"susie margaret and fort smith, arkansas, USA" Fort Smith by susiemargare

Fort Smith Travel Guide: 70 reviews and 246 photos

hi, thanks for visiting!

i lived in fort smith from 1986 to 1992 and liked it a lot, although it is not a very cosmopolitan town. the people are
very friendly. I have an arkansas page also, which has info applicable to the whole state.

i am a 67-year-old single white woman from the USA, so all of my comments are from that perspective. it is perfectly OK to e-mail me at VT.

if you find inaccuracies in this page, please let me know. thanks!

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ONE QUICK WARNING, though -- in the little town of ROLAND, OKLAHOMA, which is directly across the border from FORT SMITH, there is a well-known speed trap on route 64. if you are driving, slow down practically to a crawl when you go through town, even though the posted speed limit is 45 miles/hour. i was recently stopped while i was going 46 miles/hour and told that i was going 58 miles/hour, which was patently not true. this ticket cost $90.

one thing that i did not do that i should have done after being stopped was to ASK TO SEE the radar gun, which the officer should have "locked" at the offending speed. if you decide to fight the ticket, and the officer had refused to let you see the radar gun, this is good information to use as something to create reasonable doubt at your trial in municipal court, which is the court that handles speeding tickets.

be prepared for the fact, however, that the municipal court interprets the idea of "due process" very flexibly. there is no city prosecutor at this level, and basically, the judge acts as the prosecutor! unless you had somebody with you when you were ticketed who can serve as a witness, it is probably futile to try to fight a speeding ticket in the municipal court, which does not even have a court reporter. if you do want to fight a speeding ticket, be prepared to lose, but you can then appeal, if you want to, to a "court of record," which DOES have an actual prosecutor AND a court reporter, and get a new trial. i would just go ahead and pay the ticket unless a huge amount of money (by your own standards) is at stake.

the consolation prize (a phrase from american game shows on television) is that if you request it (and you should, because of the car insurance implications), either the municipal court or the police department will usually agree not to report the ticket to the driver's license department of your state.

it is NOT WISE to just ignore the ticket, because the municipal court will then issue a warrant for your arrest. it is unlikely that the city police will mount a manhunt to find you, but if you ever get stopped again, anywhere in the united states, your name is likely to be on a list of "persons wanted on pending warrant," and the result will be that the police where you have been stopped the second time will take you to THEIR jail until everything gets straightened out.

so either pay it or fight it, but do not ignore it. consider yourself warned.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:friendly people, down-home feeling
  • Cons:impossible to get around without a car
  • In a nutshell:feels like a small town tho it is a city
  • Last visit to Fort Smith: Jun 2001
  • Intro Updated Mar 7, 2014
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susiemargare Used To Live Here!


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