Thursday, October 21, 2010

You're not fooling anyone

"In an effort to ease traffic and keep drivers safe, Gov. Bob McDonnell will be increasing the speed limit across Virginia highways by the end of the year."
Uh-huh. Sure. It's all about safety, just like speed limits in general are all about safety.

It's well known to anyone who had driven on an interstate highway in Virginia that the flow of traffic towards the left hand lane is moving at 79 mph, if it's not completely gridlocked from all the out of state yahoos that have moved here from bumfuck New Jersey to escape that insanity.

The reason that traffic moves at 79 mph is because -- at least it used to be -- that anything over 80 mph landed you a big fat reckless driving ticket with big fat fines. Virginians know that 79 mph makes you safe from all the state, county, local Revenue generators - identified by their Crown Vics with light bar on the roof, or blacked out Charger sitting conspicuously in the crossovers in between the highway - because Johny Law isn't going to waste his time and risk getting run over on the side of the road over a $65 ticket.

Let me spell this out for those who think speed limits keep you safe: speed limits have nothing at all to do with public safety, and everything to do with courts operating in commerce with the gentle population.

Lots of research on my part went into this in my youth as I was constantly solicited by these Revenue generators for my hard earned FRNs over my callous disregard for the recommended speed limit. Take away the speed limit signs on Rt. 62whogivesashit and sit back and watch absolutely nothing happen. Why is this? Let's look at this scenario: You are on your way to work, but first have to drop off your two beautiful children sitting in the plastic car seats behind you at the day care center, and you're running a little bit late. It appears that there is no posted speed limit on this road. Man that's awesome! Should you take advantage of this obvious flaw of someone not telling you exactly how fast you can operate this powerful and heavy piece of machinery, and just punch it and go as fast as you can?

The answer is: of course not, because you are a sane individual who has driven a car for years and know by feel just how fast you should be going. Do you really need a sign to tell you this? I once read a book explaining that roadways are audited every five or so years for the safe speed by taking the total average speed of cars over a period of time, and then lowering it a tad. Thinking about that, what help would it be to the courts if everyone moseyed along at a safe speed which also just happened to be the lawful speed allowed? There wouldn't be commerce!

The book (I don't recall the title) made a compelling case about how absent posted speed limits, the vast majority of drivers would not swerve out of control all over the road in total, blissful, speedy abandon, but would instead drive along in what they perceive as a safe speed. The one's who have total disregard for their gift of life will of course drive like maniacs, but big ass signs will not remedy this. This is of course not much different than laws against shooting people in general anger; my point being that the vast majority of Americans don't need some screed scribbled down in a book in some court house to tell them not to kill people for the hell of it. They just don't do it as it's not right.

So call me unflattered over the speed limit getting raised by a whopping five miles per hour. If Governor McDonnell really wanted to make a difference in the lives of Virginians, and not just a half-assed perception of one, he would bar Virginia State Troopers from stacking up two fucking cruisers per mile on I-95 for the sole purpose of siphoning the sweat equity of my people.
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