The mantra is that Slow is Safe. But Slow is often also oblivious – and sloppy.
Which tends to be dangerous, the opposite of safe.
The priests – and priestesses, more often – of The Safety Cult have not noticed.
The other day, I rolled up behind a car descending a mountain pass. The speed limit is 55 – the car was moping along at about 38 MPH. No, moping isn’t exactly the right word. It was randomly sashaying left then right, onto the shoulder – then across the double yellow.
But well below the The Speed Limit.
By Clover Standards, the person behind the wheel was thus, ipso facto, a Safe Driver.
Exceeding The Speed Limit is a kind of original sin within the Safety Cult. It must be obeyed, rigidly and reflexively. But otherwise? Not to worry!
Drivers like this one are largely immune from cops and tickets.
Certainly from a drunk driving ticket.
Worst case, this Clover – and all the countless other Clovers just like him – might get pulled over and be issued a ticket for . . . something.
Failure to maintain control, crossing the double yellow. But nothing serious. Not on par with a drunk driving ticket. Which by the way, you don’t get a ticket for.
You get taken to jail.
Then you go to court – where you face consequences that go beyond the merely financial.
Even if you didn’t cross the double yellow or drive all over the shoulder. Indeed, your driving can be faultless and you will still go to jail simply because a certain arbitrary amount of alcohol was detected in your bloodstream via a breath test. The fact that you were in control of your car – assuming you were – cuts no ice.
Lord help any pedestrians or bicyclists who might happen to be occupying the shoulder at the same time as the sober Clover. Or any cars coming up the mountain, in the opposite lane – when a fourth to a third of Clover’s car is across the double yellow in a blind curve.
In the event of a wreck – even if some innocent person is killed as a result – it is probable that it will be treated as an “accident” – you know, like a tree falling over on your house during a thunderstorm, something over which you had no control. The Wandering Clover will rarely be dealt with as severely as a person who did the same thing but whose impairment was caused by alcohol.
On the other hand, maybe this Clover was just sleepy.
Driving at slow speeds will do that – especially if you have a long way to drive. There is not much to do as far as driving. You’re pretty much just sitting there. Especially in a modern car – at yesterday’s speed limits.
It is 2017 – but speed limits are pretty much what they were in 1970. Back then, 70 felt like 70. Today it feels like 50. But speed limits haven’t adjusted upward to take into account that even if drivers are no better today than they were in 1970, the cars are.
A 2017 model year anything at 70 is like a 1970 model at 50.
One tends to get . . . bored.
So people tend to do other things. They text. They look around at the pretty scenery. They tap the apps. And wander all over.
Arguably, driving faster is safer. Because when you’re driving fast, you have to pay attention. You can’t Zone Out or text or fiddle with the touchscreen and tap the apps.
Not for very long, anyhow.
But fast driving affronts The Cult, no matter how safely done. It’s a crazy thing. A fast driver who drives expertly ought to be praised and admired rather than excoriated and abused. But then, we are viewing things from the wrong perspective.
What’s desired is not competence nor independence of any kind. Alertness being a function of both things; our brains constantly engaged, assimilating data and taking action. As in school, as everywhere else, that is not desired.
What is desired is passivity and torpor. The somnolence and stupefaction of a cow standing in a field, flies alighting on its eyes – the cow too indifferent to even blink.
If you like what you’ve found here, please consider supporting EPautos.
We depend on you to keep the wheels turning!
Our donate button is here.
If you prefer not to use PayPal, our mailing address is:
721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079