Speed Limit

When I was a teen, I used to hang out with my buddies, and in the process of having fun, we often did things that were not strictly legal. These things included having more humans in the vehicle than were allowed by law, ingesting various substances that may or may not have been legal, violating traffic laws, etc. Things went along fine until someone in the car would yell, “COP!” At that point a formerly disheveled motley exuberant crew immediately shaped up, decelerated to the posted speed limit, and tried to look nonchalant. When the police car went by, a sigh of relief and sweaty brows were heard and felt.

It was during those years that I came to the conclusion that exceeding the speed limit was silly. And since then, I’ve done my best to drive the speed limit wherever I go. In my teen years, I rationalized this behavior by asking myself why I was giving the police an excuse to pull me over. How much time was I actually saving by driving 45 in a 35 zone? Not a heck of a lot. I also learned that if I drove the speed limit, I almost always had space in front of my car. I like driving with space in front of my car.

Fast forward to a day this week during which Alice and I made a trip to Green Bay for an appointment. We were gone about 13 hours, 3 of which were taken up with the appointment, and the rest either driving, getting gas, or eating a few meals. It was a lot of time in the car. Also, a large percentage of this trip was on 2-lane 55 mph roads. On these roads, thanks to the wonderful technological innovation of GPS, I can tell you I drove consistently at 55 mph.

Even though a car is an inanimate object, you can look at one in your rear view mirror, and tell if it is grumpy. There seemed to be a lot of grumpy cars on this particular trip. They drove very close behind me, and indicated that I was impeding their god-given right to progress down the road faster than I was allowing them to. I was passed often. The cars that went past me did not seem at all pleased with my driving skills.

The thing I worry about most is some folks take unnecessary chances to pass, necessitating their cutting in front of me closer than they should, and/or coming too close to the oncoming traffic.

My challenge to those of you that like to exceed the posted speed limit is: run a calculation to determine how much time you save by exceeding the speed limit, and give some thought to how you spend the time you saved. Is it worth it? Is it worth the worry that you could get pulled over and ticketed? That the amount of time you have to react to a deer running out or some other hazard is less the faster you go? I decided long ago the advantages did not outweigh the disadvantages. How about you?

2 Responses to “Speed Limit”

  1. Dean Woodbeck says:

    I drive 62 mph in the UP, but I try not to tailgate my slower brethren. I did get stopped a couple of years ago by Newberry. The cop told me I was going a little fast, but said right up front he wasn’t going to give me a ticket. Then he started talking to me about where I’d be riding (I had my bike on the rack on the back of the car). We chatted for a few minutes about places we ride, then he sent me on my way.

  2. Ted says:

    Thanks for not tailgating your slower brethren 🙂

Leave a Reply