By CHRIS PETERSON - Editor
County Commissioner Dale Williams said if he had to, he'd take
his now infamous "wild ride" all over again.
Williams restated his stance while speaking to the Columbia Falls
Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.
Williams said the state investigator asked him "If you had
to do it all over again, would you do it?'"
"Damn right I would have," Williams said he told the
Last month Williams was charged with one count of unlawful
restraint and two counts of assault, all misdemeanors after taking
Montana state Department of Transportation traffic engineer Darin
Kaufman on an allegedly high speed ride on secondary roads in the
county on Dec. 9.
Williams said he did it to prove a point on how the state's new
speed limits were ridiculously high on roads such as Big Mountain
Road and Whitefish Stage Road.
Williams said he would do it again because he couldn't bear the
thought of having done nothing to get the state to change its
position on speed limits, which he said were too high and dangerous
for the roads in question.
Williams said he couldn't bear the thought of looking at accident
victims who would say he did nothing to have the speed limits
To that end, he said the county has had success with the state in
having the speed limits which are currently posted remain intact.
He said the state recently changed some wording that would allow
limits that were posted prior to May 28, 1999 to remain until a
traffic study of the road could be completed.
The wording change still needs to be approved by MDT, but
Williams said he thought it was "virtually a done deal."
In other road related news Williams said he was confident that
the paving of the North Fork Road was going to be completed, though
it could take some time.
Williams did admit he too was concerned about wintering
populations of deer in the Big Creek area and the impact that paving
could have on them.
The deer cross the road frequently to drink from the North Fork
of the Flathead and he said designers were looking at ways to
address the problem.