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One Grandma’s Plan to Stop Speeders in Her Neighborhood

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speed limit sign 30 mph
Photo: amber.kennedy via CC

Speeding drivers had been causing quite the stir in one Montana neighborhood. Aside from adding noise pollution, they posed a threat to the safety of local children, cyclists, pets, and pedestrians. Tired of lead-foot drivers tearing through the area, one plucky grandma took matters into her own hands.

Hatching a plan

Patti Baumgartner stationed herself beside the road, armed only with a hairdryer. Its shape and context were enough to dupe drivers into thinking that Baumgartner was packing a speed gun. She planned to remind drivers to slow down, for both safety’s sake and avoiding a speeding ticket.

Her son thought the plan was both hilarious and ingenious, so he snapped a picture and tweeted it to Trooper Noah Pesola.

Needless to say, Pesola agreed, stating “I thought it was hilarious, I think that we have a speed issue in Montana, and I thought it was a great creative idea for the public to try and combat that a little bit without making people too upset.”

A new trooper on the block

The troopers appreciated Baumgartner’s valiant efforts so much, they awarded her a new title — honorary trooper.

“It’s not an official (title) or anything like that for the honorary trooper, which is kind of what I called it,” Pesola explained. “I didn’t know what else to do for her when she’s doing something for the community and, like she says, she’s got grandkids in the area so she’s doing something for her grandkids’ benefit.”

In addition to the title, Pesola awarded Baumgartner trooper hat and a shiny new badge — just to make her look a little more official when she’s on patrol.

The dangers of speeding

While Baumgartner’s plan is equal parts funny and brilliant, there’s nothing smart about speeding. She was right to be concerned about speeders — in 2017, speeding accounted for 9,717 traffic fatalities or around 26 percent of deaths on the road. When you speed, you’ll have a harder time controlling your vehicle, as well as a longer stopping distance. If you end up crashing, you’ll have a more severe crash, and your vehicle’s safety equipment won’t be as helpful.

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Source: WMUR