It is said – we are told (lectured) – that “speeding” is “unsafe.” This dictum is regularly enforced by cops who “speed.”
Often, they “speed” to a much greater degree than the “speeders” they go after – in order to catch up with them. And – sometimes – they incite the “speeder” to make an attempt to get away from them, for the same natural reason any prey animal with an instinct for self-preservation will “attempt to elude” a predator.
A video of such an incident was forwarded to me by a friend. It is of interest because it’s not often you can actually see cognitive dissonance in action.
The video was taken from within a cop’s car. It begins with a night scene of the road ahead. The road is empty, other than the cop’s car – and a motorcycle that appears, in the opposite lane, passing the cop’s car. The rider is apparently “speeding.” Which is to say, he is riding his bike above the posted speed limit. This is a crime in the moral sense like stepping on a sidewalk crack – and thereby breaking your mother’s back. Your mother’s back is fine, of course. And no one hands you a demand note for money – i.e., a “ticket” – because you stepped on the crack and didn’t break her back.
But “speeding” is different in that it is a “crime” – or at least, a ticketable offense – as far as the law is concerned. The rationale is, however, similar, in that it doesn’t matter whether you didn’t break your mother’s back – so to speak. Only that you did what the sign says you may not.
If you do, then the enforcers of the sign’s dictum are given the green light to do exactly what the sign says is “unsafe.”
As you can see in the video – and it is one of many such – the “speeding” goes from not much to a whole lot. After turning his car around to pursue the motorcyclist who just passed him, the cop achieves speeds well over 100 MPH to catch up with the bike. Were you or I to “speed” to that degree – for any reason at all – we’d be getting a lot more than just a “ticket.” In many states, exceeding the speed limit by more than 20 MPH is considered “reckless” and the person who does so risks arrest, having their vehicle impounded and their state-granted privilege to use the public right-of-way taken away.
The “speeding” escalates from there. Also the use of the opposing lane by the motorcyclist and the pursuing cop, both of whom continue to “speed” for nearly half an hour before the guy on the bike loses control and wrecks. He ends up paying for more than just a “ticket.”
You may say the fault lies with the motorcycle rider, who “attempted to elude.” Would we say the same about a gazelle who sought to avoid the cheetah?
The first premise is that it’s legitimate to prey on people who “speed.” Just because they “speed.” No other justification is needed. Well, no other fact is required – such as the “speeding” having resulted in someone (or even something) being harmed. It is an interesting premise to consider, this punishing of people for no other reason than their having disobeyed a rule, which is what this amounts to.
But “speed kills!” comes the retort. Translated from the infantile emotive tense, the saying means that driving faster than whatever the sign says increases the chances you might harm someone else – or something else. And that is the reason why it is not permitted and why it is punishable when it is done.
Well, let’s assume for the sake of discussion that the above is true. That “speed kills.” Does it not also “kill” when it is done by cops “speeding” twice as fast (and sometimes, faster) than the sign says?
Following their logic, of course – it must.
Yet it is not only allowed it is policy. What an irony! The same cop who hands you a “ticket” for “speeding” was probably doing the same (or more) just to catch up and hand you that “ticket” for doing what you’re not allowed to.
Well, comes the response, the cop is trained and therefore it is safe for him to “speed.” This is bogus, of course in that many cops have had no particular training in high speed driving techniques nor demonstrated capability – while even having an SCCA road racing license, which objectively establishes the holder has demonstrated precisely such capability – cuts zero ice in court or by the side of the road.
So it’s not about who is “safe” to “speed.” Nor is it about “safety,” at all. If it were, then all “speeding” would be illegal, including “speeding” performed to catch “speeders.” But it’s not, because “speeding” is really about mulcting. It is window-dressing for the taking of money via the “ticket” and all associated mulctings, such as those performed by the insurance mulcters that use “tickets” as the window-dressing for “adjusting” what you’re forced to pay them.
In other words, it;’s just another scam, window-dressed with unctuous sermons about saaaaaaaaafety. Much the same as the ones about “health,” which many have accepted precisely because they’ve been conditioned for generations now to reflexively say amen – and obey – whenever they hear that word, saaaaaaafety.
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