James Baughn was the webmaster of seMissourian.com and its sister newspapers for 20 years. On the side, he maintained even more sites, including Bridgehunter.com, LandmarkHunter.com, TheCapeRock.com, and Humorix. Baughn passed away in 2020 while doing one of the things he loved most: hiking in Southeast Missouri. Here is an archive of his writing about hiking and nature in our area.
McClure deploys cutting-edge radar technology
Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2014, at 12:00 AM
I never expected McClure, Illinois, to be a testing ground for the latest in technological innovation. But a road sign at the beginning of Grapevine Trail in McClure makes the truth quite plain.
When I first passed this sign, I could only think, "What was that again?"
It didn't quite dawn on me at first what this meant. On my second visit to McClure, I had a good look at the sign to make sure I was reading it right.
Based on the evidence, it seems clear that McClure has deployed some kind of high-tech radar system to automatically detect the presence of large trucks. If a truck driver turns off the "Class III Truck Route", we can only surmise that law enforcement will be immediately notified.
Of course this makes perfect sense. The side streets and back roads of Illinois are in such poor shape that public officials would certainly want to prevent big trucks from using them and creating even more potholes.
I tried to find the radar installations, but they appear to be well hidden. Perhaps the utility poles next to intersections have tiny sensors to determine whether vehicles of a certain height or length have made an illegal turn.
It's also possible that the sign is merely a ruse, like sticking a security system sign in the front yard of a house where the front door is left unlocked.
But I doubt that the sign is a mistake or a deception. Illinois is well-known for its rigorous standards for road signs.
We must, therefore, conclude that the sign is an accurate reflection of the technological prowess of our neighbors across the river. What will they think of next?
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