymous attacks is like doing so under a hood [like the KKK] is that I am [1] not aiming it at any particular person, just the behavior; and [2]I am doing so openly thus taking responsibility for my making that connection. While I do not wish any physical repercussions on any one, it seems that our country is based upon people being able to disagree opening albeit respectfully.

The Federalist to which you refer was a little different I believe and was compiled I believe to fully explain and to sway the voters to accept the constitution which was also at least partially compiled by the same authors. This is not to say it was right or wrong or even incorrect, BUT they put their spin on it anonymously maybe so the voter would not think they were campaigning for their own "brand" of a republic and it was coming from an outside source completely....so while it MAY have been noble, it may also have been looked upon in a different light if all had at the time known who write them and for what purpose they wrote them. It was their goal to get THEIR constitution approved. Having They themselves write that interpretation may have been a little biased, don't you think? Others at the time may have had that view as well if they had known...

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Tue, Aug 18, 2009, at 11:09 AM

michael.galloway1 ,

I don't think it is an issue with getting a fine for speeding, it the court cost.

This is another way to make money.

If Clay Co. needs money that bad make the scooters and golf carts have license plates on them.

-- Posted by Sand mann on Tue, Aug 18, 2009, at 11:33 AM


By writing anonymously an author removes her reputation from the argument. In so doing she focuses attention solely on the strength of her arguments and not herself. This cuts both ways since some readers would be swayed positively and some negatively by the author's reputation.

-- Posted by Anodos on Tue, Aug 18, 2009, at 4:22 PM

I don't see how anyone can speed on these roads we have around here!!!

-- Posted by Familyof6 on Tue, Aug 18, 2009, at 5:35 PM

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