Exceeding the Speed Limit or Just Going With the Flow

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Exceeding the Speed Limit or Just Going With the Flow

Postby Akil Todd Harvey » Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:38 am


Rather than disrupt the flow on the other thread I thought I would place my post here and invite others to chime in as they see fit....

I hope you can overcome our hijacking your thread (not that lawlessness in Iraq does not interest me as a topic of discussion)......

Perhaps we should take it to another thread.......

Sensei Glasheen,

THis topic has been on my mind for a looooooooooooong time. I would hazard to guess that both you and I are giving mini lectures simulatnaeously on opposites coasts on this very topic........

My take is as follows....I start with the science......These roads (highways I am really referring to) were engineered to do originaly 75 plus mph (safely) at a time when the tires we drove on had no steel threads embedded in most of them (making the stopping distances be much larger). Back then most cars had four drum brakes instead of at least one set of disk brakes (greater stopping power), if not two sets (one on each axle). Back then there was no such thing as Anti-lock brakes......We had no safety crumple zones or air bags or three point safety belts (heck, did they evenb have safety belts......

Now lets jump forward to today at a time when Americans are, on average, commuting greater and greater distances to their work place, road congestion is getting worse on both coasts and most everywhere in between. I dont think you could name a new car incapable of doing at least a 100 miles per hour, and yet we are stuck with a draconian speed limit of how much, 55? Why not make it 25? We would certainly be a lot safer and we would consume far less fuel as donkeys and mules could be put back on the road (taking a page out Panther & UglyElk's books - "Rant Mode=off") for the sake of the environment......

Seriously, our local rag, the LA times, has its weekly section devoted to cars and things automotive. Every week they come out with some new article about the newest vehicle and how they can accelerate from 0 to 60 in less than 10 seconds, less than 8 or even 6 seconds (I cannnot afford most of these). What? You think they stop at 60?

And then, in some other section of the paper, there it was........

The Article.......

The one that was supposed to shame us all or shock us all........

What was the article about?????????

The article was about how shocking it was that there was a plethora of drivers caught by the state police (think chips) driving in excess of 100 MPH............

Am I supposed to feel bad because I exceeded 100 mph on an open road in which visibility exceeds several miles (straight road, perfect weather, 400 miles to San Francisco, should be able to get there in about five hours right?-ok, let me not incriminate myself too much).......

Bill mentions a govenor for the engine ( a horrible little device that can limit your vehicles top speed arbitrarily)......It would seem to me that if the government does not want me to exceed certain speeds, it could very easily fix that by mandating speed limiting devices for vehicles designed to be used on our highways......I dont want this......

I think what we have is a highly hypocritical rule of law in this case. The revenues generated from speeding from must be enourmous and getting higher every week.....What does state govt do in case of budget shortfall, go find some "Quality violators" which is gobly gook for soembody doing over 90 (or some other major infraction).....

Who else benfits from this hypocritical set of laws? The insurance industry sure comes to my mind. Bill, what happens to your insurance premiums when you get caught doing 90 plus........

The govt is more than willing to let you hang yourself and then they collect a fee....if this was about safety, and since they cant be everywhere, they would insist manufacturers put those nasty little devices in to slow us down...............

The laws, to be followed by the people, must be reasonable. If you doubt my arguments, then do the speed limit on any American freeway, but make sure you are in one of the passing lanes.....I hope you dont get run off the road doing the poosted speed limit cuz nobody in their right mind does that.........the speed limits we have today were mostly established decades ago and are so irrelevant that almost no one even bothers anymore......

city streets and downtown driving are mostly another matter as limited visibility, congestion, traffic signals and stops signs make that a different issue (IMHO).....Bill, you ever do 100 mph down main street? Me neither, but I did go 103 in a 74 nova with only 7 cylinders firing on the mass turnpike (at 3 am when nearly no one else was around)

come on, suppose you live 30 miles from your work place and you commute that distance every day with the average commute time about one hour (please note that that average speed is 30 mph)....You have driven this road so many times that you now know every curve, every bump, every major interchange, every on ramp & off-ramp, you know where the fuzz likes to hang out.......you have arranged with your boss that you come late and leave late every day so as to miss much of the rush hour traffic.....

so here you are in your hyundai sonata (even these pieces of whatever can exceed 100 mph), doing 73 in the passing lane, but you want to get 'er up to about 78 or so (you dont want to be the fastest guy or gal on the road cuz he or she is the one who usually gets the ticket). What is preventing you from passing the minivan in front of you? Well, the driver is busy on the cell phone and insisting on their right to do the speed limit in the passing lane (the minivan isnt actually passing anyone, they have been doing the same speed as the vehicle to their right for the last three miles and have slowed down every time you tried to politely signal your intention to use the passing lane for its ostensible purpose, passing other slower traffic). That minivan will stay in the passing lane all day if you dont make an aggressive move. Why? its conforting to be in the far left lane, fewer lanes of traffic to be concerned with....in fact, you need to be able to take your concentration off the road so you can focus on your fone call.........

so what finally happens.....the sonata makes a move, passing on the right (a somewhat dangerous move due to the greater blindspots on the right side of the vehicle), illegal in many states, but not in others. After making his move, the sonata cuts over to the far left, in front of the minivan, and jams on his breaks to make a point.....dude, how uncool, you just made me spill my cafe latte all over my new leather seats and brand new cell phone......

hang up and drive.........

NOTE: I do recognize that the increasing use of our highways by larger and larger trucks is part of the reason that so many slow drivers are in the passing lanes, but that does not explain their inattentiveness to the road..........

the one i like best is the jerk doing the speed limit and when you finally pass em on the right since he wouldnt let you go the normal route, you find he has a bok in his hands and he is actually trying to read it............and you are worried about me doing 90 while some jerk is reading while driving.....at least I have my eyes on the road.......

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Postby Akil Todd Harvey » Sat Aug 09, 2003 4:55 pm

Very interesting article in the LA times recently.......

CA govenor's motorcade clocked at doing 94 MPH in a 55 mph zone where ordinary fines have been doubled due to the dangerousness of the location.......

SACRAMENTO—A motorcade driving Gov. Gray Davis to Los Angeles was clocked going 94 mph by a California Highway Patrol officer who pursued the cars for five miles until members of the governor's security detail identified themselves, sources said Friday.

The chase occurred Aug. 2 on a two-lane portion of California 46 in San Luis Obispo County known as "Blood Alley," because at least 29 people have died after traffic accidents there since 1998. Movie actor James Dean was killed on the same stretch in 1955.

A spokesman for Davis refused to comment on the incident, referring questions to Highway Patrol Commissioner D.O. "Spike" Helmick.

Helmick said he would not discuss issues relating to the governor's security. But he said that he had formally reprimanded an unidentified CHP sergeant in charge of the motorcade because traffic laws had been broken. He said the motorcade had been carrying a "dignitary" but would not elaborate. Sources said the passenger was Davis.

CHP officials said motorcade officers must obey traffic laws, just like any other motorist, unless there is an emergency.

While CHP spokesman Tom Marshall would not confirm that the governor had been in the motorcade, he did provide a general description of the chase.

Marshall said a CHP officer had been traveling westbound on the highway when he was passed by the oncoming motorcade of two unmarked cars going at high speed. The officer made a U-turn and started the pursuit with his lights flashing. He clocked the motorcade at 94 mph on radar.

The posted speed limit is 55 mph and, in an attempt to curb accidents, traffic fines are doubled for violations along the highway.

At first, members of the motorcade appeared to ignore the officer. Marshall said that, during the pursuit, the passenger appeared to be "on the cell phone, asleep or something."

The pursuing officer radioed a dispatcher with the license plate number of one car to learn whether it might have been involved in a crime, Marshall said.

Then one of the CHP officers in the motorcade either "heard the radio call or saw the red lights" and contacted the dispatcher, Marshall said. The officer identified himself as a member of the dignitary protection detail.

The motorcade officer asked the pursuing patrolman to "back off," Marshall said. But before he did so, the pursuing officer ordered the motorcade drivers to turn on the amber caution lights on their vehicles so he could verify their identities. The pursuit ended and the motorcade continued on.

Helmick said Davis had attended a political function in Monterey that day and planned to fly to Los Angeles. From there he was scheduled to fly Sunday to Chicago. But there was a problem with Davis' airplane, and he could not take off, Helmick said, and it was decided that Davis would go to Los Angeles by motorcade.

Helmick said his reprimand for the sergeant was the mildest form of discipline he could give. He said the other CHP officers were not punished.

Officials for Davis' recall campaign organization, which was involved in the Monterey event, did not return calls seeking comment.

Obviously no one wanted to endorse my previous post (it was a bit too aggressive), but I am still wondering about the rule of law as it applies to driving on our roads.

Where are our resident experts on this? (Summer Camp most likely. Well, enjoy yourselves and return safely, no exceeding the speed limit).....

Almost nobody bothers to follow the speed limits as posted, so what does that do to the rule of law. Who gets hurt? Most often those who get hurt are those who bother to follow the laws in the first place, whi8ch is interesting since the laws were designed presumably to provide protections for people.........
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Postby Alan K » Fri Aug 15, 2003 4:04 pm


I have a solution for the speed antics of Gray Davis and his honorable clan.

During the recall debacle, have Arnold ride with him and if he exceeds the speed limit, Arnold will be sanctioned to terminate him and post his number plate in a CA court house.

His clan would be arrested and forced to be Uke with Arnold as Tore in Arnold's next movie.


Seriously, I have a problem with speeders on the highway, but not just for speeding.What gets me is the road weaver who endangers lives with high speed lane changes forcing you to really tap the brakes as you are cut off.

Many of the Goliath SUV's need out-rigger pontoons to keep from rolling over from their unbalance and center of gravity.

Many of these drivers have no skill and their endangerment to the public is criminal.

They need courses in high speed and defensive driving.

Many insurance companies require this for fleet drivers, and the bills are paid by the company; however if insurance companies can dictate safety rules and equipment for Martial Arts Studios and Tournaments, it should do the same for drivers.

Aircraft Pilots have to qualify by having logged enough hours each years or get 10 hours of check rides from a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor)

Most vehicles on the road today are capable of at least 100 MPH, hut their driver's are not.

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Postby Akil Todd Harvey » Sat Aug 16, 2003 5:02 pm

Alan K,

Hoping that this post finds you in good spirits & good health..........

Seriously, I have a problem with speeders on the highway, but not just for speeding.What gets me is the road weaver who endangers lives with high speed lane changes forcing you to really tap the brakes as you are cut off.

We have a rule of law problem on our freeways, folks who are neither nor driving fast are taking up our "fast" lanes and our "passing" lanes. Perhaps if the "passing" lanes were available for task they were supposedly designed, those who actually want to pass, would do so in a safer way.

When I am behind someone hogging up the "passing" lane, I first try to make some signal to the hog that I want to get by. That usually gets ignored as they are busy on the phone or some other non-driving realted activity. As I approach, I try to signal my intetnions with my headlights from a great distance and then as I approach closer.

Think of what my alternatives are, if you (in a general sense, not you personally) dont let me get around. The vast majority of aggressive drivers make the signal that you should get out their way by getting as close to your car as they possibly can trying to intimidate you or threatening to hit you if you dont move out of their way (talk about endangering). I hate doing this, but occasionally will for those incredibly studdorn folks who get all bent out of shape that I dared to make a signal to them with my headlights.

Many of the Goliath SUV's need out-rigger pontoons to keep from rolling over from their unbalance and center of gravity.

You want to talk about endangerment, let's talk about the Massive vehicle that is within five feet of your rear bumber at 60 or 70+ MPH. Here is a jerk who would not stand within five feet of you in person, but they are willing to do so at freeway speeds.......

They need courses in high speed and defensive driving.

Where do they offer these courses? and how much do they cost (ie are they available only for the wealthy)?

Most vehicles on the road today are capable of at least 100 MPH, hut their driver's are not.

Actually, with the high speed training that you mention, everyone could handle 100 MPH, easily, but it might mean they have to put down their foam latte' or, heaven forbid, they might have to hang up and drive.......

You know, Alan, I have never driven the autobahn, but there was an interesting program on it the other day. While on the one hand, they wont bust you for excessive speed, they will come after you for passing on the right and THEY WILL GET YOU FOR NOT YIELDING THE PASSING LANE TO FASTER DRIVERS.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that those that weave wthin traffic are a menace and I include myself in that scenario much of the time, but I need to remind you sir, that part of the problem exists in the rule of law which has not been altered to reflect the reality of the machines we drive and how they can be driven.

Reading my posts, one could easily misconstrue what I am saying to think that I dont care how many people I endanger or frighten along the way when the opposite is actually the case. First, I love driving when no one else is around, partly cuz I dont want to bother other people and partlky because the whole point of driving is to get from a to b, not to get three fone calls made and finish off my breakfast.

Some time back I was traveling the 400 miles up to the Bay Area, pretty soon the road winnowed down to only 2 lanes, like the mass turnpike east of the 84 split (without many of the hills), and I can see for miles ahead of me (straight open road). I told my companions before we left the city that if they acted as companions and kept me company, I would drive as sane as I knew how, but that if they all fell asleep, all bets were off and I would do what I needded to do to get their more quickly and in a manner that would make best use of how alert Karate has taught me to be. It was along that lonely stretch of road that I determined that my vehicle had the govenor placed at 110 MPH (make notice here that they could have easily set that max speed to something lower, but did not bother).

Again, seeing the number, 110 mph, one automatically jumps into judgement mode and declares it to be too fast to be passing other cars on a two lane highway. I say to you, who said I passed anyone doing that speed? I let my foot off the gas about a quarter mile or so before I pass someone and coast a bit, passing them at about 85 or 95 MPH, and them accelerating once again (I try to balance my speed with theirs so I dont pass them too quickly and upset their vehicle with a gush of wind)......

More to come ......

Peace and Wishes for unrestricted speed limits.......

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Postby Gene DeMambro » Mon Aug 18, 2003 10:49 pm

I'm just wondering how my name got entered into the discussion, as I am purposely staying out of this one.

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