EB: Giving ’em the business!

Brain dumps from the original Bonehead.

Speeding Ticket.

Ever hop in your car to go for a drive and come across someone that pushed the wrong damn button?  Someone to make you wish a cop would just jump out of the bushes and pull them over?  I saw one on my way home from work last night: three lanes wide on the Florida Turnpike and here comes Pokey doing 50mph in the center lane…

Yup.  This one’s going to get ugly.

There’s a couple of different ways to look at this thing: on one hand he’s under the speed limit so he’s obeying the law and therefore all is well; on the other hand he’s basically blocking the center lane while the flow of traffic literally blows by him on both sides at 75mph!  Although Pokey wasn’t speeding he was easily the most dangerous person on that highway.

Let’s define Speed as a parameter – it’s simply an undefined measurement like Height or Size, it can be defined either in relative or absolute terms.  For example, many people I meet refer to me as a big guy but standing in an NFL or NBA locker room I’d surely be considered small.  It’s relative, and speed is the same way.  That which would be considered fast on the street is slow on the highway, and what’s fast on the highway could get you killed on a racetrack.  The terms fast and slow, therefore, can be defined as a combination of what is appropriate for your location and what you’ve been acclimated to.

The term “speeding”, as we’ve come to know it, refers to breaking the law by driving faster than 55mph – the maximum permitted speed as ordered by Congress back in 1974 in response to dramatic energy concerns.  Despite these energy concerns having come and gone the general public still uses this rate as the watermark for how fast they can drive safely – but one thing has nothing, and never had anything, to do with the other! 

If speed alone was a singularly dangerous element then how could Richard Petty, who made his living by driving as fast as possible at every available opportunity, how could he possibly have survived his profession and retired???  There’d be no such thing as a retired race driver because they’d all die in horrific wrecks. 

The danger comes from contrast.  The same way I’d stand out at 5’10 and 225lbs in an NBA locker room (“hey! who let the little guy in?”), a driver doing 35mph on the highway and 70mph on the street would also stand out.  If safety is really your concern then your goal as a motorist should be to fit in, not to stand out by obeying an obsolete 30-year-old rule.  Take a gentle stroll during rush hour amidst commuters running for a train and you’ll see exactly what I mean; slow and safe are not synonyms.

 -E

February 9, 2006 - Posted by | Driving

3 Comments »

  1. You really ‘hit home’ with this one. I really can’t stand the ‘LLDs’ on the highway…….stands for ‘Left Lane D*&%s’….driving 30, 40, 50mph in the fast lane. I REALLY HATE THAT! I don’t really agree that a person should try and ‘fit in’ as you state (I always love to stand out!), but damn….don’t drive in the fast lane if you are going to drive slowly!!!! Seems like common sense to me. Gee whiz!

    Still rantin’ and ravin’,
    (and still missin’ ya!)
    Poca

    Comment by Poca | February 9, 2006 | Reply

  2. Well let me start off with saying I alway enjoy reading your thoughs. If everyone went with the flow of traffic it would make it alot easier on the drivers on the highway( provided that every car on the highway belong there in the first place!) In states like FL where your car dont need to be inspected that is scary.
    Lets say I have a car that is legal to be on the road but isn’t the best car in the world and for whatever reason the car breaks down on me on the state highway. I would be praying that I’m not doing 65 0r 70 on the highway cause the crash is going to be fucked up! where if i was ONLY doing 55mph although I will still get fucked up but I’m sure it won’t be as bad, and that why I think it is not always wise to keep up with the flow of traffic.
    The funny thing about me writing this right here is that I drive wreckless myself, but when your from the northeast states we learn how to be agressive drivers and still follow the rules of the road!

    Comment by Darcey Omeus aka. Golden Rod | February 10, 2006 | Reply

  3. Too bad you didn’t have a paint gun 🙂

    Comment by Nikki | February 11, 2006 | Reply


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