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March 6th, 2003

Been Caught Speeding

A number of years ago, when the national speed limit was repealed and states could set their own limits, I think the enthusiast drivers of the nation breathed a huge sigh of relief. “Finally,” they collectively sighed (yes, they spoke while sighing), “We can hit our cars’ limiters!”

But even with the speed limit, the good ol’ 55, people sped all the time. Why, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pingers were amongst the speeders. It’s nothing to be proud of, necessarily. Unless you’re driving a Metro doing 130. But let’s throw in the usual acknowledgement that we either learned our lessons and/or got a ticket anyway.

That said, I did 117 in a 95 Neon. The thing was shaking like you wouldn’t believe.

Posted in Cars

FROM: Matt
DATE: Thursday March 6, 2003 -- 9:12:19 am
They need to raise the highway speed limits nationwide. It's crazy to be going less than 65 or 70 on I95. I love the midwest for the fact alone that you can drive fast.



FROM: Ryan
DATE: Thursday March 6, 2003 -- 9:18:46 am
I appreciate that you reminded me of my own stupid speeding experience. :)

I was in a friend's car (his father's luxury vehicle) in high school and he took it down a straightaway road and got it up to over 100. I spit out the window to see what would happen and left a big streak of saliva on his back window.



FROM: Greg
DATE: Thursday March 6, 2003 -- 9:48:28 am
For fear of hilbillies shooting at me and an unnamed passenger, I got my Dodge Avenger up to 130 in Kentucky. It was about 3 a.m. and there was nobody out. Now that I think about, if I was caught going that fast, Kentucky law would have given me the chair!

Whatever the speed limit is, let's have both the truck and car speed limits the same. It makes no sense to have two speed limits on the same highway.



FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday March 6, 2003 -- 10:48:40 am
Greg, don't you think it takes trucks longer to brake in an emergency? It's harder to bring that massive vehicle to a stop if say, a cow runs out on the road or the car in front of them suddenly stops for an emergency.



FROM: Monica
DATE: Thursday March 6, 2003 -- 11:29:59 am
I used to take my grey '87 Honda civic out on route 3, and regularly got up to 95 (beyond that the shaking scared me). And on I-95 I'd usually go about 80. No-one suspects the little grey cars!! :-D



FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday March 6, 2003 -- 11:59:48 am
I'm usually happy just to be moving forward on I-95 or RT 3! However, in my youth, I had a summer job with Budget Rent a Car at Dulles, back before anybody used Dulles and the inside portion of the toll road was probably the least used highway in America. We used to drag race the rentals at 1 AM when business was slow - Cadallac vs Towncar, etc. I had a Towncar up to 120 and it felt no different than going 55. That was a well engineered vehicle.



FROM: Greg
DATE: Thursday March 6, 2003 -- 2:31:22 pm
jk - True, it does take trucks longer to stop. I just see the problem of a pile-up of traffic behind trucks trying to pass eachother at these slower speeds thus causing car drivers to become impatient and trying to cut in front of other drivers, it gets to be a mess some times. So if we all had the same speed limits, we wouldn't have to pass trucks as often. I don't know about you but I hate having to pass trucks in the rain when they have all that mist spraying up from their tires.



FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday March 6, 2003 -- 4:47:03 pm
I'd be really afraid of getting near a truck doing 75. What if it has to stop or swerve over? Say, to avoid a reckless driver cutting the truck off? That would be a problem.

In theory I like the "cars and trucks have the same speed limit" idea, but given the enormous weight difference between the two, I don't think it's so hot.

Next!



FROM: jk
DATE: Thursday March 6, 2003 -- 5:23:31 pm
There have been some deadly accidents in this area involving 18-wheelers. (Running red lights, driving too fast through construction zones; I always look at intersections, even when the light has turned green, to make sure I'm not about to be flattened by a truck.)

I once had to rent a Neon when I was away on business and when I drove faster than 50, it sounded like a lawn mower. Horrible horrible horrible car. How can American car manufacturers not be embarrassed by the junk they turn out?

Speaking of I-95, when I lived in MD, I marvelled that at 70 mph, I was in the sloooooow lane! (That was back when the law was still 55.)



FROM: Marcus Mackey [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday March 7, 2003 -- 4:31:34 am
Paul... 117 in a Neon? Try 117 in a Chevy Corsica with a 130 hp cast iron 2.8 V6 engine (and 13" tires) and a speed limiter that stops it at 110. ;-) Can we say fun with gravity (downhill)... :-D

jk:

You should see I-294 (Chicago) during rush hour... bumper to bumper at 70-90 mph. I could probably run NASCAR, CART, or IRL with my drafting/slip-streaming experience. ;) Most every Interstate/Expressway/Tollway we have people do seemingly at least 20-30 over at any given time.

Then again, I-55 is 55 mph. and if you're doing 70-80 you still are probably getting passed. The crazy part is... I used to live in Columbus, OH while going to The Ohio State University and I can tell you... if you did 5 over there you were passing people. I can also tell you that if you were doing 5 over you might well get clobbered by a Buckeye State Trooper. They are pretty heavy-handed out there...



FROM: jk
DATE: Friday March 7, 2003 -- 1:49:45 pm
Oh yeah, those cops in Ohio are notorious!!!!!!! Seriously. When I was in East Germany (similar to Ohio) in 1985, as you left the DDR and approached freedom, there was a sudden speed trap to catch those lucky Westerners and get some good D-Marks into the pockets of the corrupt East one last time. The trap consisted of small speed limit signs, set up literally on the ground, quickly descending in speed with a nice Ossie cop at the last sign. Fortunately we saw it as we were super-aware of everything near the border. (OK we were scared, I admit it) So we did not get caught.

Last summer we were pulled over in the former East Germany for having our fog lights on at the wrong time! Don't use those lights if it's not truly foggy. I would bet you $10000 that the guy who pulled us over was an old, bitter border guard. We did not get fined because we confused the heck out of him. Heh heh heh.



FROM: IanC
DATE: Thursday March 13, 2003 -- 7:26:51 am
Here in the UK the national limit for multi-lane roads is 70mph. There is actually some pressure for that to be increased and there is an unofficial policy that in good weather the law won't touch you at under 80... On the motorways (mainly 3 lane blacktops in each direction), most seem to roll along at 80-85 with no problems.
One thing I did see in Europe that I like the look of is that on some dual-carriageways they do not allow trucks to overtake during busy hours. This keeps them flowing in the slowest lane at about 60, whils the loons in the BMW's fly by at 90+.
We're having the whole debate about whether 'speed kills' over here at the moment... The scare mongers say that what kills is high speed. I think the truth is that what really causes the problems is inappropriate speed. Around a school at certain times it is appropriate to drop to 15-20 mph or less even if the limit is 30, yet on a deserted blacktop with good visability it may be safe to doo 100 or even more...
The only problem with this theory is that you have to trust the average jerk behind the wheel of 2 tons of metal to drive responsibly.



FROM: I.R.
DATE: Wednesday March 17, 2004 -- 2:14:35 am
Are you people idiots! In Illinois, the Speed Limit is 65 (trucks -over 4 tons: 55) and within 30 to 40 miles from downtown Chicago, the Speed Limit remains 55, I hope Illinois State Police start pulling people over escpecially on the tollways.



FROM: I.R.
DATE: Wednesday March 17, 2004 -- 2:18:31 am
Are you people morons? In the US, Speed Limits are posted no higher than 75, therefore there is nowhere in the United States where you can legally drive over 75 m.p.h., and that's west of the Mississippi, east of the Mississippi River, it's no higher than 70 m.p.h. and in the northeast, interstate speed limits are posted no higher than 65 m.p.h. (with the exception of Michigan and West Virginia, 70 mph as of early 1996)



FROM: Joseph
DATE: Wednesday March 17, 2004 -- 3:30:52 pm
I never speed because I hate getting tickets, or even pulled over (mostly because I don't want the insurance rate increase). However, just when I thought I was safe, I just got pulled over for blasting a red light--on my BICYCLE. 5:30 am during my usual morning fitness ride--no one else on the road. He came after me with the lights blasting and twirling, got in front of me and edged me over to the curb like I just robbed a bank. Then he yelled at me a lot but didn't give me a ticket. I'm not sure he has the authority to issue a ticket to a bicycle under the local ordinance, but I wasn't going to test him with some wiseass comments. They can always hit you with a disorderly and leave you to sweat in front of a judge. Must have been a slow morning for traffic work.



FROM: Bill
DATE: Sunday March 6, 2005 -- 10:38:05 pm
"I hope Illinois State Police start pulling people over escpecially on the tollways."

Sounds like you're the only idiot around here. Or you're one of those idiots working for the Illinois state police.



FROM: acorn
DATE: Monday March 6, 2006 -- 4:47:49 am
I really don't understand the mindset that speed limits do anything other than make law abiding drivers lawbreakers . Low limts don't make any road safer .

Drivers drive at any given roads design speed no faster or slower . The posted limit has nothing to do with average speed that drivers on any givven road . 30 + years of data proves this . On freeways in the US the design speed is 75 or 80 mph . And posting anything lower than that is just a waste of time and a money maker for governments .

And something that states that have posted roads to their design speed have gotten the benifit of drivers that actually obey all limits in their states . And the real benisit to safety of drivers that actually slow down in reduced speed zones based on safety reasons like sharp curves or steep hills .

In politically low posted limit states with the 55 & the 65 mph max posted on roads designed for 75 to 80 mph , all limits are ignored . This one fact makes all roads in these states are more dangerous , especially on roads that the lower limits are based on engineering issues in the lower posted sections .



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