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Willapa Harbor Herald
Lewis County News
Traveler's Companion
(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577

Speed Trap in South Bend Scares Away Tourists

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Returned to South Bend and saw seven cops in one day in Raymond-South Bend. “Speed trap,” that is what this community is known for, people pass through on 101, but they don’t stop. I wonder why?

Been in the Bay Center area for about 28 years, avoided South Bend like the plague, as did many of my fellow citizens; no one wanted to make the insurance companies wealthier. Wife fell in love with a house in South Bend, been here 10 months and have heard no one, except one old gentleman, speak favorably about a town of about 1,600 spending over 60 percent of its budget on law enforcement.

(Editor’s note: The amount budgeted for law enforcement is nowhere near 60 percent. The South Bend operating budget is $5.7 million with $599,000 allocated for the police department.)

Only justification I have heard is that ticketing the unwary brings the town revenue. Sounds like the pirates of Mali who are trying to feed their families off the waters ruined by the oil companies.

I know people from Seattle, the tri-cities, to Eugene and points in between who equate South Bend with “speed trap” and a place to avoid. Nice huh? There are more than a few hard working and hard-pressed local business owners who lament the traffic stops and their effect on business.

This is a nice community with some very nice folks, and we have resources that can make South Bend a destination, not merely a place to pass through.

Let’s quit making insurance companies happy and people miserable - expensive tickets and rising insurance rates; instead use the budget to promote a nice town to come to; think Leavenworth Washington. Leavenworth was once a place to pass through; I remember it! Yes, I am that old!

Chris Thompson,

South Bend, Wash.


Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on 8/29/13. If you would like to respond to this story, go to

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