Gazette Editorial Board
So another state Trooper driving a vehicle carrying Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds was stopped for speeding last month while delivering the state’s top elected officials to another point on their busy schedule.
In this incident, the Trooper, Darren Argabright, received a written warning, not a citation, issued by a Franklin County deputy on Aug. 27, apparently because the governor’s vehicle was clocked at less than 10 mph over the 55-mph speed limit on Highway 3.
The infraction, in and of itself, is a relatively minor one — typical of what most Iowans get when stopped for speeding less than 10 mph over the posted limit.
Except that it comes not long after another, more serious speeding incident in April was brought to light in July — one in which the governor’s vehicle was going 84 in a 65 zone. A veteran DCI agent who complained that the Trooper wasn’t ticketed was fired soon after, although officially for other reasons. And after a Department of Public Safety investigation, that Trooper was fined.
How can this happen again after all the pain of the April incident?
In Tuesday’s Gazette report, the governor said he warned his drivers that they must abide by Iowa’s traffic law. “If they value their jobs, they have the same responsibility as any other citizen to abide by the speeding laws of this state.”
Agreed. If our public institutions act as if they’re above the law, Iowans lose respect.
We also would hope that tight schedules are never a reason to violate those speed limits, unless an emergency is involved. No one’s schedule justifies ignoring the law on Iowa’s public roads.
It’s time for the governor and his drivers to finally make sure this doesn’t happen again. Iowans are watching.
l Comments: email@example.com or (319) 398-8262