OK, this is not a "current event", but I found this New York Times article circa 1989 extremely entertaining:
Speeding Is Easy (and Almost Free) in Montana - The New York Times
July 10, 1989
Speeding Is Easy (and Almost Free) in Montana
By TIMOTHY EGAN, Special to The New York Times
SUPERIOR, Mont., July 7— Trying to drive the speed limit here in the Big Sky State is like trying to eat nothing but bread crusts at a banquet.
There is just so much road and so few cars, that the temptation to put the pedal to the metal is overwhelming.
Recognizing human nature, political leaders in Montana have once again turned down an attempt to penalize fast drivers in one of the most speeder-friendly states in the nation.
As it is, somebody driving 90 miles an hour in Montana can expect nothing more than a $5 fine, payable on the spot. Under this system, the state of Montana loses $22 in labor and processing costs for every ticket written by a state trooper, a recent study by a legislative committee found.
''The standard joke is you pull a guy over and he hands a $5 bill out of the window and then zips away,'' said State Representative Barry (Spook) Stang, a Democrat from this western district. No Speed Limit Before 1974
As an indication of just how strong sentiment in favor of unfettered fast driving is in this state, a bill Mr. Stang sponsored to raise the price of a speeding ticket was recently killed by a committee of which he is the chairman.
''There is such a great dislike for the speed limit that I can drive down the road at 70 and people will pass me like a dirty shirt,'' he said.
Montana highways never had a daytime speed limit until 1974, when the Federal Government ordered all states to post one of 55 m.p.h. as a fuel conservation measure. Few laws have ever been so despised, and when given the choice of increasing the limit to 65 m.p.h., the state took it up.
Only after Federal officials threatened to withhold highway funds did the state enact the $5 speeding ticket.
''The only reason we've got any speed limit at all is Federal blackmail, pure and simple,'' said J. D. Lynch, a state senator from Butte who has thundered for years against Federal interference with Montanans' propensity for fast driving. Ticket for Wasting a Resource
Officially, a $5 speeding ticket for violating the speed limit on Montana highways is not a moving violation, but ''an unnecessary waste of a natural resource,'' gasoline. Moreover, the ticket cannot be cited to increase insurance rates for motorists or become part of the permanent driving record. A driver can accumulate dozens of tickets in a weeklong tour of the Big Sky State, which many motorists consider a low price for saving time on the road.
''I pull somebody over from out of state and they're just sweating blood, thinking this is going to cost them $150 or more,'' said Officer Richard Seemann, who patrols Interstate 90 in western Montana. ''Then I tell them they owe me $5 for a fuel conservation violation, and they just about fall over.''
The $5 ticket has the paradoxical effect of encouraging people to speed, said Officer Seemann. ''Once they find out that it's only five bucks and they're on their way, many of them just speed all the way across the state,'' he said. Radar Constantly Chirping
Inside his Plymouth Grand Fury, the radar is constantly chirping. He's going about 60 or 65 miles an hour, and cars zip past as if he were not there.
''See, I can sit here and write every car that goes by,'' he said. ''One day I wrote 63 tickets. But with the Tinkertoy engine I've got in this car, it takes me five minutes just to catch up with the guy, and then I write a five-buck ticket. Is that worth it?'' With no more than 33 troopers patrolling 12,000 miles of Montana road at any one time, the odds of even being pulled over are remote.
Many officers in the Montana Highway Patrol feel they are ineffective at best and a joke at worst. If a motorist is going 120 m.p.h. on a wet road the trooper has the option of charging the driver with a basic rule violation, a broadly defined category that involves the discretion of the officer in determining a deviation from safe driving practices. The basic rule violation was used to establish a nighttime speed limit before 1974 and it can result in a stiffer penalty that the normal charge.
Basic rule violations are frequently challenged in court, where Montana judges more often than not take the side of the speeding motorist, the top three Highway Patrol commanders said.
''My county attorney won't even take my basic rule citations to court,'' said Officer Seemann. ''He dismisses them.'' Even with the loose speeding laws, Montana has one of the nation's lowest accident rates. ''In spite of the fact that we do like to drive fast, we're pretty safety-conscious,'' said Mike Cronin, a lobbyist with the Montana chapter of the Automobile Association of America.
In fact, the $20 fine in Montana for failure to wear a seatbelt is greater than the fine for driving 100 m.p.h. on average. But to be cited for not wearing a seatbelt, the driver must first be pulled over for some other offense.
''It's not that we're all a bunch of crazed drivers with a disrespect for the law,'' said Mr. Cronin. ''You can drive 200 miles on some roads here and not pass another car. So why do 65 miles an hour? It's like sitting at a stop light at 3 in the morning with nobody around.''
Even with the $5 ticket, at least one thing about Montana drivers is the same here as in every other state: original excuses.
''I pulled this one guy over in a real shiny, midnight-blue car and asked why he was going so fast,'' said Officer Seemann. ''He told me that because he'd just had his car waxed and polished. That made it move through the air so fast he didn't notice it.''
photo of a Montana State Trooper issuing a speeding ticket (NYT/Jeff Green)