Volunteer driver wants to see speed sign

Dear Editor:  I received a speed citation on March 20, 2013, west of Cambridge on Highway 95, offense location Highway 95 and Fern Street for 51 mph.

I had just turned left on Highway 95 from a red stop light on Fern Street. I was coming from the pharmacy at Allina Hospital, where I had volunteered to take gentlemen to pick up his prescription.

About 60 percent of my driving is related to voluntary service, and have clocked about 940 hours at our medical center, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, taking veterans to the St. Cloud and Minneapolis VA. I buy all my own gas for these trips and use my own vehicle.

This stop was made on Highway 95 well into the 55 mph zone. The officer was parked well west of the 55 zone and jumped in his car and stopped me in the Moon Lake area. I started to get out of my car to go back to the squad, and he yelled over the loud speaker to “stay in your car.” I did not understand what he said due to a hearing disability from WWII, and so with my hearing aids it sounded like muffled noise.

I got back into my car as my passenger said that “he wants you to stay in the car.” When he approached my car, I asked him what I had done wrong, and I think I made him mad at me? I volunteered for the Isanti County Safety and Rescue service for a period of 10 years under Sheriff Harder and Larry Southerland and I thought back in those days we were to walk back to the squad.

I absolutely feel I got my ticket in the 55 zone and I was not anywhere near “51” mph in the area indicated. There is no 30 mph sign west of the Fern Street light on Highway 95. I would guess that 9 of 10 vehicles are well up to plus 40 by the 55 mph sign. The officer wrote my speed ticket as of “Highway 95 and Fern Street” where I was at a full stop to turn left. I feel he was perturbed at me because I did not understand “stopping protocol,” and inflated the speed on my ticket by one mph so that I had to pay a double fine.

Please put up a 30 mph sign west of the stoplight so people heading westbound can see it. I understand that my volunteering has nothing to do with a driving offense; however inflating the mph on the ticket does impede my ability to serve others, as it doubled the fine.

Richard Baxter, Cambridge

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