The Absurdity of Speed Limit Laws
Life in the Far Left Lane
by Eric Peters
I think the Fluoride in the water has done its thing…
Almost every time I go out, I come up on a car that’s doing either just barely the limit and often several MPH below it. The typical offender also likes to slow down and speed up for no apparent reason; the concept of maintaining smooth pace escapes them. They’ll wander across the double yellow – and not just in the curves. Then jerk the wheel to get the car back in line.
The main road through my county in rural Virginia is US 221. This is a broad, two-lane secondary highway with gentle curves and many long, straight sections that sometimes run for as much as a mile or more. It is posted 55 mph. Most of the traffic is doing 60-something.
Then you roll up on a car – not infrequently a chrome-covered SUV-o-saurus with a 300-plus hp V-8 – gimping along at 50-54 mph.
Slowing for the curves.
I wouldn’t mind these people so much if they’d just pull off and let the faster-moving traffic get by. But they just keep on going – slowly – indifferent to the line of cars stacking up behind them.
And it seems to me the problem is getting worse. Maybe it’s because there are more really old people on the road. America is graying; her reflexes and vision declining. Or maybe it’s because the up and coming generations have been reared in an environment of subservience, if not outright worship of “the law” as a moral absolute, never to be questioned.
My generation (Generation X) it was different. We grew up suspicious of “the law” and ignored it when it seemed stupid. The old 55 mph maximum highway speed limit, for example. That was my reality in high school and college during the 1980s. “Drive 55” was obviously a scam. We could remember, as kids in the early ’70s, when the limit was 70–75 mph. At the stroke of a politician’s pen, it became illegal “speeding” to drive at the exact same speeds that used to be legal. The claim made at the time was that the lower speed limit was enacted to “save gas” – yet we saw that people were not given tickets for resource depletion. They were given tickets for speeding – and labeled as “unsafe drivers” by the DMV and their insurance companies. For no good – fair – reason.