Watch your speed, Smalley warns visitors

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Observe speed limits while traveling or you might lose your driver’s license.

Last August, my brother and his wife were returning to Iowa. They exited I-94 in North Dakota and were proceeding south on U.S. Highway 85 when they got pulled over.

The area was rural grassland and they hadn’t seen any speed limit signs. My brother estimated his speed at about 60 miles per hour. When stopped, they saw a 65 miles per hour sign just ahead.

Imagine his shock when he was informed he was doing 66 in a 35 zone!

He couldn’t challenge the speed gun and he paid the $58 fine. A week later he received an official notice from the Iowa Department of Transportation informing him his “privileges to operate and register motor vehicles” were suspended. He was told to surrender his driver’s license, plates, and registration, and was charged a civil fine of $200.

A work permit application was attached, as was the warning that until January 2018 he would be on probation. Any traffic violation would trigger another suspension.

My brother requested an appeal, citing the rural area, location of the violation, and speed signs, all supported by Google Earth screenshots. He also mentioned his clean driving record.

The appeal was successful. In late October, he received a letter saying the suspension had been rescinded and removed from his record.

Forty-five states and Washington, D.C. share information about driver infractions.

And 45 states are members of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact, which shares information about fish and game license revocations.

Lose your license and you are pretty much done hunting and fishing anywhere in the country.

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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