MARLER: 253 reasons not to speed on Grandpa’s bridge

Ben Marler, Captain’s Log
Capt. Ben Marler can be spotted standing on the bridge each day at about 7 a.m. holding a sign telling motorists that Jesus loves them.

Do you have $253 to spare? If you don’t, please don't speed on my grandfather's bridge. This morning when I arrived, an FHP officer had his radar in hand to nab speeders. He stopped a few cars in a few minutes.

Then a white mini van came over a bit faster than the others, who were for the most part already exceeding the 35 mph speed limit. When the officer pointed at him and motioned him to stop, the driver took a left on Calhoun and attempted to "escape."

Not a good idea. For this young officer hopped in his car, with all the lights on, and somehow got though the traffic to chase down the speeder. I stayed in place holding my signs up for all to see: “JESUS LOVES YOU.”

Later he returned and "set up shop" again. I walked over and spoke to him asking did he catch the guy? With a smile he said, "Yes." I asked what it cost him and he said, "$253".

Wow, I've seen many fly over the bridge at speeds almost twice what this speeder was going. I'd bet their fines would be up to $500 or more.

Let this be a "word to the wise:" Don't speed anywhere, especially on my grandpa's bridge.

There are other penalties too, like points against your license and higher insurance premiums. This fellow didn't save any time, and boy did it really cost him.

Jesus loves you tons. Please pray harder for me.

For some reason it was very difficult for me [physically] to be there this morning, but I almost made the 90 minutes I set as a minimum. I need help, big time.

Capt. Ben Marler, a longtime Destin resident and author, is the grandson of William T. Marler, who the Destin bridge is named after.