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Another Sign Of Michigan's Troubles

This news story caught my eye:

WARREN, Mich. (AP) -- A Michigan mayor says a warning wasn't enough after he was stopped for speeding. So he asked for a ticket instead -- and got it. Warren Mayor Jim Fouts was pulled over Monday on the way to City Hall for going 45 mph in a 40 mph zone. The officer told him to watch it next time.

Fouts says he was uncomfortable the entire day with just a warning, thinking it might be construed as favoritism. So he called the deputy police commissioner and demanded the ticket.

Police delivered it to Fouts' office and Fouts paid the $100 fine.

What struck me is that the guy was pulled over for doing 45 mph in a 40 zone. What? In Michigan? People drive fast in that state. If you're driving five miles over the speed limit and you see a police car, it's usually because he's blowing past you. The only speeding ticket I remember getting was for driving 75 miles per hour in a 40 zone as a 17-year-old. (It was early morning, the road was empty, I was late to something where lateness was punished by vomit-inducing measures, when I was young and irresponsible I was young and irresponsible...) I'm not advocating that people double the speed limit, but pulling over a car for a 5 mph violation flies in the face of everything I know about Michigan. Is this a sign of the state's economic decline?

--Jonathan Chait