Sammy Hagar, the former frontman of Van Halen and solo rock artist is known for several of his hit songs. Perhaps the most famous of his lyrical work is the speeding anthem, “I Can’t Drive 55.” In the song, Hagar laments about how he has a need for speed and how it has got him trouble with the law. Well, in July of 2009, I found myself with some unwanted attention by the Connecticut State Police. It turns that while driving in Tolland County, a State Trooper pulled me over with sirens blaring. He got out of car agitated and approached my passenger side window.
“Officer, what did I do?” I exclaimed in a confused manner.
The trooper replied, “You know why I pulled you over? You were going too slow.”
He took my license and registration and I had to wait for ten minutes to get my documents and a written warning back. I was told that had I gotten a ticket it would have been for $93.
When I calmly told the officer I was going up a steep hill, he shot back and told me I wasn’t driving a tractor trailer. It seems that while I was taking it easy going over steep hill, several cars behind me were inconvenienced including the officer. I was doing thirty in a forty-five mile speed zone.
I was annoyed with his response and the whole situation but kept my cool and after receiving a short lecture by the trooper, he let me drive off. When I returned home I did an Internet search, I wanted to find out if you could really be pulled over for not driving the speed limit. My search didn’t take very long as I found the information posted below on a website.
Sec. 14-220. Slow speed. (a) No person shall operate a motor vehicle at a speed lower than forty miles per hour on any limited access divided highway and no person shall operate a motor vehicle on any other highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except, in either case, when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in an emergency, or in compliance with the law or the direction of an officer. The provisions of this section shall not apply to (1) maintenance vehicles or equipment of the state or any municipal highway department, or to such vehicles or equipment of a contractor under contract with any such department while engaged in maintenance operations; (2) any motor vehicle with a commercial registration which while traveling on any limited access divided highway is unable to maintain the minimum speed limit of forty miles per hour due to the gradient, or to any such vehicle which while traveling on any other highway is being driven at such a slow speed as to obstruct or endanger following traffic, provided the operator thereof employs flashing lights on such motor vehicle.
(b) The operator of any motor vehicle having a gross weight of more than twenty-five thousand pounds shall also employ flashing lights when the vehicle is traveling on a limited access divided highway and maintaining a speed higher than forty miles per hour but lower than the speed of the traffic on the highway due to the gradient.
(c) Violation of any provision of this section shall be an infraction.
The next couple of days I told the story to co-workers and friends. Some laughed a few others said that they knew of someone else that this happened to. I still feel that I was pulled over for no good reason, but the officer had the law to back him up on it. So the moral of this story is, next time you are driving in Connecticut, just go the speed limit.