They Can’t Drive . . . 50

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It’s not just obnoxiously high fuel taxes the French are rioting over. It’s also obnoxiously low speed limits.

Last year, the government of Emmanuel Macron decreed the equivalent of America’s ’70s-era Drive 55 regime – which afflicted American drivers until the mid 1990s –  only it’s worse because it’s Drive 50 (80 kilometers per hour, maximum).

On every two-lane highway in the country.

Sammy Hagar, rev up your Ferrari.

This time, it’s to Save the Planet – rather than (as here, back in the ‘70s) to Save Gas.

Both being mere excuses to stick it to the people.

There was an “energy crisis” In the U.S. back in the early-mid ’70s, but it was entirely artificial. Scarcity imposed by governments and their associated cartels. There was plenty of oil – it was just being withheld for political purposes.

Note that Uncle always had (and has) plenty of gas – regardless of the “crisis” – and used it as profligately then as he still does today.

The public, of course, was not told the “crisis” was man-made and so could be just as easily man-corrected.

Instead, it was hectored sonorously about imminent resource scarcity – you may recall the Peak Oil shibboleth. Tickets were issued, too – but not for using “too much” of the resources the ticketed person had just paid for with his own money. The victim was relieved of more of his own money for the newly created offense of “speeding” – which was brazenly mischaracterized as a saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety offense, even though the now-illegal speed had been legal (and so, presumably, saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe) the week prior to the signage change.

This went on for almost 20 years, until the  Drive 55 regime was finally repealed – in one of the extremely few instances of government dialing back its oppressions, once they’ve passed into law.

Macron ’s regime – but of course, not Macron himself – also insists on energy austerity for the sans culottes, but for different reasons. The Peak Oil scam has been exposed, almost everyone knows there is ample oil.

So a new scam – “climate change” – has been rushed onto the field to take its place.

Of course, Macron – like America’s elites – is not slowed down by concern over his carbon footprint.

He is not held back by any speed limit, either, when his special motorcade of highly fuel-inefficient armored vehicles hauls him and his entourage to Charles de Gaulle airport for a jet flight to the next conference about how to reduce the standard of living for the average Frenchman for the sake of the planet.

No tickets for Macron, et al.

And as here, Macron’s fuel bills – the gas and the kerosene – are paid for by the very proletariat he seeks to further proletarianize. He may use just as much of these resources as he pleases – and the French can afford to finance.

The peasantry, meanwhile, must be made to use less gas – as well as pay more for it.

But there is a difference, an instructive one.

While driving even 55 is now illegal “speeding” in France – and subject to even heavier fines than used to be the case here for driving faster than 55 – the French aren’t meekly accepting their mulcting.

Two-thirds of the automated speed cameras used to harass and collect have been physically destroyed by outraged French citizens – many of them burned to the ground.

In the Vaucluse region of southeastern France, it has been reported that 90 percent of speed cameras have been put out of action.

This is happening in spite of severe legal repercussions facing anyone caught terminating a speed camera. The guilty can be sent to prison for as long as five years – serious time. But the people have had enough – and aren’t going to take it anymore.

Dee Snider’s primal scream might be more appropriate accompaniment than Sammy’s song about it taking all day just to get to LA.

“The outcry is strong because it is such a tangible issue for ordinary people,” Jérôme Fourquet from the Ifop polling agency told the BBC. “Around 70 percent of the population is opposed” to the dumbed-down limits, he said. And “…there is no sign of that abating.”

No surprise there. Anyone over 40 today can remember how excruciating it was to drive no faster than 55 on highways that had been posted 70-75 and were designed (back in the ’50s) for routine speeds of 90-100 MPH.

Try to imagine driving 50.

You might never get your car out of first gear… . 

But probably not even 10 percent of Americans are aware of any of this, because it is not being reported by the mainstream press – which is also very interesting. As if in collusion – to use the word they love to use when it serves their agenda – not one of the major organs has devoted page space or bandwidth or airtime of any real significance to what is without question among the most significant news stories of the day.

The French are literally revolting against a government that has become insufferable to them.

This is what they used to call in the journalism business, “news.” Instead, Americans get Buzzfed stories about unspecified, no-name-sourced pending bombshell allegations about the Orange Man’s latest supposed malfeasances.

Perhaps to keep them from thinking about their oppression – and possibly (like the French) doing something about it.

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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56 COMMENTS

  1. I had 16 motorcycles a year ago which were stolen by an illicit motorcycle shop. I am fighting it out in court to get the money that I lost. I have 3 BMW’s left and a Harley. I sold a 97 custom 93″ Panhead that had very few actual Harley parts. I could only ride it for 20 minutes because it was in a “softtail” frame. I have too much arthritis. I am planning to trade my 85 Wideglade for a custom 80″ rubberglide that I can enjoy at legal American speeds. My friend built both bikes and they have blueprinted engines. He is 71 and still rides too. I just went back to work because I couldn’t survive on SSI. Social Insecurity isn’t much better. I can’t stand up and sell anymore, but I can still talk all day. Rock on. It is good to hear that you kept your bike under 143 Eric. That is a good example of reasonable restraint. My mechanic who has PTSD recommends det cord wrapped around the photo radar cameras. He said it worked well dropping trees in Viet Nam.

    • Morning, Dr!

      That is vile about the theft of your bikes? What happened? I currently have just four – a low tide, post divorce. Hoping I don’t have to sell any and that – just maybe – there might be an H2 750 in my future!

  2. I have a 99 BMW K1200RS motorcycle that does 70 MPH in first gear with 5 more speeds to reach about 160MPH. How would the French like that? I am turning 70 this week and would probably be accused of raising havoc on their highways if I just went out for a fun ride. That is what keeps me young. The need for speed. I have been waiting until I become old enough to play golf. I don’t think that will ever happen. Keep the rubber side down. We need to start inciting the public to start burning down the cameras in the USA!

    • Hi Dr. J!

      We got a nice day here in The Woods yesterday – mid 60s – which motivated me to unhibernate the ZRX and take her out for a run. I never once got her over 143, though….

    • Hey Doc, I have a friend who is 70 and still rides too! He had 6 bikes….but has recently pared down his collection…just keeping his 750.

  3. For appropriate coverage of the french resistance and other motorist matters see this site:

    thenewspaper.com

    Excellent site for coverage of motorist and law related matters around the world, big focus on USA.
    When the speed limit was at 55, I rarely observed that limit outside metro areas. On several trips across the US i routinely pegged the 85 mph speedos, even in small cars like Colts and Chevettes.

  4. People love to tease the french but they are sacking up and telling their jackboots to shove it up their dicks while we are sitting here and taking it like bitches. Well fucking god in hell i ain’t!!!

    I don’t stop at stops signs i can see has no traffic coming, I do not sit around at red left arrows. I drive the speed i choose for the conditions, use my cell…fuck ’em, I’ll pay a tikkie now and then.

    I fight EVERY ticket with a lawyer…make the lying sack of shit cop lie out loud. Maybe God will strike him down?

    Anywhoo…lets start taping over camera lenses. Remove your front plate…make the assholes work for it.

    Lets be like the french and tell ’em to suck our asses.

    • Amen, Mike!

      I do just the same – and counsel the same. “Run” every No Turn on Red (and stop) sign that you can get away with “running.” Ignore/evade every mindless rule/regulation/edict you can get away with ignoring/evading.

      I stopped “renewing” the registration on several of my old bikes – which I continue to ride. F them and their endless hands in my pockets.

      No Obamacare.

      No more anything they can’t absolutely force me to accept.

      Enough!

      • Got the Calif renewal.on the 74 cb125…$122 frikkin dollars
        My daughter rides that one so I’ll pay that rape rate but i too have bikes unregistered

  5. I got a French driver’s license while living in Paris, and I have enough French-language capability to watch the French news every night. The 90 to 80 kph speed limit reduction was justified mostly on saaaaaaafety (as Eric likes to spell it), although there was never any serious analysis of traffic accident patterns and how reducing the speed limit would reduce the number of auto accident fatalities (there had been an uptick around 2017). Most non-governmental observers felt that the real reason for the speed limit reduction was to increase revenue from speeding tickets. (France does not control its own currency and cannot simply create money electronically a la the U.S. Federal Reserve). Yesterday the French Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe announced loudly that the reduction in the speed limit had saved (precisely) 116 lives in 2018. The government arrived at this figure by simply computing the average number of highway fatalities between 2013 and 2017 and then comparing that average to 2018. Even the French government TV news channel was suspicious of the claim and the methodology used to arrive at it. The commentators noted that the speed limit on the two-lane divided highways remained at 110 kph (you can legally drive 130 kph on the autoroutes in good weather). There were, for example, no figures cited on any reductions of injuries resulting from traffic accidents, which one would logically expect to decine by about the same percentage as fatalities, if the reduction was due to the change in the speed limit. Nor was there any analysis of where fatal and pesonal injury traffic accidents were occuring–if they were in areas other than where the speed limit had recently been reduced, then the reduction in deaths can’t be attributed to the reduction of the speed limit.

    About a week ago the French news did have a story on the destruction, disabling or damage to the automated radar speed enforcement machines-it noted the reduction in traffic ticket revenue that the French government had experienced, but had no information about increased numbers of traffic accidents because French drivers were now speeding more, if indeed they were.

    I’m proud of the French in showing the backbone to take the fight to the streets. Maybe Americans will show the same pluck when Kamala Harris begins ruling by executive order/fiat, but I’m skeptical.

    • The recent news from the french resistance is that since the yellow jacket rebellion, fatalities and injuries due to car accidents are down 25%. Speeds also have increased, leading to the lower toll. Those scameras are all there to steal your money, time and control. They are the fruits of psychopaths, like little hitlers. That would be a good term for anyone who works at a joint that specializes in deprivation of due process. One such company would be Redfucks, aka Redflex. A company of criminals.

  6. The Kings and Serfs never really went away in Europe…………………..and the Millennials, Gen X & Y want the same here in America……………….

  7. Americans want to think that they live in a peaceful, free country with a balanced budget, but that belief is not true.

    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.

    You know that you live in a police state when everything is illegal and you have no rights.

    You have no free speech rights, religious rights, gun rights, there is civil forfeiture, the government wiretaps your phone, records your web history, reads your email, takes away your right to silence, can torture you, and can extrajudicuallly assassinate you.

    Your taxes fund illegal immigrants, debt, endless wars, curfews, checkpoints, no fly lists, private prisons, mandatory minimums, 3 strikes laws, DNA databases, CISPA, SOPA, NDAA, IMBRA, FBAR, FATCA laws, TSA groping, secret FISA courts, and Jade Helm.

    The elites are obviously going all the way to destroy the world. Just look at history and Mao, Hitler, and Stalin.

    When Americans remain quiet about rising debt, Obamacare, food stamps, regulations, endless US wars, increasing taxes, illegal immigrants, nanny state laws, security cameras, license plate readers, checkpoints, redlight cameras, speed cameras, FBI facial and voice recognition, curfews, gun bans, NSA wiretapping, the end to the right to silence, free speech bans, searches without warrants, private prisons, mandatory minimums, 3 strikes laws, DNA databases, CISPA, SOPA, NDAA, IMBRA, private prison quotas, no knock raids, take down notices, no fly lists, terror watch lists, Constitution free zones, stop and frisk, 3 strikes laws, kill switches, National Security Letters, kill lists, FBAR, FATCA, Operation Chokepoint, TSA groping, civil forfeiture, CIA torture, NDAA indefinite detention, secret FISA courts, FEMA camps, laws requiring passports for domestic travel, IRS laws denying passports for tax debts, gun and ammo stockpiles, laws outlawing protesting, police militarization, chain gangs, boot camps, and Jade Helm what kind of message does that send to the elites?

    Do you think the 1% is just going to turn around and restore freedom? Do you think our overlords are just going to stop increasing tyranny on their own?

    Unless Americans start speaking out, resisting, protesting, getting out into the streets with pitchforks and torches, tar and feathering the elites, cops, soldiers, politicians, government workers, and media puppets, breaking windows, setting fires, and killing people, Americans will end up in the concentration camps.

    There’s no hope. The US will be lucky to last another 30 years.

    The best we can do now is to warn people to study history and prepare.

    The USA is a bankrupt warmongering police state.

    The line has been crossed. The Bill of Rights will never be restored. Even if the government said that they have ended NSA wiretapping, CIA torture, NDAA indefinite detention, and secret FISA courts, who would believe them?

    The 1% appears intent on causing an economic collapse, a civil war, and WWIII.

    Those fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.

    • Libertarian,

      You’re preaching to the choir here. We who come to this site have already figured this stuff out, and agree with you.

      Your words might help the rare soul on some mainstream site to see the truth of the situation- but here? It’s like telling a master mechanic to check for codes….

      • Hiya Nunz,

        “Libertarian” drives by this site, leaving his repetitive posts with a link to his site… hoping to draw traffic away. I asked him to stop; got no reply. So now I just delete his links and leave his posts!

    • Hi Escher,

      You raise a very interesting point in re GMO food… perhaps this does account for the greater rowdiness of the average European vs. the passivity of the average American.

        • Yeah, it’s a disease known as ‘pussywhipped” which the entire male population of Yuppies from the early 1980’s began adopting to the benefit of their portfolios. Now that generation makes up the PTB, and is doing everything they can to force their version of Victorian Prudery, a.k.a. Political Correctness, on everyone else.
          The microchip has become the modern “cotton ‘gin”, but rather than freeing us from excess toil and labor, it is being used to enslave us by means of seduction.
          Instant gratification has replaced the satisfaction of leading a productive life.

          • I would go a step further in that the satisfaction of a productive life has been attacked and damaged to its very core. Perhaps almost eliminated.

            The left likes to talk about something called the social contract but funny how this social contract only works in the direction of productive men supporting everyone else. All the parts about what the productive member of society was supposed to get in return have been tossed aside.

      • It’s the Pax – the G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate.

        But a small percentage have the opposite reaction: they become SJWs and Antifa.

      • I think it’s just that the Yurpeens are further along on the road of tyranny. They’ve been disarmed [relieved of any real power] longer; have been paying absurd taxes longer; dealing with uber regulation of everything, etc.

        They all cheered for and demanded socialism, and were content to give up any liberty for it, as long as the free shit flowed. Now, the free shit is turning into austerity, and they are starting to realize that the power they delegated to the state to rob the “rich”, is increasingly being used against themselves- and that they are now paying for other’s free shit…and that “free” isn’t really free.

        It’s not freedom as in ‘free speech’ that they’re after. It’s free, as in ‘free beer’ that they care about. Restrict the beer tap, and make them pay for what beer they get…they get boisterous. Thrown ’em some peanuts, and charge someone else, they’ll go back to sleep.

        • They have been educated to use words incorrectly. They are like most americans

          They think of privileges as rights

          They think housing is a right education
          Health care
          An income
          A vacation

          I have no hope for the republic

  8. Eric wrote:

    “Perhaps to keep them from thinking about their oppression – and possibly (like the French) doing something about it.”

    Let’s hope and pray that it’s just a matter of a higher boiling point.

    (The actual title is “The Beginnings” and “The English” are used in place of “The Saxon”…however…still apropos)

    THE WRATH OF THE AWAKENED SAXON
    by Rudyard Kipling

    It was not part of their blood,
    It came to them very late,
    With long arrears to make good,
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    They were not easily moved,
    They were icy — willing to wait
    Till every count should be proved,
    Ere the Saxon began to hate.

    Their voices were even and low.
    Their eyes were level and straight.
    There was neither sign nor show
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    It was not preached to the crowd.
    It was not taught by the state.
    No man spoke it aloud
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    It was not suddenly bred.
    It will not swiftly abate.
    Through the chilled years ahead,
    When Time shall count from the date
    That the Saxon began to hate.

    • This is excellent, AF… Kipling’s verse. I also like this one, from Heinrich Heine:

      Christianity — and this is its fairest merit — subdued to a certain extent the brutal warrior ardor of the Germans, but it could not entirely quench it; and when the cross, that restraining talisman, falls to pieces, then will break forth again the ferocity of the old combatants the frantic Berserker rage whereof Northern poets have said and sung so much.

      The talisman has become rotten, and the day will come when it will pitifully crumble to dust. The old stone gods will then arise from the forgotten ruins and wipe from their eyes the dust of centuries, and Thor with his giant hammer will arise again…

  9. Not that anyone would suggest anyone do such a thing …,but I’ve heard that one of the more popular methods is to spray expanding insulation foam into a small hole in the case, which then ruptures and is rendered useless as the foam hardens.

  10. Here’s an interesting thought. France has a very high percentage of diesel vehicles. A huge amount of these will be fitted with diesel particulate filters. Will a DPF regenerate at 50mph? No as the exhaust cannot get hot enough, in fact my C220 german shitwagon requires you to be doing 58mph, which is a challenge on the UK’s traffic infested roads!

  11. I’m not saying that hanging an old truck tire over a speed camera and filling the inner portion of it with gasoline and lighting it will cause problems. Oh no. One should *never* do that.

    • The problem is most of the scameras around here are high up. Might be able to rig a can of spray paint to my tree trimming pole, or perhaps a Bernzomatic torch would be more satisfying.

      • Could go after the high ones with drones. Maybe low ones too. Would be a bigger chance to stay out of sight and be anonymous too. Because the last thing you want is to be caught.

  12. Whats most amazing is how little coverage this all is actually getting especially here in Britain (where the media keeps telling us we all really want to remain in the EU). Whats most amazing is how its not just one medium, but the whole western “free and fair” media is exactly the same. For example, apparently a couple hundred college kids came out in Belgium or somewhere to protest “climate change” (WTF – How?) Facebook and Twitter kept showing all these noble college kids on my feed. Got to work in the morning and Bloomberg also ran the same stories. While not a word about the yellow vests burning half of France…..

    • I read somewhere that there is some sort of edict from the British government forbidding news reports about the French protests …

      A D-something or other order? I can’t possibly remember everything that I read in a day.

      • Its called a D-notice, and is an official order from the government to our “free and fair” press to not report on something. Normally its used say when a prominent politician or royal is caught with their pants down or something like that.

        I wouldnt be surprised if one has been issued here, because the blackout everywhere is mind boggling…. Though normally its hard to tell a D-notice is issued till much later, when eventually someone leaks it (or an incompetent government worker leaves his briefcase in a taxi or pub or something).

        That said its crazy that in this world today they still have a system of a D-notices, when we are repeatedly told how free our press is…..

  13. My cousin’s husband briefly had a job with one of those camera ticket companies during the worst of the recession (only place hiring at the time). He was the one the people who would go through the pictures deciding what unlucky bastard was going to get ticketed or not (if a plate could be read or not). In order that people like him (aka the little people) wouldn’t be able to let off friends and relatives from tickets, you never did your own area (he was in Arizona, so he was looking at Florida pictures if I remember right).

    Of course all government vehicles were exempt no matter the type. He said it was a good third of the pictures that the cameras took. It was far more then just heroes, hose heroes and ambulances of course. There were lots and lots of buses (which surprised him), public “works” trucks etc, general government drones in sedans and large SUV’s, military vehicles and some politicians being driven around in government owned cars. Those were alway voided by policy.

    He didn’t last long. It was a toxic and miserable place to work. So he compensated by being lenient, knowing he could effect the revenue by letting people off. I think he would be quicker to void a ticket for a driver of older cars and lessor makes for example knowing those people could least afford a ticket. But he must have been voiding too many, because they showed him the door……..

    • It works that way here in Australia, richb. All government officials get off from paying speed fines and other infringements. That has been acknowledged by the presstitutes, but not known by the majority of the public.

  14. It’s refreshing when traveling cross-country and you hit West of the Mississippi River and set the cruise on 80. We’re still stuck at 65 here in the East, but everyone’s doing 75-80 anyway. So when everyone’s doing it, no one gets pulled over, and if they did, the cops would back up the masses for 5 miles or more. They usually don’t.
    PA just went to 70 (hahaha) on the Western rural parts of Rt 80. It helps.

  15. A few hundred turkey hunters could take out every traffic camera in the United States in a matter of hours, if necessary. And no one would ever see them do it.

    • True. I played a small but significant role the fight to get rid of the 55 mph speed limit in the United States. As a Texas state chapter coordinator for Citizens for Rational Traffic Laws (which became the National Motorists Association), I found the greatest obstacle was an apathetic public. Fortunately and with a twist of fate, years later, the government repealed the law. We have had a good 20 year run of increasing speed limits across the country, but I have noticed a dropoff in activity since 2015.

      On another front, about 8 years ago, when the TSA started doing body scans, I thought that people would stop putting up with that. No signs of that taking place.

      • Ask the clovers like “PatB” and “Pepe Bocca”, who have been trolling our comments here for the better part of a week or more. They both seem to advocate compliancy, and enjoy getting their assholes probed at every opportunity.

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