Emotion About Motion

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The fixation on speed – and only speed – as the Number One Road Safety Issue is emblematic of the emoting that drives policy in this country.hysteria 1

It’s of a piece with the emoting about guns – “assault rifles” in particular. Hysterias erupting from a wellspring of ignorance.

An inept/careless driver operating at 40 MPH can be a greater hazard to himself and others than a skilled and attentive driver operating at twice that speed. Even on the same road. Just as a .22 fired from a revolver can kill you just as dead as a 7.62×39 fired from an “assault rifle.” Indeed, if handled carelessly, a .22 revolver can be infinitely more dangerous than the “assault rifle.”

But emotions target the “assault rife.” Not careless handling.

Just as emotions roil over “speeders.” Not careless driving.

Speed laws are based (leaving aside the issue of revenue for the moment) on the lowest common denominator. A cop once told me so, openly. It was said in the context of a question raised about what to do when one finds oneself stuck behind a hyper-cautious senior driver operating significantly below not just the speed limit but the flow of traffic. As in, 25 in a 40. The cop stated: “We’ll all be old one day” and that we should be patient – and not attempt to pass. He also said he’d ticket anyone he witnessed doing so, if they exceeded the posted speed limit (even for a brief moment) while doing so – or if they did so over the double yellow, even if they only transgressed it for a few seconds (just long enough to pass the codger) and even if the opposing lane of traffic was completely free of oncoming traffic.nonsense 1

The law accommodates the least common denominator – and punishes anyone who rises above it and dares to assert it.

Punishment no longer correlates to harm done – or even plausibly threatened. It is enough merely to fail to abide by whatever collectivized, least-common-denominator edict is promulgated by the authorities. To disobey “the law.” That is all that matters.

Most people accept this as reasonable and equitable – which only demonstrates that they have no conception of either.

They’ll say to a cop who pulled them over: “I know I was speeding, officer…” as their preface to some hopefully exculpatory excuse that will soften the cop’s heart and result in him giving them a “break.” But their language reveals they have already accepted their guilt.

They almost never ask: “What harm have I caused?” Because that would be a challenge. Instead, they supplicate – which is a polite way of saying, they beg for mercy.

In court, it’s pointless – as a matter of law – to argue that one’s driving was faultless. It would not matter even if you got the cop to so testify, openly. Because your driving capabilities are not at issue. The only thing that’s on the table is: Were you in fact driving “x” MPH faster than the law says you may?police state pic

This is exactly the same dynamic playing out as regards “gun control.” As in the case of the man in NY ( a “troop,” no less – who ostensibly fought for “our freedoms”) who found himself charged with multiple felonies and facing years in prison based solely on his possession of “high capacity” ammunition magazine arbitrarily forbidden by the bureaucrats. It is exactly of a piece with being “pulled over” for the non-crime of “speeding” – though of course the consequences in the case of the “speeder” are (usually) not as severe.

This man hadn’t harmed anyone – much less shot anyone. The thug scrum that kidnapped (what the state dishonestly calls “arresting”) him and put him in a cage – and which intends to see to it that he’s kept in a cage for years – didn’t even have to assert a fish story about the man’s “dangerous” conduct. Mere possession of proscribed items is itself sufficient to establish legal guilt. Not actions – not even claims about “intent.”

It has gotten that bad.

Just as it’s enough to be adjudicated a “dangerous” driver simply for exceeding a given (by the state, at its whim) velocity. It is not necessary to make any claim about the person’s driving being dangerous – other than that implied by his exceeding “x” velocity, which – ipso facto – is taken as the legal equivalent of having caused harm. It’s circular – a vortex of unreason that will flush everything down the drain, eventually.

And none of this will change until we get people back to thinking in terms of individuals – of individual actions and individual responsibilities. The fact that Aunt Ethel fears driving faster than 40 doesn’t mean her grandson can’t handle his car competently at 70 – and ought not to be punished for doing so. Unless he’s actually caused someone else harm by so doing.

And Joe shouldn’t have to worry about being sent to prison for 20 years because he’s been “caught” in possession of some item – a “high capacity” magazine or an “assault rifle” – that’s similar to the item(s) used by someone else to commit harm with them and so made illegal for anyone else to possess.grope 1

As a reformed minarchist conservative, one of the last intellectual obstacles I overcame was coming to accept that any use of force prior to actual harm done is always and necessarily illegitimate – and the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent. What begins as “reasonable” restrictions or prior restraint soon become anything but reasonable. And why? Because if you cannot establish definitively that an actual harm has been done – then you have opened the door to the idea of punishing people for things not actually done. Victimless “crimes.”

The essence of tyranny.

And before you know it, here we are – having to assume the “I surrender” pose and accept our crotches being handled by blue shirted goons in the name of “safety” – and all the rest of it.

I agree with Thomas Jefferson, who once wrote: “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”


Perhaps, one day, Americans will rediscover their senses.

Throw it in the Woods?  


  1. Guns that have the capacity for high capacity magazines have not been banned, only the magazines that can hold more than 7 rounds that can be used in said guns.

    What complete and utter horse crap.

    Even the control aspect is inconsistent with the politicians. It is not illegal to have a car that can achieve a speed of 200 mph, it is merely illegal to take the car to that capacity. So why is it not legal to own a gun that can take a 15 round mag and simply load it with 7 rounds instead of 15? Isn’t that an intellectual equivalent of having a car that can do 200 and only drive 70?

    Uh oh. I may have given the control-freak pols an idea. Ban any and all cars that can exceed 70 mph. Put a governor on all vehicles that will prevent any vehicle from exceeding 70 mph.

    • “Uh oh. I may have given the control-freak pols an idea. Ban any and all cars that can exceed 70 mph. Put a governor on all vehicles that will prevent any vehicle from exceeding 70 mph.”

      Hahahaaa.. Sorry Brevard, THAT won’t happen – EVER! Speeding fines are exactly the reason we still have arbitrary “limits” and cars able to exceed them. In fact, ANY fine is the very reason we have more and more “laws” written every year that are capable of being broken or infringed, regardless if there’s a victim or not. Follow the money.

  2. As I used to hear in the Marine Corps, nothing will change till someone loses an eye. And a black eye will have to be given to the statists. They will NEVER stop regulating and enforcing, and hence commuting acts of force and violence on us until we it back hard enough to make them stop.

    • “nothing will change till someone loses an eye”

      I think a lot will change when they stop getting paid. Looks like we’re about at that point now, with local governments starting to get the bills for the speed trap chase cars and OT pay for ticket writing.

      The county where I live hired half dozen young tattooed skinheads and bought new Chargers for them to speed trap with. Now they’re further in the hole than they were before they decided to ticket everybody in the county.

      The ticketing push was a genius idea to bail them out once the retiree to active employee ratio hit 7 to 1. The bureaucrats went on a spending binge for the cars and new deputies.. Geniuses, all of them. They’re going to make such a mess that there won’t be a county government pretty soon.

      I love it.

  3. Hi Eric et al,

    Your headline says it all….”Emotion about {insert your favorite topic here}” drives legislation here in the U.S. and around the world. Logic and rationality appear rarely in such discussions. What the purveyors of such emotionally driven issues fail to realize is how they are emulating the fundamentalist thumping of various religious cults (Christianity, Islam, Judaism…take your pick). The concept of “it’s for your own good” amounts to a hallmark of supporters of tyranny. One further irony is how a typical leftist, as intolerant and bigoted as any other out there, often embraces positions without a shred of evidence while reviling anybody who has the audacity to even look at the issue critically. Speed limits are one such issue….climate change is another. Typical “conservatives” are even worse. BTW, there’s an interesting article on LRC by Walter Block on what he considers to be the classes of libertarians framed in the context of a debate with some National Post (Canada’s analog to the WSJ) columnist named George Jonas. OK, back to your discussion….

  4. i used to think that enforcing speed limit laws was a mechanism for raising revenue.

    but, now i know that cannot be the answer.

    you have to wonder why driving while intoxicated remains a violation whereas driving while cellphoning/texting is not a violation.

    these cellphonists are much more dangerous. yet, no jurisdiction seems to render them a violation.

    isn’t that strange. can you imagine an easier bust than driving while cellphoning? set a fine of $1,000 and i can assure that such a violation would enrich all jurisdictional coffers – for a while. then, without a doubt, drivers would cease driving while under the influence of cell phones.

    • Some states have in fact rendered “cellphoning/texting while driving” illegal. It’s also a widely flouted law. But your point is well taken. Cellphonidiots and textards are indeed more ubiquitous, annoying, and probably more dangerous than drunk drivers.

      • “Cellphone idiots and textards are indeed more ubiquitous, annoying, and probably more dangerous than drunk drivers.”

        I have never been threatened with harm by a drunk driver. But I was almost killed once – while on my bike – by an asshole on her sail fawn.

  5. Speed limit vs. congestion.
    Doesn’t it make sense that the faster we (we’re allowed to) drive, the shorter time we’ll be on the highway.
    OK, if you allow a higher speed, won’t that lead to fewer car/highway hours and reduce congestion?
    Of course it will. So why is this never discussed? (anywhere).

    • That’s because you haven’t been exposed to my fluid dynamics and and heat transfer approach to traffic! 🙂

      I’ve discussed it many times, including here. It’s one of those ideas I have that I get ridiculed for elsewhere and only by Clover here.

      Simply put there is qin the rate of vehicles entering the roadway and qout the rate of the vehicles exiting the roadway. So long as qout>=qin there isn’t congestion. Faster speeds increase qout, the number of drivers reaching their exit/destination per unit time.

      When qin exceeds qout vehicles build up in the system as a storage term. Once the storage of the system is filled, it’s bumper to bumper congestion.

      Simple ain’t it? 🙂

  6. This is a little off topic but falls in the general direction. Last week a friend of mine went in to get his usual checkup and to get his prescriptions refilled. He needs a blood thinner and muscle relaxers. He had been using less of the muscle relaxers and when they asked why he honestly told them it was because he was now using legal medical marijuana and he showed them his card. Well that is when the shit hit the fan. His doctor who receives money from the FEDs informed him that he could no longer prescribe him anything because of his use of medical marijuana. It seems the tax feeders refuse to give back money to clinics if they treat anyone who is using MMJ.

    So what was my friends mistake? He was honest, that was his mistake. He is dealing with a criminal enterprise and assumed that he could be honest with them.

    It’s much the same with cops, there is no point in being honest with them. They openly admit they will use it against you. They can and will twist anything and everything you ever say to them against you. So if you get pulled over for speeding just nod and hand them your papers like a good comrade and be on your way. Give them their revenue so they can go on to mess with the next smuck in line. Or if you have the time and energy take them to court. It still costs taxpayers a bundle but at least you get them off the street for a while and they will thank you for the overtime.

    It’s all a big scam from top to bottom. It’s only been getting worse as they have to work harder to keep their coffers full.

    • Did he sign the form which states he will do whatever the doctor decides to do? I’m surprised they didn’t send him off to rehab or jail. That’s what I bet the woman who tried to run away with her daughter awhile back did. The mother didn’t want to allow chemo,… only, in order to take the test to determine what the problem was she likely had to sign a form saying she would submit to whatever the doctor decided.

      I guess that form is commonly used, even in general for regular MD’s. How widespread, I don’t know. Do you suppose this will be part of an automatic enrollment when obamacare goes into effect?

      As a cost saving measure wouldn’t such be prudent?

      I read a supposed description of the obamacare plans, they were available in Gold, Silver and Bronze plans (ain’t that something?) the bronze plan is cheapest, at Only $20,000 per year.

      Anyway, your friend might be much better off without those killer doctors, so long as he’s aware of the alternatives available. And there are. But it sounds like he isn’t.

    • I don’t think your friend made a mistake. If my doctor was willing to put my well being second to him getting his welfare check from the government, I would want to know.

      • If doctors valued principles there would be no prescription requirement to legally extort money from sufferers who wish to treat their personal suffering without permission.

        Daily treating chronic pain will cost the sufferer $300 annually just to get permission from a de facto agent of the State. Bad law has made licensed physicians frightened agents of the state who are reluctant to give a suffering patient permission to adequately control his pain.

        Withholding the means to relieve personal suffering is morally equivalent to inflicting the suffering. Forcibly inflicting suffering is criminal. America’s Drug War is a Crime Against Humanity that philosophically, and therefore lawfully, validates the Nuremberg Precedent.

        Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

        • If doctors valued principles there would be no prescription requirement to legally extort money from sufferers who wish to treat their personal suffering without permission.

          Prescriptions for medication need to revert back to what they were before the advent of Rockefeller-controlled allopathic carteled medicine: recommendations for a certain drug or course of treatment that patients can freely purchase over-the-counter – NOT “mother may I?” permission slips requiring some government-licensed quack’s “authorization.”

    • Just wait until the full force of Obamacare comes online.

      No corner of our lives will be off limits since anything – everything – we do could conceivably affect our “health” …. and now that “care” is the government’s concern, the inevitable is going to happen.

      Seriously. Get fit. Get off meds. Do whatever you possibly can so that you can shun doctors until it is possible to deal with a government on a fee for service basis, just you and him and no “Uncle” a party to the interaction.

      • Do whatever you possibly can so that you can shun doctors until it is possible to deal with a government on a fee for service basis

        Eric, did you mean to say “doctor” here rather than government? Just checkin’.

  7. Growing up I wanted to “do the right things” and make the most of my life and I thought I was. Turns out I was doing the wrong things (paying taxes, abiding by abusive laws, counting on the police to protect me etc…) and I was only making as much of my life as the gov’t gave me permission to.

    It’s about time I really did make the most of my life which requires a lifestyle change.

    Get busy living or get busy being a slave.

  8. Just remember, they don’t have to follow the laws. As I posted in another story, Queen Michelle and the court Jester were in town. They were permitted to run non-stop down highway 82 at whatever speed they wanted. If you or I tried that it’d be a 3 county, 4 city high-speed chase that might end up with someone getting a gunshot to the head.

    The thing that continues to give me hope through all of this madness, is this picture:


    It tells me they are afraid… very afraid. I really have no idea what they are afraid of, since the vast majority of us just want to get through the day. Do 2 people really need a 16 car escort (along with rolling road closures and local cops posted every mile or so)? How can they NOT be out of touch with the rest of the world when they barricade themselves in like that?

    • All we need to do is dress up like important politicians and we can get a police escort too, or take money out of a bank or committ any other crime we want.

      • All we need to do is dress up like important politicians

        Even on my darkest day, I can’t ever see my self-respect sinking to such a low that I’d even consider dressing like that (or in a blue swine suit). I’d dress in pink drag first.

  9. Taxfeeders and their revenue scams full speed ahead (pun intended).

    Since speeding is so dangerous, I propose putting a device in each and every cop car that automatically deducts pay from each cop when he speeds and automatically takes his license at the same time.

    If it’s speed that kills then cops are the most dangerous people on the road.

    • To put a serious spin on your suggestion, I’ve long advocated that cop car video dashcams be taken away from the control of the cops themselves and entrusted to a “neutral” third party. This would prevent the all-too-common “mysterious disappearances” of dashcam footage in court cases where innocent drivers attempt to subpoena video evidence that would be exculpatory.

  10. Government has no right to tell us what speed we can drive. It may RECOMMEND a top speed, but it has no business enforcing same. The principle holds in many other areas of life.

    • Hi Steve,

      I’d go further: Government has no rights. Only individual people have rights. Not abstract collectives. When an individual is harmed or injured (including injury to his property) then his rights have been violated. He then has a legitimate claim against whomever caused the injury. But that’s as far as it goes.

      • According to the Declaration of Independence (the document on which the nation was founded) goverments derive their “just” powers from the consent of the governed.
        Note also that I cannot delegate to the gunverment rights which I do not have myself.
        However, as long as they own the roads, they have the “right” to make and enforce laws concerning their use. It is this ownership we must contest. I don’t know about you, but I never consented to it.

      • The speed limit issue would go away if it were just set correctly at the 85th percentile rounded up to the nearest 5mph. The government just doesn’t follow proper best known engineering practices because it has its self interest.

        Government also created the red light running problem to make the need for red light cameras. It threw old methods away that worked and replaced them with new methods that would create violations and required -enforcement-. Dick Army, whatever the creature he is did at least have his minions put the process of the red light camera scam in an easy to follow form with the congressional report he put his name on.

      • We, human beings have the rights. Government has authorities and they get these authorities from we, the people. It really irks me when I read that government has rights. What a crock of hooie. Furthermore, government cannot claim an authority that we the people do not have and have not given it. And, just because we grant government certain authorities does not mean that we have given them up ourselves. I have no rights or authorities to do a shake down yet government believes it has this authority. If we don’t have that authority, then neither does government.

  11. Suggest or Mandate?
    Prior to the 1970′s most of our driving statutes and regulations were written as a SUGGESTION. Ergo the suggested speed limit is… Police officers complained that they were losing court cases to the point that their lobby, the Fraternal Order of Police convinced law makers to remove the word suggest and replace it with mandate. That little move changed the attitude of all regulations. It even changed the name Police to Law Enforcement. There’s a huge difference between policing and enforcing.

  12. Great article, Eric! You might be interested to know that voluntaryist activist Marc Stevens has been successfully fighting the traffic and tax courts using the same principles you’ve highlighted. For example…governments are supposedly created to protect people’s “rights.” So, exactly whose rights have been violated if I fail to have a life jacket in my canoe?

    A few honest answers to a few simple, “Socratic” questions reveal that the thugs pretending to be the state have no voluntary support, have no duty to protect anyone or anything, and do not represent anyone other than themselves. This is why they avoid our questions like the plague!

    • Thanks, Pete!

      And: I agree. The key to de-legitimizing the government – unjust authority in general – is to show people what it’s really all about. Force and violence – typically, exercised against people who have done nothing to anyone; people just going about their business – and minding their own business.

      I see evidence that we’re getting some traction, too. We’re far from the goal – an awake (to liberty) critical mass of people. But we are making progress.

      If I thought it was hopeless, I’d have stopped trying long ago.

      • Step one is becoming aware that the “State” is really just violent people who lie, cheat, steal, and murder, and that most likely, they are real-life sociopaths.

        Step two is peacefully withdrawing consent from these violent thugs.

        There are actually freedom activists out there RIGHT NOW setting amazing examples by refusing to ask the so-called “state” for permission to pursue their happiness and freely interact with others. Unfortunately, the most popular “Libertarians” like Lew Rockwell seem to ignore these freedom activists and their inspirational stories.

        I mentioned Marc Stevens…I think you would really enjoy listening to some of his podcasts, and I think if you would interview him (or vice versa), it would be one of the best and most powerful discussions of 2013.

  13. I approach the speed limit question from a little different angle than you did here.

    Time is an irreplaceable commodity. I can never get it back. Once this moment in time is gone, it is gone.

    So as my life ticks away, moment after moment, gone, never to be returned, I want to use my time as efficiently as possible. If I’m driving from point A to point B, I should have every right to use the least amount of time possible, while respecting the safety of others on the road.

    Speed limits then, are a tax on an irreplaceable commodity, my time. Government telling me that I can not use my time in a manner which most efficiently conserves that irreplaceable commodity.

    • Hi Tom,


      One of the most infuriating qualities of Clovers is their contempt for other people’s time. It’s another way for them to exert control over others – by forcing them to waste their time.

      • “Clovers contempt for other people’s time.” Which is why I’m surprised they don’t all jump on a 5mph national speed limit for every street and hyway.

        Convience must rate higher with them than contemptable things?

        • Which is why I’m surprised they don’t all jump on a 5mph national speed limit for every street and hyway.

          But, you see, Clover values his own time as zealously as you do yours. It everyone else’s time that he’s contemptuous of. This is why your highway speed suggestion wouldn’t fly. Clover would blow a gasket in his underpowered little brainlet if he were forced to swallow the medicine he wants forced down everyone else’s throats.

      • But their time is important.

        They would do their drag-ass routine in front of me when I am bicycling. So, I’d get in the left lane and pass them. They would become murderous. I’ve had many get very angry and two try to run me off the road.

        One of the things our resident troll Clover does is to defend drivers who pull out into traffic and make others brake. It argues that such people should not have to wait for suitable gap. Clover then also argues that others should just have to wait because of drivers who are slow, don’t pay attention, etc and so forth.

  14. Dear Eric,

    Mere possession of proscribed items is itself sufficient to establish legal guilt. Not actions – not even claims about “intent.”

    It has gotten that bad.

    Irrefutable historical evidence, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt, that

    democracy + prior restraint = police state

    The clovers and sheeple prattle on about “potential risks.”

    But what about the actual, not “potential” risk to human life from sanctioning the establishment of a police state???

  15. Back in 1986, when speed radar was just coming out, a local zone that had been 75k’s for years was now dropped to 60. People were suddenly being booked constantly for doing 75, which had been considered perfectly safe and some even lost their livelihoods. This went on for a whole year and eventually, the area was designated 80!

    The cops went away again. This was simply an exercise to justify the “need” for and the “success” rate of new speed radar. Throughout Melbourne we now have roads literally flooded by speed cameras. Greedy gubberments can’t get enough.

    Notably, NONE of these conform to S.10 of our National Measurement Act nor have the required validation number from the National Standards Commission, as they’re being used to gain revenue. None of them can prove they ever saved a life, considering it takes about 10 days for the fine to end up in your letterbox – they expect you to survive to pay the fine!

    Cops here are still pulled into court for “speeding”, but their excuses that “..the weather was clear and traffic light..” usually always get them off.

    When cops ask me if I knew how fast I was going, I cheerfully respond in millimetres per second. They HATE that.. 😉

    Next time I might demand to be charged with dangerous driving instead of a fine and see how far that gets, seeing as they consider anything above an arbitrary limit dangerous. The onus of evidence is on them.

    • Law parasites are criminals. I fear them more than I fear the criminals operating outside the law . . . and “respect” them even less.

      America is virtually ruled by juris doctors, career office holders and juris doctors who are also career office holders. My Internet surfing had convinced me that other countries have smelled the money and followed the disgusting American example.

      Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

    • Olaf, I followed a cop from Rockbank to Melton, where I got off, doing 135 km/hr. My 16 year old son was in the car. This was the night 3 years ago when 5 teens were killed in a Falcon that hit a power pole. I got behind this cop and stayed 5 car lengths away from him as his speed gradually rose from 95 to 135. No flashing lights were operating on his car either. Since then I have followed 2 other cops doing the same trick.

      • I’ve been pulled over for it.

        Sitting at a light to make a left turn. Cop behind me.
        Light turns green I go cop swings around me tight and passes me as if he wants to have the vacuum behind his cruiser pull the door off my car. Fine… let him get several car lengths out and I follow at about halfway between the cops’ speed and the speed limit.

        Cop number two comes out and pulls me over. Gives me the lecture blah blah blah. Says cop #1 was ‘on a call’ without lights. Says I was drafting… by the time cop #2 pulled out I could barely see cop #1’s tail lamps. My papers are run as many cops show up. cops talk amongst themselves and I get a verbal warning out of it.

        However to make his lie believable cop #2 said the call was a bar up the street. I go visit said bar as soon as I am free to go. No cops. No sign of cops. No call of any sort. I wouldn’t have had like four cruisers attending littl’ ol’ me if there was a call and I certainly wasn’t held long enough that cop #1 would have completed the call and the paperwork. At the very least he should have still been the parking lot getting notes and paperwork in order.

        lies lies and more lies.

      • @joeallen

        Back in ’87, rather miffed at having been pulled up and fined for just about everything since I was a P-plater, late one night I seen a bike cop hammer out of a side street down in Kananook (Frankston). I spun me old XB Falcon ’round and followed him at no less than 160k all the way into Dandenong at about 20 car lengths. I was flat to the boards but he was still getting away!

        We eventually stopped at the lights in Dandy where he pulled me aside and gave me a lecturing. Rather purple-faced myself I gave him a dressing down too.

        He let me off, likely because I had me girl in the car, he didn’t have any lights flashing and no good reason for speeding himself. I told him seeya and thanks for the escort 😉

  16. “As a reformed minarchist conservative, one of the last intellectual obstacles I overcame was coming to accept that any use of force prior to actual harm done is always and necessarily illegitimate”.

    It never ceases to amaze me that more people just don’t understand this simple principle – from one reformed minarchist to another.

  17. I think that speed limit laws are 100% about getting money from us. Route 460 is a 4 lane highway through Southside Virginia. Dinwiddie county built a public school that sits 3/4 of a mile off 460. They widened the road and added turn lanes for their sacred yellow school buses, but they still put in a school zone where the speed limit drops to 35 mph for a mile.

    Dinwiddie county donut munchers lurk near there and write tickets. Worse than that, at the Dinwiddie high school complex on another road near there, they have a 25 mph school zone where the flashing yellow is turned on from dusk to dawn on school days.

    It ain’t about safety. Both of those school zones create a hazard when people driving through have to suddenly jump on their brakes to avoid a ticket.

    • Hi Ed,

      460 is in my neck – I know all about it!

      Another is US 220 – aka I-581 until it’s no longer an interstate spur after it passes downtown Roanoke. Still 55. And the speed traps near Rocky Mount/Franklin County are infamous. This road is a rural highway – two broad lanes each direction separated by a median. 70 is perfectly reasonable on most stretches – but is within spitting distance of statutory “reckless” driving (more than 20 MPH faster than the posted limit).

      Virginia is a particularly Cloveritic state when it comes to traffic laws.

      • Yes, I remember driving 220 from Martinsville to Roanoke. It’s a little hillier and twisty than 460 near Petersburg, but both are 4 lanes, divided by wide, wooded medians. 220 could be driven at 70+ safely most of the way on my drive back then.

        In some places on 460, like Prince Edward county around Farmville, 80 mph would be a safe speed. Virginia is indeed cloverish. Maybe that’s because the whole state is controlled by the few counties in the DC suburbs.

        • Virginia is indeed cloverish. Maybe that’s because the whole state is controlled by the few counties in the DC suburbs.

          You nailed it, Ed. I really have to believe that “real” Virginians (i.e., those whose families have been in the state for more than a generation and who live outside of Arlington-Fairfax-Loudoun-Prince William counties) would probably LOVE to see the “D.C. suburbs” (those four counties I mention) secede and form their own state, just to be rid of those arrogant, controlling Clovers. The difference between The Rest of Virginia (i.e., “real” Virginia) and D.C. South is like the difference between night and day (or, to use a more apt metaphor, the difference between good health and the Black Death).

          • I wish that were true!

            I live in Floyd County – not far from the NC border and as “traditional” and “southern” as Virginia gets. Half my county voted for Barry.

          • I know it, liberranter. They all talk like yankees in the DC suburb counties, too. It would be good if Southside could secede and become South Virginia. Petersburg would be our capitol.

            Richmond would still be infested with the invaders, but Richmond has been a lost cause since the ’70s anyway. That’s the 1870s I’m talkin about. 😉

      • I lived, and therefore drove, in Norfolk, VA for ten years. You punks know nothing about idiot drivers.

        Seriously, there are 3 tunnels within the Tidewater area, aka Satan’s bunghole.

        There must be something within the human psyche that causes the average driver, which in its basic form is already incompetent, to slam on their brakes as soon as they get to a tunnel and then drive twenty miles under the 55 speed limit thinking that by driving slow it will somehow prevent the tunnel from collapsing in on them. And that is how the bane of free flowing traffic is made – the accordion effect.

        Norfolk, DC, Atlanta – where idiots make accordions…

        • Ha. I lived in Norfolk, Virginia for seven years! Even went to ODU. Those tunnels are a complete nightmare, still are. I’ll be down in Norfolk next month. I do all my traveling there, to and from, late night. It just ain’t worth it during the day.

        • Braking for a tunnel… no tunnels where I am, but they brake for underpasses instead. Usually just the small old ones. Thankfully I only drive through one of them on a regular basis.

          • One of my “best moments” was back in 1995 when I took a Ford Cobra R – the last of the real ones, with the 351 and Tremec five speed and nothing else (AC delete, no carpet, insulation delete, radio delete) on a banzai run to NYC from DC at around 2 in the morning. I blew through the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel at 130-plus MPH … the reverb of the 351 off the tiled walls was orgasmic!

        • Dear bear,


          A slight reduction in speed is understandable in the event one’s vision is hampered by the sudden reduction in light levels.

          But not the panicky slamming on of brakes, and slowing down to a snail’s pace that some incompetent and timid drivers engage in upon entering a tunnel.

          There is nothing “safe” or “cautious” about that at all. That is extremely dangerous. That vastly increases the risk of being rearended and contributing to a massive chain reaction collision.

          These are probably the same incompetent and timid drivers who come to a complete stop on freeway entrance ramps instead of using them to match their speeds to oncoming vehicles, as they are supposed to.

          • Afternoon, Bevin!

            In my area, Cloverus Virginius will slow to a crawl at the first sign of snow. Not actual snow, even. It is sufficient for their to be rumors of snow. Perhaps sometime later today. They will drop their already crippled speed by another 10 MPH (e.g., 37 in a 55 where it’s reasonable to operate at 70). And god help you if s few flurries should actually be seen.

          • Dear Eric,

            Good evening!

            I lived in the NW D.C. and Silver Springs Maryland during junior and senior high, so I’m familiar with winter driving conditions there. This was in the early 60s. I was in the region in 1963 when JFK was assassinated by the CIA.

            Driving standards must really have deteriorated in the decades since. I don’t remember it being that bad back then. Not that I have any trouble believing what you say. I’m sure it’s exactly as you describe.

            America has changed dramatically, even from when I left LA in the early 90s, let alone from the 60s, and needless to say, even more disastrously since September 11, 2001.

            When I fast forward through my memories, I can’t help feeling a deep sense of loss and sadness.

            With all its flaws, back then America was still a country one could be proud of. I was not even a US citizen back then, yet I was grateful for America’s existence, for the promise it held out to the world.

            Back then one could sing the lyrics “o’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave” with a perfectly straight face.

            Back then one could attend the truly spectacular fireworks display at the Washington Monument, and feel a genuine sense of pride and admiration.

            No more.

            How very, very sad.

          • “These are probably the same incompetent and timid drivers who come to a complete stop on freeway entrance ramps instead of using them to match their speeds to oncoming vehicles, as they are supposed to.”

            Ahhhhh, so they have those fu%^wits there also. Here I just thought only Victorian drivers in Australia engage in this behavior, which I call the speed camera effect. I just floor my accelerator and pass the idiots on the right as quick as my car allows me. You should see what this slow effect does to the traffic already on the freeway.

      • Damn…Every time I get the feeling I’d like to move back home I read something like this.

        I still believe I could find a trailer in a holler somewhere and just not come out except when absolutely necessary.


        • Yeah – that’s me, too.

          I moved as far as I could and still be able to remain working as a car journalist. Any further “in the woods,” and they’d be unable or unwilling to send me the cars. I’ve thought about retiring – or doing something else – but the government makes it very hard to do so given that I must eternally pay taxes on our land/house and all the rest of it and that requires steady work.

          One option does remain and I have thought about it.

          Sell everything. Downsize.

          If I did that, I’d have a pretty decent pile of FRNs – enough to buy a little cabin on 200 or so acres really deep in the woods. In some very remote place, where though taxes on property also exist, they’d be very low – and could be paid from the reserve of FRNs.

          There are still places remote enough and population-free enough that one could probably all-but-disappear and avoid 75 percent (or more) of the current dose of Clover.

          If I were 25, I’d probably do it tomorrow. The problem, of course, is that when you’re 25 you can’t usually afford 200 acres – or even 20 acres. Sometimes, not even 2! And once you can, you’re older – and invested in the stuff you worked for years to earn.

    • “I think that speed limit laws are 100% about getting money from us.”

      I wish every Citizen had snapped to that more than twenty years ago when I did.


      • I once did some quick calculations along the following lines:

        20 years of driving (at the time); appx. 15 pieces of payin’ paper issued during that time. Of these, at least five were for statutory “reckless” driving – which in my state is defined as traveling in excess of 20 MPH over the posted maximum. At the time (late 1980s/early ’90s) the highway speed limit was still 55 – so 76 was sufficient to be slapped with a “reckless” cite (today, the limit on the same highway – with probably 40 percent more traffic – is 70 MPH).

        Let’s say each “minor” ticket cost $100. Ten of those = $1,000.

        The “reckless” cites cost considerable more – let’s say $200 each = $1,000.

        Add to this (being very conservative) a 20 percent “surcharge” applied to the insurance premium for a single (at the time) male under 30.

        Figure an extra $300 annually for that, times 20 = $6,000.

        So, very conservatively – and not including the several suspended license/renewal costs, the costs to attend DMV “schools” – and so on – I have been robbed of at least $8,000 for victimless non-crimes. If I were to include the past ten years on top of this, plus “cost of business” stuff such as my $400 radar detector – etc. – I am certain I’ve been bled of at least $12,000 – money that (if I had it) could have been put to a good purpose, such as buying and restoring an H2 750 or getting my Trans-Am painted…..

        • You could have been charged with Reckless Driving in Texas, a felony. Yep, back when that worthless cabal of Republicans took over a majority in 2002 and re-wrote the entire penal code, reckless driving became one of the worst charges you could have against you. It’s the sort of thing that will get your gun rights, civil rights(you’ll be branded a trouble maker the same as domestic violence)and not be able to get a hunting license or possess a gun, maybe not even be able to use your car for pleasure, just work and back if you have a good lawyer. Just this past year the last of those scoundrels went to prison but their laws are still on the books. $8,000? chump change compared to what Texas would do to you for just one charge of “reckless driving”.

          • “that worthless cabal of Republicans”

            The GOP must die for the South to live. I hate the GOP. Where I grew up in South Carolina, the definition of “scalawag” was any descendant of Confederate soldiers who joined the GOP, or even aroused suspicions that he might vote for a republican.

            Of course, anyone who wasn’t descended from a Confederate soldier, or from relatives of a Confederate soldier was a Carpetbagger.

            Republicans are a pox on the South. Their duplicitous, treacherous party has to be driven back to New England where it came from.

            • Double amen to that, Ed.

              I’ve been a Republican-hater for many years.

              A Democrat is at least true to his stated philosophy – collectivism on the basis of majority rule; “helping” the “less able” – and so on. Loathsome, but honest in a way.

              Republicans? They mouth platitudes about “our freedoms” – and wave flags and clutch their Bibles – but betray freedom at every opportunity. A good bit of the awfulness that America has become can be laid at the feet of Republicans.

              I will never forgive their Chimp Worship.

          • Sho’ nuff!

            Another example, from the perspective of a car journalist who drives something different each week: Not only cops – but other drivers – treat me differently depending on the car and irrespective of my driving. In something like a white base model Civic sedan, I am invisible to cops and other drivers generally behave decently. But if I am driving a yellow 911, every cop turns to look and gives me the hard stare – and if I am driving even 4 MPH over, it’s all over. Other drivers behave aggressively (and passive aggressively, as in deliberately blocking me in).

            The above experiences have turned me off to owning “visible” performance cars. It’s just too much hassle.

        • Statutory reckless drivng means you weren’t actually driving recklessly. If you had been, they would have charged you with reckless driving.

          So since you’re not going to cooperate and committ the crime yourself, then they’ll just say you did anyway.

          Porky’s gotta eat.

          • Indeed I do!

            The V1 is without peer. Not foolproof, but used properly, it will pay for itself with a year for most drivers. Mine pays for itself every month, just about…

    • I don’t believe that this situation was as prevalent in the Roanoke area during the 1970’s.

      I used to live in a neighborhood (Knollwood) right by the overpass of 460 and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

      From what I recall, speedtraps were very uncommon. Of course, the whole culture was different back then……….

      • It has changed. Credit Yankees and Clover Carpetbaggers. Both now abundant here. It’s the same dynamic. They ruin one place, turn it into an overpriced, over-crowded, over-regulated shithole…. flee, for all the obvious reasons… then proceed to apply the same methods to ruin the new place.

        Do you ever catch the Roanoke Times & Statist Views (formerly World News)? There is an archetypical uber-Clover carpetbagger columnist by the name of Dan Casey. He favors “reasonable” gun control and all the rest of it.

  18. I wonder if they include cops who have alcohol in their system and engage someone in an erroneous chase ending in an accident.

    Of course it’s the old legalized crime in play again. They say a cop can show up for work .049 BAC because he might have had a glass of wine with dinner before an overnight shift. ROFL!

    So rather than forbidding drinking alcohol before ANY shift they say it’s completely acceptable if you’re working the overnight shift because you have to eat dinner and a cop can’t eat dinner without wine.

    “if a cop were drunk on the job, supervisors would intervene”

    Really? What if the supervisor is drunk too? The news is funnier than fiction.


    • Ok, I see what’s happening. With the “preview” , if you accidentally (which I have three times now) press “reply” to the preview and then realize your mistake and press “post comment”, it will actually post your comment to another post.

      Sorry about that.

    • An air traffic controller is not allowed to have any alcohol for at least 8 hours before his shift starts, no matter what time that is. What makes the rules for pigs (I’m of the 60s generation) different?

  19. An inept/careless driver operating at 40 MPH can be a greater hazard to himself and others than a skilled and attentive driver operating at twice that speed.

    Quite true. I’d go further: a completely competent driver operating at 40 MPH on a road where the prevailing speed is considerably faster, is a danger to himself and others.

    • I read a story where a guy did get ticketed for doing the speed limit while the flow was going faster. He was cited for obstructing traffic.

      Fucked if you do, fucked if you don’t.

      • That’s the freeping government for ya. I was filling out a medical insurance application over the phone, and the woman come to some query (race? Past history of illness? I don’t remember) which she explained one government agency required her to ask and another forbade her to ask. She was telling me this so I could choose whether to answer or not.

        I generally drive five to (almost) ten over the posted limit, which seems to keep me under the radar, but if I’d been the guy ticketed for driving the limit, I’d definitely take it to court. What was the outcome in the case you mention?

        • I don’t know about the case Don refers to, but of one I know a driver was pulled over for doing the school zone speed limit in the middle of the night. He was being followed by the police because they suspected he was ferrying the drugs the government puts people in prison for. The stop was to get the search which found the drugs.

          It was upheld as legal to stop drivers who obeyed the speed limit. Now one may say its odd to obey a school zone limit in the middle of the night because it doesn’t apply, except when they have a cop following them which it often does apply as countless people have been ticketed for exceeding a school zone speed limit when it wasn’t school hours.

          • That’s why the whole thing is just one big charade. Laws are to justify the cops criminal actions. That’s all they are.

            And they’re written so vaguely that the criminal cops can pervert them at will and the criminal magistrates will uphold them.

            It’s an organized crime syndicate. Accept it, embrace it and defend yourself against it.

          • “Now one may say its odd to obey a school zone limit in the middle of the night because it doesn’t apply, except when they have a cop following them which it often does apply”

            I think I saw that once in a Three Stoogies episode or something. … Who is on first? …

            I went fifty through one today, I was right behind a very pretty soccer mom in an expensive SUV.
            It was a minor enojoyable moment, those soccer moms can be so wonderfully rebelious at times.
            Minus the cameras at every intersction, as if I were in a prison yard, it was fun.


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