August 19, 2008
Reading through my political blog list (though not commenting on them much) the issue of the double-nickel speed limit has been raised as a means of saving gas. I’m not a big fan of having to force people to drive slower, especially since I doubt the safety of our highways would be increased by slowing people down. The reason I say this is because there are too many folks on the road who are impatient, selfish, aggressive, and don’t respect the rules anyway.
Remember: if someone can get away with bending the rules a little bit, they will. In Maryland it’s a ticket offense to drive ten MPH over the speed limit, so you have people burning just a little more and going 70 on a 65, 60 on a 55, just to save ten seconds a mile to get to where they’re going. (Personally I draw the slow-drive line at 45, which is the sweet spot for my car and I can roll along at 1500RPM. Sadly they put stoplights on streets that slow.)
I understand, folks. Your time is valuable. In fact it is so valuable that the 5 minutes you save for every hour you drive is worth the ill will you produce on the road weaving in and out of traffic, edging people out from merge lanes, and riding someone’s rear bumper, right? Well, not everyone’s as self-important as you. People have told me that us slowpokes doing the speed limit on the right lane are a danger on the road because we force the impatient ones to have to switch lanes. I don’t think I even have to justify that with a rebuttal. I just want it to hang in the air for a second so it can sink in. In fact, let me place it in its own paragraph, with complete emphasis.
People have told me that us slowpokes doing the speed limit on the right lane are a danger on the road because we force the impatient ones to have to switch lanes.
Seriously, who is the greater danger on the road? Might I make a suggestion instead? Chill the hell out. Roll your window down in great weather, feel the wind in your face, take it easy, let the workday blow away with every second you stick your hand out the window and feel the breeze through your fingers. You can’t change the way people drive, but you can certainly change the way you react to them. It took a while, and I admit to being hypercritical (and no, I don’t mean hypocritical in this context) at times and grumbling under my breath, but I don’t let that affect the way I drive. Despite that personal quirk, this change of attitude helps a lot to prep me for my gym time after work. I am refreshed despite fifty miles of driving in rush hour traffic. And all this without the gubmint reducing my speed limit.