So much for the speed limit
August 14, 2008
Recently I wrote a letter wondering why we break speeding and traffic laws while we comply with most other societal rules. I did have a few people point out that we have way too many jaywalkers, people still litter by discarding their cigarette butts wherever convenient, and the outrageous number of Texas plates in town makes one wonder how much cheaper it could be in Texas to register a vehicle rather than follow the law and register the car here.
But it seems the real reason we become idiots in our cars is because we can.
Yesterday I was the victim of a road-rage incident. I was terrified and called 911. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office pulled the older man over. I called back this morning to ask what he had been charged with. The angry driver had admitted he was tailgating, that he flashed his lights at me and that he cut me off (I had to slam on my brakes to avoid being hit by his trailer). The deputy also told me he was going 63 mph when they pulled him over and that they knew him as he was a habitual offender. So what exactly did they charge him with? Absolutely nothing. Oh but don’t worry, deputy Adam Crider assured me he gave him a “stern warning.” Really.
I told deputy Crider that I was an idiot for obeying the speed limit because I was causing havoc on the highway for those who want to drive fast and recklessly. He said I wasn’t, but then informed me that he doesn’t pull anyone over on 82 unless they’re going over 70 mph, but maybe another deputy would at 65. I doubt it. If a habitual offender who confesses to his rage and recklessness can’t get a ticket, then I’m betting I won’t either.
And the sheriff’s office isn’t alone. I was driving back to work midday last week and hit Snowmass Canyon right when a state trooper did. “This will be nice,” I thought. No jockeying for position, fast drivers zipping in and about and we’ll all just cruise along behind this guy. HA. You guessed it. By the time I got to the end of the canyon the trooper and his race team were not even in sight.
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There is no way I could ever be callous or vicious enough to purposely endanger another person’s well-being, but I’ll be damned if I ever drive the speed limit in this valley again. I have been a complete fool thinking that it mattered, and I feel utterly ridiculous even trying. It’s too big for me, no one really cares, and it is absolutely unsafe to drive the limit. And hey, you should step on it too. You’re in my way and I’m gonna get there 38 seconds faster now.