No One Feels Bad About “Speeding”

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The problem with speed limits is they’re arbitrary – and presumptive.

A velocity maximum is decreed – and you are presumed a threat to others if you exceed it. Everyone – almost – understand this is silly. Else almost everyone would not “speed” routinely. Most of us do not play Russian Roulette, for instance – irrespective of any laws forbidding it – because we don’t need to be threatened with a ticket to refrain from putting a loaded gun to our heads.

It is also why threats and sanctions are being resorted to as the method for coercing people to efface their faces. It would not be necessary if people really believed that a neck scarf or dust mask or filthy old bandana kept pestilential death at bay.

But almost everyone understands that driving 5, 10 or even a lot faster than that above whatever the speed limit is isn’t like that. That “breaking” the speed limit is like stepping on sidewalk cracks – and not likely to break your momma’s back. It is why few of us feel shame or guilt when “caught” going faster than the speed limit; indeed, the opposite. We resent being extorted by the courts and insurance mafia over something we know caused no harm and was not likely to cause harm.

Interestingly, this defeats the supposed purpose of speed limits – if the purpose isn’t to pretextually fleece motorists.

Ostensibly, speed limits are posted for – gird yourself – our safety. It is an almost mathematical axiom that when you hear those two words, the very last thing intended is the plain meaning of those two words.

An altogether different meaning is intended – which can be demonstrated by pointing out how useless speed limits are as information about how fast or not it is safe to drive on a given stretch of road.

Especially an unfamiliar one.

Which ought to be the purpose of speed limits, if their purpose is meant to be advisory rather than arbitrary. If they are meant to convey useful information about speed in relation to the road – as opposed to being set deliberately below the speed most people will drive on that road, so as to make it inevitable most drivers will ignore the posted limits – so as to them easy pickings for on-the-go tax collection.

Part of the problem is verbiage.

A speed limit sounds like some kind of engineering threshold, like an engine’s RPM limit. Exceed the redline and engine damage is probable because the engine’s mechanical limits have been exceeded.

Most people take care not to exceed the redline because they know it has objective informational value and they’d better pay attention to it.

But a speed limit is nothing like that. It is a statutory limit – something illegal to exceed because it has been so decreed but not necessarily harmful in and of itself. It is obviously not an objective threshold beyond which danger lies.

Which is why most people do speed, regardless of statute. General contempt for speed limits is universal, which undermines “our safety.”

Not because people “speed” – but because the correlation between the signage and conditions is so tenuous that most of us ignore the signs unless a mobile tax collector is in the vicinity – while some of us drive so slowly relative to the speed the rest of us are driving as to cause traffic to needlessly bunch up when it could be flowing much more smoothly.

This sets up a bizarre – and irritating – dynamic.

The speed limit obeyers often taking a kind of righteous delight in their rigid obedience, which in their minds justifies not yielding to the drivers exceeding the speed limit because they are breaking the law!  . . .while the “speeders” understandably get exasperated by the “slowpoke” ahead who is preventing them from driving at a speed they know isn’t dangerous, even if statutorily unlawful.

A better way – if “our safety” rather than our money is desired – would be to post speed advisories.

With no fines attached.

This would benefit drivers not familiar with a given road by giving them a sound ball park idea about how fast or not they ought to enter an unfamiliar curve, for instance.

One they’d give heed to for the sake of their safety – as opposed to fear of a fine.

But because we have speed limits, people tend to either completely ignore them – knowing they can take the curve up ahead at 10 or even 20 MPH faster than the sign says is “safe” (even at the risk of a ticket) because they have been driving that road – and taking that curve – every day for the past 10 years at 10 or even 20 MPH faster than the sign says is “safe.”

Or – not being familiar with the road, not having taken the curve up ahead every day for the past 10 years – they see the sign that says 25 MPH and create a road hazard by driving preposterously slow for the curve.

And the next time they take that road, they’ll  probably ignore the sign – like almost everyone else.

This habituates a combination of contempt for the signage as well as mindless obedience of signage irrespective of conditions and neither is of much service to the cause of “our safety.” The entire regime is as counterproductive and cynical as it is profitable.

Which explains why it probably won’t end anytime soon.

. . . .

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43 COMMENTS

      • Truth be told, I did not even read the article…I already know that mine and Eric’s views are in line on this subject. If anything, I would probably see his words as not “hard edged” enough…splitting hairs though, no argument from me with regard to calling out this psychopathic tyranny and it’s idiotic enablers.

        This is now a binary choice, a fork in the road if you will. No more pussy footing around or placating to the ignorant. It is “pencils down” time, the test is over. You are either a statist idiot destined to be sucked into the hive-borg system…..or an intelligent, righteous, free man…destined for the land of unchained souls, perhaps even the stars.

        Fair winds and following sees to my fellow free range slaves.
        -Pyrate

  1. The worst speed limits for me are school zones. 20 mph all day, 7-4, not just when people might be entering or leaving. I live in the suburbs that were rural just a few years ago. There are no sidewalks, no crosswalks, no pedestrian lights. So kids aren’t allowed to walk. A few of them ride the bus, but mostly their parents carry them to and fro.
    My point is I could understand a low limit near a school if it was a busy place, with kids walking in and out all day, going home for lunch or just going outside to play, have gym class or study, but you drive by any elementary school in my county and it looks like what it is: a maximum security prison. I never see any children at all. There is no one around to hit with my car no matter what speed I’m going. 20 mph is unreasonable, but try to argue it and you get accused of hating children. I’m not a huge fan of children, but I certainly don’t want to hit any of them. If I see them around and there’s a chance one might run in front of my car, such as when I’m driving in my own neighborhood, I do slow down. Why aren’t we allowed to make the same judgement call near the schools?

    • Hi Amy,

      Precisely. I don’t hate kids but I despise government-enforced stupidity. It’s not the ’70s -or even the ’80s – and kids no longer walk to school. They are driven right up to the doors of the prison and dropped off/picked up. But a Great Display of Safety Kabuki must be performed regardless, complete with flashing lights and – often – a Diapered “priest” performing by the side of the road.

    • “There are no sidewalks, no crosswalks, no pedestrian lights. So kids aren’t allowed to walk.”

      Hahaha, WHAT?! I guess times are truly different, but I’m sure I’m not alone when I say we never had those things where I grew up, and I don’t remember ever hearing about a kid getting hit by a car.

      • You NEVER see kids walking to school in my neighborhood. My boss, who lives in a different town, lived on a short dead-end street. His kids’ school was at the turnoff to his street, a 5-minute walk through a quiet neighborhood, then crossing a 35 mph suburban street, a little busier but still completely do-able for a kid who’s been taught to look both ways, etc. But the school said his kids – HIS kids, mind you – aren’t allowed to walk because of no sidewalks, etc.
        So they had to take the bus. The neighborhood kids got picked up down at the end of the dead-end street, within sight of the school, then driven all around the area for 30 minutes before being deposited at the school. So they were walking down a street with no sidewalks to make it to the bus stop, but for some reason, no sidewalks became an issue when they wanted to proceed the extra 100 yards to the actual school. I can imagine how they felt standing there in January, freezing their butts waiting for the school bus when the school is RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET!
        This is the sort of nonsense only a government agency could come up with.

        • Hahaha, I agree, Amy. Absolute poppycock for the diseased minds only political power could generate. As Eric rants about often, people are so obsessed with “saaaaafety”, especially with their kids, they forget that people learn through making mistakes, and *gasp* having responsibility for their actions. Kids are missing an entire dimension of education that schools will never give them: The education taught by freedom. :p

          Sad times.

        • I love children too- do you like them boiled or fried…
          Sorry, Amy, your comment made me think of WC Fields.
          School speed limits are an abomination. The morons will post 25 zones on a highway where a school is a quarter mile off the road and surrounded by chain link fence. Maybe the sprats are world class sprinters and hurdlers? Nope, that wouldn’t even do it.

        • Before the safety cult sidewalks or no sidewalks did not matter.

          Half the town I grew up in was built without sidewalks. Of course these older areas were where the schools were. So the kids that lived closest to the schools had no sidewalks. Even a big hunk of the area with sidewalks was in the walking area and of course required going through the area without them. There were also kids who walked to school through the undeveloped land. I think they could have taken a bus since the road route was much longer. But they walked home via the trail.

          • Hi Brent,

            Nunzio reminded me of the communal bus stops of my childhood. These were often at the outlet of a subdivision; kids would walk from home to the communal bus stop and wait with other kids for the bus. Today – Because Safety – the bus stops every ten yards at every driveway to pick up kids, who are usually sitting with their parents in a car, waiting.

            • My neighborhood had two stops. Because it was a dead-ended development if you were late to the first stop, the bus would go past after the second stop. Usually if you didn’t abuse it the bus driver would stop and collect you. But old Barb The Bitch would never stop.

              And they wonder why we don’t like authority figures…

              • Heh… People who desire authority over others, but who can only muster enough to be able to exercise their desired authority over other people’s children, make the best Nazis. Those types seem to proliferate more and more as time goes on- likely because genuinely nice people wouldn’t want to be involved with the ever-increasing labyrinth of sicko government bureaucracy.

                I’m grateful that when I was growing up, things were more relaxed, and most teachers and bus drivers were genuinely nice people who actually cared about the kids, rather than acting out some some psychotic psychological fetish to satisfy their own need for validation and power.

    • In my area, there is still a hint of sanity- One only has to obey the school-zone speed limit when the orange lights on the sign are flashing, and they only flash when school is actually in session, and at such times as when the sprogs are actually coming or going. But even that is ridiculous…as like you say Amy, ya never see a kid outside at these schools- it’s a very rural area, and it’d be impossible to walk to school. The kids are either chauffeured by car, or ride the bus.

      On the down side, Gawd forbid you get stuck a school bus! No more dropping kids off at a communal bus stop. No. They drop every kid off right in front of their own house! Can’t have little Leighsuh wasting time walking a block when she could be sexting her 21 year-old boyfriend……

  2. A lot like this covid thing – people are more afraid of getting caught and extorted by a government than of actually getting the bug….

  3. I see that the ‘Woke’ zombie idiots are going after Hellen Keller, now. Per Zero Hedge, ‘Outrage Erupts After Helen Keller Canceled From The Grave Over ‘White Privilege”
    Learning about her in my co-ed prison, ‘er I mean at public school, I didn’t think much of her at the time, but for some reason, this bit of hers always stuck with me: “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

  4. Not sure about everyone else, but when I’m doing over the speed limit I am really concentrating on the road. Looking at the traffic, the road condition and where the road is heading.

    Doing the speed limit, I’m looking out the side at the farmers fields and what is being grown…

    • I can’t drive good slow- period.

      Even when I was learning to drive. I remember driving my uncle’s car, and he’d keep telling me to slow down. When I started going fast, I’d do really well, but when I’d have to poke along, I’d start wandering and just feel inept. One day when my uncle told me to slow down, I said “Haven’t you noticed that I seem to drive much better when I go faster?” He said “Yeah, come to think of it, you do”. I then said “Let’s try something, let me drive the way I want, and let’s see what happens”- so instead of doing 35MPH on the lonely road to the small airport….I did 60….and voila!- I drove like AI knew what I was doing- and my uncle agreed! After driving like that whenever possible, I was suddenly able to do better at slower speeds.

      I think the difference is, at least for me, I tend to naturally look further ahead when driving fast….vs. looking right in front of the car at slower speeds, and concentrating more on lane position at slow speeds, and my reflexes over-compensating if I do look further down the road at slow speeds.

  5. “… knowing they can take the curve up ahead at 10 or even 20 MPH faster than the sign says is “safe” (even at the risk of a ticket) because they have been driving that road – and taking that curve – every day”

    It’s often worse than that. There’s a corner near me posted at 40 MPH that I routinely take at 65 – 70 MPH. Most people take it at 60 MPH. My SUV is probably capable to taking it at 90 MPH by an expert driver without anything untoward happening.

    I haven’t ever slowed down to 40 MPH on that corner, including in pouring rain.

  6. The larger issue is the tyranny of the road sign in general. Everywhere signs. Speed limits, of course. But many others are there to get Uncle off the hook from having to do their job. A favorite of Colorado DOT is the “Road Damage Ahead” sign. This is how they fix roads now. If you went to a store that has ice on the sidewalk, even with a sign if you slip and fall you’re getting a settlement. But CDOT gets a pass for destroying tires, rims, tie rods, etc because they put up a sign.

    • Reminds me years ago driving the Connecticut turnpike going between here and NJ to visit family. There were always signs advising of some form of construction, followed by “road legally closed”. Never did see any construction, must have been some legalistic bs so I couldn’t sue the state if a pothole swallowed my car. On the other hand, if the road is legally closed how can they legally give me a speeding ticket? Haven’t seen those signs in many years, maybe someone with some lawyer training won a challenge on that basis.

  7. All I ever will need to know about driving I learned from the good ol’ Pork Chop Express:

    Never drive faster than you can see, and besides that, it’s all in the reflexes.

  8. Big problem with arbitrary rules is that when they are truly needed they are both ignored and done inappropriately.
    Yes, some areas need enforced limits, such as narrow residential streets or commercial strips with lots of parked cars and pedestrians. Problem is that people are subjected to ridiculously low limits on main roads along with the scourge of improperly timed traffic lights. They then get into areas where they should be cautious and figure that they are safe since they are using the low-limit imposed for everywhere else. Mix in a little frustrated and plain-old pissed off, and they are racing through areas where they should normally be cautious.
    Once we started taking decision making away from people they stopped making decisions.

  9. Best speed limit story ever involved former NJ governor Jon Corzine in April 2007.

    Racing to a meeting with emergency lights on, Corzine’s state police driver was doing 91 mph on the crowded Garden State Parkway. Corzine, with the politician’s usual contempt for laws governing little people, wasn’t wearing a seat belt when a pickup veered in front of the governor’s SUV. It smacked the left-lane guardrail at high speed, breaking the governor’s left leg, collarbone, sternum and a dozen ribs.

    Naturally, neither the gov nor his badge-wearing police driver were charged with speeding or reckless endangerment of other law-abiding motorists.

    Corzine went on to preside over the bankruptcy of commodities firm MF Global in 2011, having flagrantly ignored rules requiring the segregation of client accounts to avoid risk of loss.

    And Corzine wasn’t punished for that, either. In early January 2017, Corzine accepted a settlement with the CFTC including a $5 million fine to be paid “out of his own pocket rather than from insurance and a lifetime ban from CFTC markets.” DOJ had, earlier, declined CFTC’s request that it prosecute Corzine.

    Despite the standard impunity granted to the well-connected by our two-speed justice system, arguably karma was served as inveterate scofflaw Corzine first wrecked his health, then his career. How differently it might have gone, had the rich, contemptuous DemonRat unhypocritically observed the laws he imposed on others, starting with the 65 mph speed limit!

  10. This problem won’t get solved until we start colonizing the galaxy.

    Can you imaging ACTUALLY reforming the institutional character of the IRS? Or the DOJ? Or the ATF? Or the larger character of the US Federal government? I can’t. Far, far easier to go somewhere else and start over fresh and clean.

    Put another way, the British still have a class system and a monarchy centuries after Americans rejected such nonsense, because it’s a deeply-ingrained part of their culture. In a similar way, we have an administrative state with all the same cultural legitimacy as the British class system, because it’s been in place long enough and indoctrinated enough generations of us that we’ll never be rid of it – on Earth.

    Public schools are the same way, as are speed limits, property taxes, driver’s licenses, you name it. The general population thinks – FEELS – that such things are necessary in the modern world. And that’s IN AMERICA, generally the best place in the world for personal freedom.

    But just as the Puritans did in North America, we can start over elsewhere in the galaxy. Go into space and start new nations with different cultural values and traditions. We’ve got a good, proven model to base a million new countries on – the United States of America, AS FOUNDED. We just need to tweak it a bit.

    Besides, the bigger picture here is that Freedom Needs Frontiers. A social safety valve if you will, someplace where those too independent to fit into established society can go. Mankind needs frontiers as desperately as we need air and food and water.

  11. I’d venture to guess 90%+ of the masktarded karen-stasi speed on a regular basis and think literally nothing of it. There’s no chance they’re thinking “if I just do the speed limit and it saves just ONE LIFE then it’s worth it! “Hell nah, Logan and Madison are running late to their play date and I’ve got a lot to do.” So they speed 15 over and usually nobody dies because of it, but any time I get into a car and onto a roadway I assume a certain risk.

    If you are looking for logical or moral consistency in any of the rona-guidelines, it ain’t gonna happen. Pure emotion, mostly fear and anxiety which makes your frontal lobes starved of blood, which make you literally unable to engage in higher thinking. So when I call these people “retards” it is factually correct, not jab at the developmentally disabled. They cannot and will not think critically.

  12. I think it’s already advisory, especially now with corona. Our local interstate is 10-15 over average. And then when a lot were working from home and the roads were relatively empty the local road average speed went up a lot.
    In my observation, it’s only not an advisory is when they need/want the money.
    Of course a big problem are the one’s doing the limit or under on a very long windy two lane. I’m waiting for a ticket someday, because i might pass on a double yellow and the idiot had a camera and got lucky to have got my plate, and was karen enough to send it in.

    • It’s not just the money (Or, at least not just the speeding-ticket money); The pigs LOVE all of these traffic laws, because every car they pull-over is a potential bonanza for several levels of government, the lawyers, the whole stinking system, in that pulling someone over gives them the pretext to harass their victim for other “crimes”, such as drug possession, DWI (real or imagined), having no insurance, possessing “excessive cash”, which the pig can ‘legally’ steal via civil asset forfeiture, though you’ve been charged with no crime….etc. etc.

      In most places these days, save for the largest cities, most arrests [for non traffic-related ‘offenses’] are initiated via traffic stops. The pig basically can’t lose at this game. Worst case scenario, the donut-eating prick gets to write a few tickets and extract some money from some harmless soccer mom (and help the insurance co.s make some extra money too, as the poor driver’s rates will go up, though they’ve caused no damage nor made the ins. co. liable to anyone nor caused them to pay anything on their behalf)…and best case scenario, they get to make a ‘drug bust’ or DWI, etc. and make thou$ands for the system….and get a good mark on their scorecard. Disgusting!

      • Nunzio,

        Dale Carson, former cop and FBI agent turned defense attorney, wrote a book, “Arrest Proof Yourself”. He said that absolutely, cops will try to escalate and find more. They get points on their tally sheets depending on how many traffic stops, misdemeanor arrests, and felony arrests they do. If they pull you over, they’ll try to nail you for misdemeanor and felony violations because they get more points, so their watch commander is happy. He talked about how, after he did a traffic stop in Miami, he got MUCHO points from arresting everyone in the car for a drug violation; he said he got A TON of points that night, thanks to the multiple felony arrests that resulted from that traffic stop.

  13. Speed limits – as well as speed advisories and other warnings – have dumbed down the driving public. Why, if there is a hazard ahead, surely there will be a sign!
    So the moron careens ahead at whatever speed his vehicle happens to be going, oblivious to the fact that he has no idea what’s on the other side of the sharp little hill he’s ascending. Then when he plows into the back of a 20-foot-wide combine, he blames the farmer for being there.
    When you can’t see what’s ahead, you damn well better slow down and pay attention. This is the first rule of driving that the American addiction to saaaaaafety signage has all but wiped out.

  14. A great deal of what the Psychopaths In Charge proclaim as requirement would be perfectly acceptable if proclaimed as information and/or advice. Having spent most of my working life in construction, one prime example is building codes and inspection requirements on their behalf. If a structure has been inspected and certified regarding these codes, it could quite well sell for a higher price. If it has not, it sells for less. Some can afford more, some cannot. Enforcement of them by men with guns puts those who cannot out of the market. Even though the uninspected uncertified may still be quite serviceable. I have seen far to many structures that were never subject to building codes that have lasted a lifetime, and far too many that were that are in a state of collapse.

  15. I live in a county with precious little enforcement present, one of several reasons I live here. And so I haven’t been stopped for speeding in several years. A while ago I came up with the perfect response to the apparently required question the goons with guns always ask. “Do you know what the speed limit is here?” To which I reply “Why certainly. Its the same as it is every where else, 186,000 miles per second”, the speed of light. I haven’t been stopped so I can use it yet.

  16. One thing that has always bothered me is the signage saying speed limit for trucks is 55 or 65 all others may go 70. To me given my limited intelligence, it seems to be inherently much more dangerous to have big rigs going 55-65 with cars darting in an out to go the speed they are allowed. I-94 between Detroit and Chicago. 2 lanes each way for most of it. Lots of big rigs going 64 then one will pass another going 64 1/2 takes about ten miles to effectuate the pass, meantime you have a massive backup all wanting to go 70 (80 usually). Talk about dangerous. Any thoughts.

    • My company GPS’d us for speed and location years ago. As someone who usually drove in the “fast” lane with the faster cars it was an adjustment and now I drive the posted limit in the slow lane and it really has made driving more relaxing. I never have a panic stop situation anymore and when people cut me off because I’m driving too slow for them I have learned to just let it go. (That was a hard one)
      Now, when I’m riding my 150 hp motorcycle, speed limits take on a whole new meaning. I drive no faster than traffic in the populated areas and pretty much ignore them in rural areas. But to be sure I ALWAYS slow to the posted limit when approaching a town.

    • The tickets assessed to trucks (any CDL driver, really) are ENORMOUS compared to cars. Also, many things that result in a relatively small fine on a regular license can become jail for a CDL holder.

      I don’t think it’s about saaafety, so much as it is about $afety.

      • Years ago, (Well, many decades, really) they used to leave truckers alone, unless they were doing really egregious. Today, they’re just seen as another cash-cow who can be stopped at-will, and can always be counted on for “something”- “Scratch on that little reflector? Ticket for you!”- and they can be counted on to pay, no matter how high the fine for the least little imagined non-offense, because “It’s their livelihood”.

        The onlt reason the state went after the Mafia is because the sdtate doesn’t like competition. We’d have been better off with the Mob!

        • Nunzio,

          At least the Mafia is honest! They don’t pretend to do what they do for our own good; they do it for the money. Because they’re more honest, it makes them more honorable, in a way…

  17. The only place where speed limits SOMETIMES make sense is in residential neighborhoods. In my area, they’re normally 25, but even that’s too high for certain parts of the neighborhood. For example, there’s one street where kids usually play when it’s nice out; it’s also narrow through there. So, even though the limit may be 25, most folks travel slower on that particular street; I don’t go much above 20 through there because of the kids and lack of space.

    Then, back in November, I was out one Sunday morning enjoying my Focus. I’d gotten it because I wanted a practical, economical, yet fun to drive car, and I was enjoying it for the reasons I got it. I was doing 70 in a 40, which was too low for that stretch of road; it’s semi-rural. Well, I got busted by a cop. Though he only wrote me up for 10 over, I’m going to court next month to try pleading to a no points violation. Did I violate what was on the sign? Technically, yes. Did I harm anyone? No. That stretch of road was between residential areas, and no one was out; it was early Sunsay morning, after all. So yeah, it would be nice if the signs bore some resemblance to reality…

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