Returning home from a short vacation in Freeport, I was traveling south on the Maine Turnpike in Wells around 9 a.m. on June 14.

I was traveling at the same speed as the bulk of the traffic. The vehicle in the center lane was traveling below the speed of the prevailing traffic, and I signaled and moved to the left passing lane.

A vehicle in front of me was now traveling slightly faster than the vehicle in the center lane but below the speed of the prevailing traffic. Once that vehicle passed the vehicle in the center lane, I expected, as Maine law requires, that the vehicle would move to the center lane and allow me to pass. However, the vehicle remained in the left passing lane. I signaled, moved to the center lane, resumed the prevailing speed and slowly passed the vehicle in the left lane.

Now, the vehicle in the left lane abruptly changed lanes, came up behind me at a very close distance and showed flashing blue lights.

I received a citation for speeding and following too close, each with a $137 fine, for a total of $274. Naturally, I paid the citation since, as a resident of southeastern Massachusetts, it would take too much time and effort to appear in a York County traffic court – a fact I’m certain influenced the trooper’s decision to stop me.

I have been driving for 50 years and haven’t had a moving violation in about 40 years. I believe in the rule of law. I don’t think the Legislature passed these laws with this kind of manipulation in mind. I’m sure that the revenue is welcomed by the state of Maine.

The trooper’s actions were more of a public safety risk than mine. Sure, this may cause me to change my driving, but it may also cause a change in my vacation destination as well.

Mark Swartz

Wrentham, Mass.