I just got a well-intentioned message warning of a “speeding ticket frenzy” in Michigan. It even included a list of highways where state troopers would be standing by, ready to write a ticket every ten to twenty minutes as mandated by the higher-ups. As is usual with such things, there was no attribution, no official-sounding source. Curious, and just a little skeptical, I resorted to a Google search, and the first hit was at Snopes.com, which said that this was just a hoax, just as it was for about a dozen other locales in the last four years. It even gave a link to a State of Michigan web page that said it was a hoax, too. In case you’re wondering, here are the links: http://www.snopes.com/politics/traffic/speeding.asp and http://michigan.gov/som/0,1607,7-192–209878–,00.html .
I politely forwarded the two links to the person who sent it to me. This has sometimes gotten me flack in the past, but … it’s hard to overstate just how much forwarding alarmist, unattributed messages bothers me. I know I’m a reference geek, but there’s a reason for citing your sources, and checking them.
Having said that, it would be a good idea for people to slow down, on account of the rain. And turn your headlights on, dammit! Visibilities are down, especially when it’s raining and there’s lots of spray on the roads.