Why Punish People for “Speeding”?

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Why should anyone be subject to punishment merely for driving “x” speed? Is it not of a piece with punishing someone for merely consuming alcohol?spped 1

The justification usually given is that “speeding” might cause harm.

Ok, sure. The same is true about drinking beer. Someone (generally) might drink beer and beat his wife. But we do not presume (for now) that everyone who drinks beer will beat his wife – and thus, drinking beer must be forbidden. And violators of this policy punished.

What about punishing (hold onto that thought) people when – and only if – they actually do cause harm? Not before – and not because they might. Or because “someone” else has.

It’s a crazy idea, I realize.

Imagine: You’d only have to sweat cops or face a judge if you (and not some other person you never even met) could plausibly be charged with having caused harm to an actual victim or damaged the actual property of someone else. Mark that. A flesh and blood victim would have to be presented.

And it would be the obligation of the courts to prove that harm was done to establish guilt before requiring restitution (much preferable to punishing people, which smacks of house training a puppy).speed 2

There would be an end to this business of people being put through the system who’ve harmed no one. Who are punished for manufactured offenses against the state.

Can the state be a victim?

Is the Tooth Fairy real?

It’s absurd – and vicious.

Do you feel guilty of wrongdoing when pulled over by a cop for not wearing a seatbelt? Who have you harmed? What justification – other than “it’s the law” – is there for punishing you?

How about driving faster than an arbitrary number plastered on a sign? You get pulled out from a crowd of others doing the same thing; none of you harming anyone or even plausibly threatening it. It’s merely your unlucky day. Your time to pay.

As the cop slides in behind you, does your internal monologue run along the lines of, “well, yeah… I did a bad thing… I deserve this.”

Or do you feel disgust, anger – and resentment?

Of course.

This has serious implications.speed 3

Laws without a moral basis are just arbitrary rules. They have no moral force – and that makes people subjected to them feel abused. Which they have been. Meanwhile, it also makes it more difficult to deal with the relatively small number of people in society who actually do cause harm to others. If you doubt this, take a drive into a “bad” neighborhood; where are all the cops?

They’re manning radar traps and safety checkpoints in the “nice” neighborhoods!

Remember the “Drive 55” idiocy that lasted from about 1974 to 1995? Overnight – and for the next 20 years – it became illegal “speeding” to drive 70 when the day before it had been legal to do that and – presumably (being legal) “safe.” How does it become “unsafe” to drive 70 on the same road today that it was (apparently) “safe” to drive 70 on yesterday?

What was it Bob Dooole used to say? You know it, I know it, the American people know it.

Millions of people were simply ripped off – had their money stolen from them under color of law.

The contempt and corruption this bred is incalculable. It festers to this day. Because while “Drive 55” is history, the same rigmarole exists on secondary roads. Every day, thousands of people are pulled over and literally robbed. Issued what amount to ransom notes – state-sanctioned extortion – for driving at reasonable and prudent velocities that happen to have been codified as illegal “speeding.” The fact that virtually every one “speeds” – this includes cops – is the clearest, most inarguable proof that the laws are absurd. And their enforcement a sort of low-rent sadism that also happens to be very profitable.

What’s the solution?

Speed limits as such ought to be thrown in the woods. They are arbitrary, morally indefensible – and most of all, one-size-fits-all.speed 4

People are individuals and some people are better at certain things than others. This includes driving. Tony Stewart is a better driver than I am. But I am a much better driver than my mother-in-law. Why should Tony Stewart be dumbed-down to my level?

And why should I be dumbed-down to my mother-in-law’s?

Imposing arbitrary, one-size-fits-all limits on anyone for anything is by definition unfair.

Arbitrary man-made “speeding” laws based on a dumbed-down/least-common-denominator  standard amount to ugly and stupid people punishing the good-looking and smart ones.   

The people who support such laws support anticipatory and pre-emptive punishment. That is, laws that assume something bad will happen if “x” is not punished.

And which punish the “offender” as if something bad had actually happened.

Even if it never did.clover lead

Innocence of having caused harm is (currently) no defense. It’s not necessary for the government to produce a victim. All that’s necessary, legally speaking, is for the state to prove that “the law” was violated.

Comrade Stalin would approve.

Cue the keening wail that, absent speed limits, people will drive excessively fast and lose control.

Yet they do exactly that already – speed limits notwithstanding. Just as people still drive soused (and senile, too).

The difference between the harm-caused/actual victim approach – and the “it’s the law” approach – is that the former only holds those who actually do lose control – for whatever reason – accountable. Everyone else is free to go about their business. To live as adults – rather than be treated as presumptively unintelligent children.

What a concept!

Speed advisories would be fine. For example a sign letting you know that there is a sharp curve ahead and maybe reducing speed would be good. Drivers unfamiliar with that road – and never having driven that curve before – may find this information helpful. But why should the local who is familiar with that road – and who drives that curve everyday – be subject to punishment for taking the curve at a higher speed?

Assuming, of course, that he does so competently, without causing harm to anyone in the process?

That was once the American Way. Not “do as you please” – the dishonest, demagogic bleat of Clovers. But rather, do as you please… so long as you don’t cause harm to others.

The false choice offered by Clovers is total control in exchange for total safety – the “risk free” world. But this is a quixotic quest that can never end, because risk cannot be removed from this life. We all get sick – and die eventually. Entropy happens.

What can be excised, however, is the risk to our liberties, our peace of mind, our enjoyment of life – presented by random and arbitrary interferences and punishments  based not on what we’ve done, but on what “someone” might do.

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118 COMMENTS

  1. as per your request:

    Mr. Peters,

    I am a 51-year-old partially disabled veteran. The VA is putting me through nursing school. I recently moved from the larger San Antonio metropolitan zone, to the rural Canyon Lake, Texas area. It’s an interesting place that might soon be in the San Antonio metro group. The roads here are adequately-sized for the traffic, but there is a serious problem with speeding and reasonable safety considerations. People with plenty of room seem to get sloppy. Though when I was young I drove an IROC Z, and when in Korea with the Army I was a go-to guy when it was an hour drive and you had to be there in 45 minutes, I have calmed down in my old age. I’ve had two high-speed, solo accidents. One was my fault and one was equipment failure. Suffice to say, I’ve had my wheels pointed at the road and at the sky.

    Drivers in this recreational, rural area scare me to death. They are dangerous and they are legion. Several times every day I move over onto the shoulder and let pushy drivers past me, though I’m going the speed limit. It is truly an unnerving driving environment. Many of the pickup drivers out here buy elaborate bumper assemblies because there are so many deer on the roads. I mean, a lot of deer. It is mind-blowing to see the freshly-killed deer on the roads in the mornings. You’d think the things swallowed hand grenades. The creatures are literally exploded across the highway like hamburger balloons fell out of a plane. The guys don’t even slow down for impact.

    Besides my studies, I do quite a bit of volunteer work. Among my volunteer duties include, one day a week I drive “meals on wheels” to the indigent and elderly out in the county. One morning in mid-July, on the way to pick up meals to deliver, I was late due to congestion on the two-laner toward our sister community where the senior center that hosts the program is. After about an hour delay and the responders managed to allow passage, I took a photo of the collision that held up so many of us commuters, in case the volunteer coordinator doubted my legitimate tardiness.

    The next day I learned that resulting from that accident, one of my fellow meals-on-wheels drivers–a 68-year-old woman, had taken a header from an impatient driver pulling into her lane to pass a slower driver. She was five minutes ahead of me, going the same way. I will attach a link to the news-channel story about the incident, which, ironically, uses the photo I took of the aftermath.

    My point is, sir, perhaps you can use your new-found popularity and go an extra step and remind our fellow drivers how important is is to remain decent and proper on our roadways. I agree with you that our governments exploit citizens at what seems like every opportunity. I also feel that far too many people are routinely irresponsible on our byways. As a drivers’ advocate, you can exploit the attention you are receiving and make an impression on your readers, that all lives do matter, and responsible piloting is everyone’s duty.

    Thank you,

    Fredd Bergman
    Canyon Lake, Texas

    http://www.news4sanantonio.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/Meals-on-Wheels-volunteer-dies-in-car-crash-170254.shtml

    • Hi Fred,

      I agree with you completely as regards sloppy, incompetent drivers. But that does not necessarily include fast drivers. This is a distinction I have been trying to make for years in my writing.

      A skilled, attentive driver may be able to operate at much higher speed with less likelihood of losing control than an average or low-skilled driver operating at lower speed.

      The problem is that we each have varying skill levels – and someone who does not feel comfortable with “x” speed will usually regard another person who is comfortable at “x” speed as “unsafe” even if that person is in full control of their vehicle and has not caused any problems for anyone. This is why the disagreement about speed limits – and why we have “one-size-fits” all speed limits that reflect the capacities of the low-average driver (and therefore punish the skilled, above-average driver for no good reason).

      So, what’s the right approach? Here’s my 50:

      Rather than subject everyone to a dumbed-down average or laws that are premised on everyone being inept (for example, no right on red laws) why not make the standard, use your judgment – with the understanding that you (as an individual) will be held fully accountable if your judgment is poor?

      In other words, stop hassling people for “speeding” and other manufactured offenses that have no victim (except the person being stopped by the cop) and instead, hold people accountable if they cause harm? Meaning, if I lose control and hit your car, then I (and no one else) am responsible for restitution, for paying the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle, covering your medical expenses, etc.

      Wouldn’t this be better than punishing people who’ve done no harm to anyone – because “someone” might?

      • I do not agree in all cases. There are some places that do not lend themselves to excessive speed, no matter the “skill level” of the driver in question. In many cases, my opinion, there must be a maximum allowable speed for all drivers. I am not necessarily referring to the long, straight stretches between Van Horn and El Paso. I’m talking about where soccer mom’s flourish. In school zones. On major metropolitan thoroughfares in town with stop lights every 200 yards. I don’t care how good a driver, there must be some order. I do agree the municipalities exploit drivers for revenue. No bout a doubt it. Is that wrong–definitely. But that doesn’t mean enforced speed limits are inappropriate in all cases.

        One of my favorite “police the police”-type memes elaborates on how you will be stopped, ticketed, must appear, if not they come for you, if you resist they kill you. All true–all wrong. Does not negate the need for order. An excellent driver may manage the perils of a 30-mph residential just fine at 50-mph, until a child pops out.

        I believe we are mostly in agreement–just not 100%.

        • Sandman, do you know Mike in Whichita? I don’t think anyone here ever advocated blazing through neighborhoods or speeding from light to light. But these self-righteous a-holes that make the inside lane off limits to trucks are doing so only for their perceived selfishness and it has nothing to do with traffic flow, wrecks, speed nor anything else. I’ve seen small town(and big city)cops use and abuse hell out of that law. Never mind the trucker who got in the lane is going as fast as anyone and would probably be going faster if he could just use that lane a bit to get to a gap in a lane or two over. People in the city drive like they’re totally Alzheimered out. From one side completely to the other, 60 miles of 4 and 5 lane highway that’s posted 60mph. Nothing but a money-maker since nobody is going 60 and do 80 when they can. Of course truckers are a great target for this since they can’t legally possess a radar detector and when everyone else is running nearly 70 they are going to also to simply not be a hazard.

        • Engineers solved the problem of what the speed limit should be many decades ago. It’s called the 85th percentile method. It’s rarely followed because while it increases safety and decreases congestion it harms revenue and the joy of control freaks.

          There has been decades of building better idiots as well. This is another thing government does so people like yourself proclaim there needs to be centralized control and monitoring and rules and enforcement because people can’t handle it. They can’t handle it because they were made not to be able to handle it. See John Taylor Gatto on the schools and how that has been done intentionally.

          Garden variety clovers will hit 50mph in a residential zone if I am biking along at / close to the PSL and there’s a stop sign up ahead. Yes, they have to get there first and will do well over the PSL to do so.

    • Fred, one point you make about deer and big deer killers on pickups. The need for these things is certainly legitimate but as you said, I see many times when people don’t even try to avoid any animals. This past winter, I pulled up to the then, four way stop at FM 33 and State highway 158. This is downtown Garden City, Tx. with a store right there that’s always covered in big rigs behind and everything else all the way around although it was closed at the time. Even though it was closed, big rigs were constantly entering and exiting onto the highway where those deer were killed. I can promise only a dead deer couldn’t get out of their way and I have never seen a professional driver who didn’t do his best to avoid an animal. In fact, I saw a driver with a load of fuel trying to turn into the Wally parking lot the other day and this dog that was obviously lost stood in the street staring at the truck as if that was where he was supposed to be. The driver eventually blew his horn after stopping and waiting for the dog to move and it did back into the grassy area. I watched the gun watch the dog as he slowly made the turn. I’d say more good things about him but he pulled in and blocked me from getting out when I was clearly about to leave. I had to back down through bales of cardboard on pallets and big, concrete filled pipe that protect the building from vehicles. Back to GC. I finally got to go and I see a deer and her doe freshly dead in the road only a block and a half from the stop sign. Whoever hit them did it on purpose plus they were hit by a south bound vehicle that supposedly stopped and was traveling much faster than was safe right there.

      It sickens me to see people not even let off the gas, never try to avoid or even brake for animals. I put in a typical day for me yesterday, one the DOT would love to catch me doing, 16 hrs and 740 miles. I ran in the dark, through all the daylight and back into the dark. My point is, I almost never run over any animal. I even made a fast move around a road runner trying his best to get run over. He was so flagrant I had to laugh but I still went to the other side of the road. I commonly see people not even try to avoid all types of animals from birds to cats.

      But I saw wreck after wreck this past week. It was truly the damndest thing I’d seen in a long time. What was so telling was the lack of driving ability. Nearly everyone of these accidents(ha)were single vehicle rollovers. Late in the day I came across a DPS and a wreck bed truck for hauling whatever is there away. What was there at the end of long skid marks starting in the passing lane and eventually disappearing on the shoulder, was a very large SUV. I couldn’t tell you what kind it was since it was about half the size, width and height, it should have been.
      I have to wonder if tire failure was involved in any of these since I saw plenty people on the side with flats yesterday including the blowout I had on a trailer which luckily happened while nobody was doing that hang out beside me crap and was on the low side anyway. I see vehicles constantly with low tires hauling ass. I would have been dead long ago had I driven the speeds I always have and not paid attention to my tires. Tires….WTF could be more important? But people don’t’ even look at them and it shows when you make as many miles a day as I do.

      And then there are these people who have to pass a big rig and then slow down. I don’t get it and often turn on my brights and nearly kiss their bumpers since I’ll be on cruise against the speed limiter and won’t be varying a tiny bit in speed. And that’s what happened yesterday with a new Tahoe, dogged it after passing me and finally moved out 100 feet effectively blocking a great deal of my view that lead to me hitting a big piece of concrete in the road.

    • I am stuck doing the PSL. I am tired of being selected for enforcement. This means I drive far slower than just about everyone else once at speed. Once that was only surface streets but now it’s everywhere because of a new enforcement technique on the interstates. Anyway on the surface streets people pass me illegally. Their favorite spot is yards from a police station, a department rumored to write tickets for 1mph over. Anyway I know what you’re getting at. What you describe is how the underposted speed limits and low skill levels our dear government has chosen kill. It’s really made for unsafe conditions. It can be fixed but control freaks refuse to yield so it will just get worse as the solutions are always more control.

  2. FYI:

    Psychologist openly admits he trains police officers to shoot first and ask questions later

    Well, here it is. All of the proof we ever needed. Not only are American police, from coast to coast, shooting first and asking questions later, they are being trained to do so in seminars by a psychologist who openly promises them that he’ll testify on their behalf if anything ever goes wrong. He’s already done it nearly 200 times.

    http://www.opednews.com/populum/printer_friendly.php?content=a&id=193557

  3. In most states “driving” is a legal term meaning someone using public roads for profit. A “passenger” is someone who has paid the “driver” to “transport” them (deliver them from one port to another). If you agree to “traffic” laws you are admitting that you are carrying contraband, and so on…

    It’s a word game, pure and simple. Welcome to the world of white collar crime writ large.

    • Hi Vince,

      Yes, I grok this. But – as much as I agree in principle – for all practical purposes, it’s a moot point. The courts (and cops) consider us “drivers” – in the same way they ignore and abuse the plain language of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches.

      Basically, the law is whatever they say it is.

      Meaning, there is no law at all.

      Just force and violence.

      • Which is why we need to accept they are already aggressing against us, and deal with the problem, “off the clock.”

        How people interpret that, I cannot specify; that message is on the receiver, not the speaker. What you infer, is up to you…

        • Once I realized the courthouse had a back way access I only had to think about it for a bit, realizing the cop shop and the judge’s chambers only had one way in and out. Then my thoughts turned to fishing…..in a barrel.

  4. Eric,

    Great article. I read an article a few weeks back about the speed study in Utah over the past three years since they raised the speed from 75 to 80 on some stretches of interstate. Their studies found that the increased speed limit didn’t increase the speed people drove at all on those stretches of interstate.

    I have noticed myself that people don’t drive any faster during a few trips from Idaho to Vegas over the past few years. I pass most other drivers when I’m doing 85 to 90. central Utah was made for 100 mph in the right car. I do 85 in pickup trucks.

    I wonder if Mikey considers me to be immoral for doing so?

    • Thanks, Ancap!

      I’ve noticed something about guys like Mike. They get enraged (observe his tendency to USE ALL CAPS) when someone else takes issue with their subjective views about what constitutes “risk.” Mike feels that “x” velocity (usually, whatever the law describes) is necessarily, always “risky.” Not only that, he equates driving at “x” speed with actually having caused harm – and therefore, it is fitting to punish anyone who commits this “offense.”

      They apply the same reasoning – feeling, actually – to justify a litany of victimless crime laws and other legal interferences in peaceful people’s lives. Everything from the drug “war” to zoning laws to laws that undermine or even negate freedom of association.

      I feel myself wanting to do the Clover Dance this morning….

      • I know how to get them enraged when I am bicycling or driving. Following the law to the letter. Why? It violates their feelings of how things should be.

        • Dear Brent,

          Yep. They only invoke “The Law” when it suits them.

          Follow the letter of the law scrupulously such that it inconveniences them even slightly, and they go ballistic.

  5. I agree, and I would add another insulting traffic “violation” that should not exist: the no right turn at a stoplight without a complete stop one! I have just been nailed with that one a little over a week ago in San Angelo, Tx.
    I safely violate irrational traffic laws every single day in the towns that I drive through during work. The irrational law that I do not violate in these towns is the speed limit because the local coproaches will stop car and truck drivers for that one.
    a little over a week ago during my off-time I drove outside of my usual work-related driving area to San Angelo to look at used travel trailers for sale. I came to an intersection with a red light that I had to turn right on and I observed no traffic movement from the road at the left nor from the oncoming lane in the left turn lane, so I made my right turn non-stop at about 1-3 mph.
    I continued driving on for several minutes as I searched for a specific business that my gps said was up ahead on the left when suddenly a motorcycle coproach hits his siren a couple of times behind me. I make a left turn into a parking lot having no idea why I was being pulled over until the coproach told me.
    I had hoped that he would have only given me a warning after he had run the background check and saw that I have never ever been in an injury accident in the more than 30 years of my driving, or the well over a decade since I had a damage beyond $1000 vehicle report. (On a semi-truck: the fiberglass hood or a scraped van trailer bottom rail costs that much even before you include labor costs. But nope! that parasitic coproach handed me an extortion ticket for $190. I had not mouthed off at it/him and I hid my contempt for its ilk perfectly.

    • I stop when I must. Other than that, I don’t completely stop and will probably get nailed for it. You’d think people would realize getting 40 tons moving again is just hanging it out there for a longer time increasing your risk someone will turn into the roadway and accelerate quickly and have a wreck with you.

      It’s a big deal for me and I’m glad the company provides a lawyer to address these situations. Motorcycle cops think they’re hot shit so one of them ticketing you is totally understandable since they make of point of “not” understanding.

  6. Its like this Eric your sort driving 90mph down my residential street will eventually kill/maim someone. We choose to not wait for that & then let you go with a fine. My choice for vehicle homicide you would hang. Better that your sort be kept afraid to try 90mph on our street than to have someone die.Clover

    • MikefromWichita,

      Is Eric claiming or promoting driving down a residential street @ 90mph (144kph)? Your argument sounds like a strawman.

      Hanging as a punishment for killing/maiming someone while driving in a residential zone? That could be something worth discussing, especialling in the case of someone being killed.

      • No ‘straw’ involved. The idiots will do almost anything if a dread of punishment is not imposed upon them. Personally, I would do things the German way and not allow the dumbest most inept third of the population to drive at all.Clover

        • Clover,

          In other words, your position is that most people (not the occasional freak) are psychopaths; they’re itching to murder and rape and steal… and would so in a hot minute, were it not for “the law.”

          And they ask me why I drink…

          • Yes Eric, that seems to be the position Mike and others of his “sort” take. They take that position on everything. Someone kills with a gun, take the guns from everyone because they presume that people are waiting to use their guns to maim or kill………if it weren’t for that rule that says they shouldn’t. They thank God for the “law” for stopping–as if written words stop things–people of our “sort” would be perpetuating blood baths everywhere.

            Think of all the restraining orders that have stopped abuse and rapes.

        • “Personally, I would do things the German way and not allow the dumbest most inept third of the population to drive at all.”

          They don’t, Mike – they’re elected to public office and have someone else to drive FOR them.

          the remainder of said population are the ones who vote for the SOBs instead of tarring and feathering them for the lies told last election cycle…
          And the same for any other SOB helping them, whether bottom third or not. Any security, planning, management, speechwriters, coordinators, PR Flacks, etc, etc, etc.
          Tar them all, and Hop-Frog them for good measure…

    • MFW, I recall when you first started commenting. Only a few comments into the subject and you built this same strawman. It’s……tedious.

    • Mike,

      When have I ever defended “driving 90 MPH down a residential street”?

      What you are trying to do is what Clovers always do: Trot out a completely ridiculous, exaggerated “what if” and attempt to portray that as what your opponent was advocating.

      Your premise – which all Clovers hew to – is that absent laws that define it as illegal, people will “drive 90 MPH down a residential street.” That they are champing at the bit to do so. Because you believe that people are basically murderous, psychopathic maniacs who (absent “the law” ) will not act responsibly and reasonably – even in their own self-interest.

      Ever hear of “projection,” Mike?

      Would people drive faster than 15 or 25 MPH in a residential area? Yes, probably – when they judged it safe to do so.

      If they err – if their judgment is faulty and they cause harm – then, certainly, they should be held accountable. And so should parents who don’t teach their children to be careful about roads – and aware of traffic.

      Forcing everyone to drive at ludicrously low speeds – and punishing them for driving at reasonable (but higher) speeds is no different in suburbia than it is on the highway.

      • Eric, I can tell you who drives fast on residential streets. People like our Clover and Mike. Now most of the time they do about 30mph, their usual five to ten over, but if I am bicycling on that particular residential road they’ll kick it up to 40 or 50 mph because they must pass the bicyclist (me) and I’m already going close to the PSL. Often it is get this… a race to a stop sign for them. They are speeding to beat me to a stop sign. It’s very very very rarely the kid in the riced out car or the old guy in the old muscle car with the jacked up rear end with slicks. Both move slowly making a lot of noise. It’s just some typical ‘obey the law’ type in some sort of toaster mobile.

        Also ever read those stories when residents demand a crack down on speeders and stop sign runners on their street? Guess who gets nailed? The people complaining. Who else would be there except the people who live there? They are their own problem.

      • CloverSoooooo, Eric all ya gotta do is acknowledge that the 15mph speed limit on a residential street is legit and should be obeyed. Can’t do that can ya? What about? 30? 50? 70? 89.9 mph? Point is YOU won’t accept ANY legal restriction of your ‘right’ to impose risk upon the rest of us will ya.

        • No, Clover, I do not “gotta do is acknowledge that the 15mph speed limit on a residential street is legit and should be obeyed.”

          It’s preposterous.

          For one, a person who has very poor eyesight, is just a terrible driver, might be a catastrophe waiting to happen even at 15 MPH. Whereas an alert and skilled driver could operate safely at 35 or 40.

          You favor arbitrary/dumbed-down rules that take no account of individual variance in skill/attentiveness and which presume something bad will happen just because it might.

        • Mike, I am a bicyclist. Motorists routinely put me at risk for the most trivial gains. These motorists are often law is the law types like yourself. They tell me about how ‘bike riders don’t obey the laws’ as an excuse for them speeding, passing with a 6 inch gap or less, passing less than a 100 ft from a stop sign, cutting me off, squeezing me against a curb, running stop signs, passing me on the left when I was signaling a left turn, and much more. They also yell at me when they have to wait behind me in queue or because I stopped at a stop sign. They yell at me when I follow the law to the letter. They have lurched their vehicles at me, run me off the road, stopped ahead of me and gotten out of their cars wanting to have a physical fight. Why is that Mike?

          You know what the trivially few recklessly fast motorists do? They pass me, usually with a wide berth, and I never see them again. No interaction with them. Very little risk of injury to myself. They pass and they are gone. It’s the law is the law folks who have never actually read the law, the control freaks, the safety first people that are the big risk. They have all the time in the world to teach me a lesson about how things should be according to them.

          The recklessly fast motorist just goes away. Of the motorists I encounter I probably see one of them once every few years. The problem kind? the one’s who think themselves law abiding and the law? If I take the ‘right’ route I can end up dealing with them very frequently, even daily at times.

        • “Point is YOU won’t accept ANY legal restriction of your ‘right’ to impose risk upon the rest of us will ya.”

          Yup – just like all of us have a batch of Ricin brewing in our homes, because we haven’t been caught.
          Or nitroglycerin.
          Or TNT.
          Or Plastique.
          Or Meth, Marijuana, Opium… Yeah, that back yard looks good with poppies all over!

          Eric,
          Vodka’s not strong enough, we need to go to Valium…

    • Mike, you have a valid point.. BUT….. what he’s talking about is victimless activity. As soon as he’s hit someone, there IS a victom. The part of this equation he’s left out is that they who DO harm their victims when doing stupid things like 90 mph in your residential street will be punished appropriately. That fast driver’s decision to drive at 90 mph on your street led proximally to the death of your kid… who may not have been properly trained NOT to play baseball in the street without looking first. (sort of on the level ot training him NOT to ride his bicycle at fifteen miles per hour into the concrete block wall at the end of your street). Eric’s point, that extorting money from millions who do no harm is wrong, does not preclude the principle that when one DOES cause harm one must suffer consequences. After all, the biblical basis for civil government is “to bear the sword against those who do harm”. Driving 90 down your street causes no harm.. UNTIL your child is killed. But a wise and prudent man, knowing the results of killing your child when driving a speed inappropriate for area and conditions (California;s “basic speed law” is “as fast as it is safe”… when Eric kills your kid because his speed did not allow sufficient time to avoid, he is NOT dring “as fast as it is safe”.). A few cases, high profile, of crazy fast drivers being punished for manslaughter, or perhaps murder (as is often the case when one is drunk and kills someone) will likely put an end to such incidents. It has gone a long way toward redicong drunk driving deaths….. meanwhile, don’t get pulled over with an empty beer bottle on the floor in the back seat, even if it is one of forty eight you are taking back to the recycle facility and you have not had a drop of ethanol for a week. WHO is harmed? The establishment in not getting their grubby paws into your britches, that’s who.

    • Do you also think not allowing concealed carry will keep suicidal killers from plying their craft?

      Someone that would drive 90 in a residential area will not be deterred by some black numbers on a white background. If you think they will, please explain the logic supporting this belief.

      You also make a great case for eliminating speed limits and speedometers which would force people to pay attention to their surroundings and use a modicum of common sense.

    • Hi David,

      Non aggression. Such a simple, easily parsed principle. A child can comprehend/discern whether harm has been caused. It requires a lawyer to parse “the law”!

  7. 2 things. Here in the upper midwest, I’m seeing more and more of these color changing speed signs. Can anyone think of a more candid admission that the PSL is unreasonably low than to put one of these overpriced POS’s up?

    It also occurs to me that if the system could be a lot less arbitrary and corrupt if the US Constitution’s prohibition on excessive fines and bails were enforced. Anything over 2 hours of minimum wage as a traffic fine in the absence of an accident would surely take the profit motive right out of the system. Also getting rid of court costs as we’re already paying for that court with outrageous taxes.

    But then, that would imply that the Constitution was the law of the land and we could execute the gun control statists for high treason. Can’t have that.

    • I hav a suspicion that you feel an ‘excessive’ fine is an amount that would make you THINK twice about doing some lawbreaking recklessness you really really want to do.
      Clover
      How about setting the fine for speeding at 40 hours actual earnings (minimum $8/hr assumed) for under 10mph over limit, 120 hours for 10.01- 20 over limit, 360 hours for 20.01 – 30 over limit 1080 hours and vehicle forfeit for 30.01 mph or more over limit. All funds to be used to compensate vics of dangerous drivers.

      • What happens Mike is that if the speed limits remain absurdly low and the fines become more than a defacto road tax people get angry. People much like you get angry when their typical five to ten over can cost them a week or more of wages. This is why I recommend very high speeding fines for exceeding the speed limit by small values. It would quickly anger the masses and one of the possible outcomes would be appropriate speed limits or the removal of them on limited access highways and the like. Now thus far what has happened has been a return to the status quo, which is the much more likely outcome. When VA I think it was had their ‘driver responsibility’ law that turned a speeding ticket fine into thousands of dollars the transportation appliance users got into an uproar as they were ticketed. The result was a return to the prior conditions.

      • Clover,

        Your comment assumes speed limits are reasonable; they aren’t. Not opinion. Demonstrable fact. On almost any given road, the posted limit is set well below the 85th percentile speed. In other words, normal/reasonable velocities (the speed at which traffic flows) have been criminalized – and people like you want to punish people for such nonsense. stealing $320 from some poor bastard for driving 80 in a 70 (10 MPH over an artificially low limit; on a road with an 85th percentile speed that’s higher than the PSL.

        And “vics of dangerous drivers”?

        Fine. If there is an actual victim. In which case you can make a plausible case that the driver was “dangerous.”

        But if not?

        All you’re doing is stealing people’s money and assaulting them under color of law.

      • Most people breaking the law don’t think ONCE, let alone twice.
        The driving concern is, “Get home before the kids.” (Pun not intended.)
        Or, “No one around, so not waiting 8 seconds at the stop sign.” (NJ “Full Stop” is 8 seconds.)
        Or maybe, “My favorite show is on in 5 minutes and I forgot to DVR it!”
        Or even, “She’s bleeding out, I have to get her to the ER!” (No joke, there have been events where the cop pulled someone over, forced them to wait for an ambulance, and the injured party DIED. In one case, the hospital was a literal 5 minutes away, the ambulance was 15. Result is, “DOA.”)

        And these “thoughts” above are not even conscious, usually, nor do they involve conscious attempts to flaunt the law. Just a “time crunch” and the rules change.

        Let’s make it interesting: These fines should be a percentage. As you indicate, Hours of work. So, a speeder on minimum wage follows your math. A CEO earning $500,000 per year (including stock options and other income from said job) – EVEN IF HE’S IN A LIMO OR CAB – would instead burn through (500K/yr / (40hrs/wk * 52 weeks) @ 120 hours = $240/hour * 120 hours…

        Now, why do we fine HIM for the driver doing something illegal? Well, if the driver weren’t working for the Exec, there wouldn’t have been an infraction… The Driver wouldn’t have been there to break the law. (Law in Saudi Arabia, BTW.) Premise being, the Executive is scheduled up the wazoo, he’s urging the driver on…
        (Just another example of how we separate actions from consequences here, BTW.)

        OTOH, we could apply the “can’t control another person” premise, which is the current version applied to drivers for hire, to other things, too. The driver isn’t responsible for the dumb-ass kid who runs into the street after a ball. He makes a concerted effort to stop, he’s absolved of culpability under the law, DESPITE the injuries. Mom and Dad should’ve been responsible parents and ensured the child knew to NOT run into the street (ball or no.)
        Or, we could apply it to medical malpractice – do you have ANY IDEA the number of malpractice suits that are nonsense? E.G, the doctor didn’t scan for a parasite only found in Malaysia, when the suffering individual had never BEEN to Malaysia. Further, the parasite isn’t what killed the patient – but the case is allowed to proceed anyway. (Wrongful Death…)

        Or, Aids testing. You MUST use the more-expensive test for the AIDS virus, not the cheap, “maybe, maybe not” antibody test – which detects antibodies the body produces for other infections, too. (I.E., “False Positive.”)

        Or, testing for THC in a marijuana user’s system. The high is over in hours; the metabolite, THC, lasts for 10 days, IIRC. I.E., “Used Marijuana,” not, “Impaired driver.”
        Or, the officer isn’t allowed to be on your property without your permission – so, he enters and kills your dog, you’re allowed to retaliate. Including entering his property without permission, and killing HIM, forget his pet.
        Maybe that would cut down the number of pet deaths and negligent discharges of piggy-wiggy?

        Now if only we could find a way to cut down on the negligent discharges of fecal matter from your blow-hole…

      • Mike you’ll have to do better than that. On a recent road trip from Washington State (maximum posted limit 70 mph, most sections at 65) I was amused to find the posted limits in a good part of Texas to be 85 mph. Functionally, those sections of Texas highways posted at 85 are no different than Washington’s 65, or Oregons maximum of 65… some of which sections are in far worse condition than Texas’ 85 mph stretches. Even two lane secondary roads in Texas are posted at 70… oh, and by the bye, in Texas (and AZ, NM, OK, MO, MT, ID, NV and CO that I have observed) there is NO artifiucially lowerd posted limit for trucks, trailers, etc, as in the trhee inane West Coast states.

        SO.. please riddle me this: if I am limited to 65 on most Washington and all Oregon highways, but can drive at 85 in Texas and break no law, how does that square with reality? If 85 through Central Washington eastbound on I 90 is “dangerous”, “reckless’, “unsafe”, how is the same speed eastbound on I 10 in Texas not? Conversely, if 85 in Texas is morally and legally fine. how is it “reckless, dangerous, unsafe” in Washington? Then I could mention the tractor trailer rigs cruising at 85 in Texas no one cares a whit… but that same rig, same driver, same load, on I 5 southbound out of Salem Oregon will get the driver charged with felony “reckless endangerment” and there goes his background check, no guns, no hazmat ticket, no schoolbus ticket,. likely a suspension of his license….. of which which Oregon will “convenient;ly” forget to inform him and next time he’s “copntacted” in Oregon HE goes to jail and the rig, with cargo not his, will be impounded.. end of his livelihood.

        Is this what you want? Because its presently the ridiculous reality. HOW can speed limits, being moral and just, be so different depending upon location?

        Admit it, Mike. Its all about revenue. Nothing more. I drove 85 mph on highways all over the West back during the Double Nickel Shuffle… and in 20 years only got one ticket…. when I explained my car got far better mileage at 65 (cited speed) than at 55 (posted speed) the judge admitted his car was the same.. but “the law must be obeyed”. He dropped the fine to a mild hand-tap, and my insurance company never found out about it. I almost suspect he marked me not guilty and just had the clerk collect the money. Fine with me.

  8. Your commentary is an example of what Lysander Spooner wrote centuries ago, titled, “Vices are not crimes.” He begins, “Vices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property.

    Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another.
    Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property.
    In vices, the very essence of crime—that is, the design to injure the person or property of another—is wanting.
    It is a maxim of the law that there can be no crime without a criminal intent; that is, without the intent to invade the person or property of another. But no one ever practises a vice with any such criminal intent. He practises his vice for his own happiness solely, and not from any malice toward others.
    Unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property; no such things as the right of one man to the control of his own person and property, and the corresponding and coequal rights of another man to the control of[…]”

    Excerpt From: Spooner, Lysander. “The Lysander Spooner Reader.” Laissez Faire Books, 2012. iBooks.
    This material may be protected by copyright.

  9. Speed limits can have their use:

    If a certain section of a road wasn’t designed for more (because the local conditions don’t permit that), then the limit can alert people to that limitation.
    Sure, advisories could work too…

    But today, when a limit is posted like that, it serves no warning function:
    we’ve learned that they are so arbitrary, as to serve no function other than revenue-enhancement.

    An example is I-80 around the Delaware Water Gap. Narrow lanes, many curves, etc. If you don’t know that stretch, esp. at night, you’d just assume the 55 there was for the donut-eaters, and ignore it.

    Plus we’re only talking about highway speeds.

    What about the same bullshit on urban streets?
    Road I walked to school, and have driven for decades was 35. All of a sudden, it’s now 25. Being in that part of NJ ya’ll love so much ( 🙂 ), the town density hasn’t changed AT ALL in that time.

    Speed is naturally limiting anyway:
    subjectively:
    because people have a feel for what’s right.
    Much of that of course due to he vehicle they drive, noise and road-feel intrusion, etc.

    The average speed on German highways, even where unlimited, isn’t around the recommended limit of 130kmh (= 81mph)…

    objectively:
    as speed increases the nec. distance between cars goes up. that means for any given length of highway, the road can hold more cars on it at lower speeds.

    At 0 mph, that would be bumper to bumper, no gap.
    at a speed requiring a minimum of 3 car length’s distance, the number that same road can hole is only 1/4 of that , and so on.

    That’s the real reason for slow speeds during rush hour.

    Sensible speed-limits, dynamically applied to manage traffic flow can help here.

    There’s even a study, that those “rubbernecking perma-blocks” (you know the kind: you go through a slow-as-hell congestion, only to find when it finally ends there is NO reason for that block to be there, nothing to be seen, the cause having disappeared hours before, and can be as simple as someone mashing on their brakes…) can be released quickly if the following traffic far-enough back is only slowed down enough to let the block clear.

    But, we’ll never get that, because it’s all about the money.

    Hope CLOVER addresses Eric’s point about the day before and the day after the nationwide 55mph was imposed / lifted.
    I’d LOVE to see that argument, because written ignorance / stupidity is always worth a laugh

    • correction:

      The average speed on German highways, even where unlimited, IS around the recommended limit of 130kmh (= 81mph)…

    • I have friends who have to drive the roads around San Antonio. For whatever reason, Hispanics are horrible drivers for the most part and will slow down for deer dead in the barditch and it will continue for hours due to the amount of traffic. Morning, big holdup, evening, same holdup, same deer. It drives them crazy. The Hispanic slow driving thing is something I have never understood. In Mexico, they haul ass and I don’t mean a little over but 90 or 100 mph in one of those 60 kilometers per hour zones. Don’t think I ever saw a speed limit over that in Mexico but everybody drove more than twice that.

  10. I responded to this issue before and it merits a repeat of what is important when vehicles are moving at speed on the highway.

    It seems to me the speed that vehicles can travel safely on highways has to be based on the average reaction time necessary to prevent collisions and not on a fixed coefficient (e.g., 45 mph, 55 mph, etc.). Highway departments should post, “Engineering Advisories” instead of “Speed Limit” signs in order to maximize traffic throughput.

    For example, if I travel on an interstate between the socialist State of New York and Pennsylvania, I should be able to go as fast as I am capable of safely handing my vehicle and take into consideration any engineering advisory such as: “Maintain Safe Distance Between Vehicles Ahead”. Therefore if a vehicle in my lane is over a mile away, I need not worry about speed unless I come up quickly on the vehicle. Then my choice is to either pass the slower vehicle or reduce speed and stay a distance far enough away that I can perform a safe stop if necessary. I must pay attention as traffic volume increases and keep in mind the engineering advisory. That’s what driver education should emphasize, not just complying with a speed limit.

    It’s not speed that is the cause of collisions; it’s driver reaction time due to insufficient distance between the vehicle ahead. But of course, how do cops ticket someone for failure to a maintain safe distance? There is no electronic surveillance system currently in use (as of yet, anyways) that can measure distance between vehicles at a point in time such as seen during a televised NASCAR race. So a posted “speed limit” becomes a revenue generator for a municipality instead of contributing to highway safety.

    • one quibble: crashes are NOT the result of speed, but of two or more vehicles coming together. IF everyone were to maintain a safe following distance for the speed and traffic conditions, there never could be a crash. Unless someone does something stupid. But when the radar-wielding revenue collectors sit under the overpass in the shade pointing their expensive electronic toys at individual vehicles in the traffic stream awaiting the magic number’s appearance on the screen, they are NOT obseerving the following distances between vehicles in that same traffic stream. I’ve seen staters following for miles behind someone, 60 mph on the dot (the PSL) at two point five lengths behind the one in front… who is the same distance behind his lead, etc…. less than half a second. I called one’s supervisor and complained…. the supe seemed concerned and said he’d have a chat whith his minion. It is common. Their dash cams should record sufficient views to verify that one car is far too close behind another for courtoom purposes. All it would take is a frame by frame analysis to verify actual following distance in both time and feet….. two car lengths at 60 is far too close. The many multiple car pileups (Washington’s record so far is a bit north of 200 in one monumental smashup… heavy traffic, four lanes, following way too close, one guy pulls a stupid and… it took some 12 hours to clear up that mess. I-5 south of Seattle blocked for almost that llong. Following too close is what causes accidents, not speed. If a hundred cars are driving at 100 mph with half a mile between them, there never will be a crackup. The same hudnred cars at 60, two lengths apart, there will almost certainly be one.

  11. Eric, you forgot one other thing that needs removed, the speedometer in the car. If people didn’t know how fast they were going they’d drive at speeds where they were comfortable and pay more attention to the road and less to that dial in front of them.

      • eric, how many times could you have been ticketed for speeding or have been, because conditions were taking your total attention and you really didn’t have time to look at the speedo or much of anything except what was going on around you? It’s a thing that happens to some people, those who are trying harder to be safe than obey some number on a meter.

        Mark, not trying to repeat your point but the other side of that coin. Sometimes there are situations that happen and maybe the PSL happens to drop drastically at the same point in time. As you say, paying attention trumps an arbitrary speed.

        Many times I’ve simply used a lot of power briefly to get as far away from dangerous drivers as safely possible. It’s the very thing that can save your butt on a bike, just put some distance on the fools vying to wreck each other.

        • 8SM, on the flip side of “driving to get away” is the fact that a trailing vehicle has the attack position. One of the first things my dad told me when I was learning to drive was, if you’re behind a drunk/incompetent driver, stay behind. You can avoid hitting them but, if you’re in front they have you in their sights and you can’t stop them.

          • Mark, I concur but I’m speaking of being able to run off and leave some bad drivers. When you stop, as I have done before in a multi-car assault one night using my truck for their shield from each other, I stopped in the middle of I-10. They had to continue their fight without me. But in a vehicle that’s really fast you can leave them behind you and they will be in your past so to speak.

          • when I’ve got issues with a tailgater, I will often take the far right lane and drop my speed to an obnoxiously slow number. It helps to leave little space in front, so they can’t get funny and cut in. They eventually give up and take off. If they don’t I’ve even done such crazy things as move left one lane, line up a medium sized hole in the right lane with an exit ramp, and get off… with no warning the pusher misses the ramp. I go through the surface street intersection and get back on, safe once more. A trick I learned from some staters, suspecing I was speeding (had been till I saw them, then slowed) and began to track me…. they’d get off, certain I’d speed up and they’d have me. But, being a wary sort, I gamed him and kept the PSL. SUre enough, after half a mile there he is again… seeing me “being a good boy” he either figures he was mistaken or that I’m on to him, gives up, and roars off in search of more fecund pastures…… the smell of pig exhaust does not longer too long after he’s gone.

            • A trick I will use if a tailgater is really persistent is to turn on my emergency flashers. Even the most idiotic driver has to realize that if I really am having car trouble, he’d better back off or go around. Hasn’t failed me yet, though now that I think about it, there’s probably a law against it: everything else is against the law.

              • So WTF do you use for left lane idiots? I got a fill of them today on I-20. A CRV with this young man and a blue tag hanging from the mirror proclaimed he(or whoever bought the “get away with murder in parking lots, I’m screwed up banner”)was not of sound body and then after almost passing him on the right with the cruise on and that old Detroit not varying 1 mph, he speeds up, very , very slowly, and passes me, then pulls back in and slows slightly making me pass him again. But when he is right in front of me, I see this placard hanging in front of the back window and it blows my mind. I had no idea they even existed but I saw it with my own eyes and almost had a raging fit to run over him and put him out of both our miseries……..BABY ON BOARD……….godalmighty, he must have bid on that on ebay. And because he was alone, it pissed me off even further. I had 3 of these dicks do this today, one the typical early 50’s couple in a new Tahoe with a radar detector and I pass them on cruise just doing my 78 or 79 thing. It was too much for him so he had to pull out and pass me back and then slow down so i was on his ass(what’s with these people?)before he sped back up and then maintained about 100 ft in front of me. He did this for many miles and every time I’d gain on him, he’d speed up. A brand new Tahoe so why not use cruise? it’s not like he was doing more than the rest of traffic with plenty people passing him….up to the point I passed him. Clover just drive me insane. People pass me constantly. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest if they continue their speed. After all, it is the frickin interstate and at least two lanes. These people depress hell out of me. And the ones who won’t let you pass unless you speed up a lot, like the dick in a one ton service truck this morning who couldn’t stand me to pass him. I finally nailed it and went around him and then he was right on my ass even though I HAD been driving faster then he to enough degree as to not affect him. amazing….

                I just don’t understand what these people find unacceptable about a big rig passing them. During this whole process I never varied my speed at all. Plenty of people were going faster than me so I don’t sweat the small stuff.

                Of course, I had had my fill of it having gone by the same DOT just sitting watching trucks, of which I was one, and nailing the unlucky ones. The second time, not only was my trailer illegal(those fools I work with), so was the load and so was my license. Well, it felt good to pass the NM DPS twice and not get caught either after doing the same with the Tx. DPS. NM still looks like the desert it is but replete with young, Hispanic DPS troopers, no doubt, loaded for bear. New Mexico used to be a pretty good place to not get jacked with but I fear them worse than those same young, Hispanic Tx. troopers.

                • G’day 8SM;

                  Some people like to tailgate trucks on the interstate because they’re drafting, saving fuel.

                  Others don’t like big rigs passing or being in front of them because of the rocks they tend to kick up into paintwork.

                  But these morons who pass like a wet week and then slow down again deserve to be turned into tumbleweeds.

                  I’ve driven many rigs for my Army years ago and know how frustrating it is when you’ve only just got up to speed and have to hit the brakes again for yet another dickhead that doesn’t consider these things. I believe that’s one reason why bikers and truckers comprehend each other and get along so well on the roads. Bikers don’t want to be the knat on the windscreen so they stay well clear. They also have a better idea of the physics required to keep a truck shiny side up.

      • eric, since we’re speaking of punishment here, none should concern libertarians more than unjust drug laws and the sentences that follow. Here is a quick read about the Just Us dept. retroactively reducing prison sentences to effect release of tens of thousands of FEDERAL prisoners.

        While it sounds like a good idea, when it comes to DC and esp. Eric Holder, it gets a bit skewed. Holder, amazingly enough, is for it…..but maybe for a different reason than the rest of us. He’s managed to take what is a no-brainer and apply the old racism card to it, otherwise I’m sure he’d be up for me or you to rot in prison till our dying day.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/19/us/new-rule-permits-early-release-for-thousands-of-drug-offenders.html?_r=0

  12. I spent the last 2 weeks driving through New Jersey/Tennessee and I was amazed at the amount of State Troopers combined with absurdly low speed limits.

    In Florida and Texas, speed limits are set 10-15 mph below the average speeds but both NJ/TN set speed limits 20-25mph below to guarantee big fines. At certain moments I was literally yelling in frustration. I can’t believe clovers put up with this shit!

    • You just don’t get it, do you, Pedro? 😉
      You could keep clover in a jar licking its own genitals, breaking its spine in the process, and Clover would THANK you and beg for more – IF you wore the badge of God’s (state) authority.

      I grew up in Jersey… they really ARE that stupid. And vicious (cloverian) – they should be able to go any speed, you need to obey the limit or go slower – and then they yell at you for doing so, GTFO of the way…

      Nuking Jersey would not be a loss… 😛

      • I think of NJ as basically 2 states. A line starts somewhere in the vicinity of Trenton and goes to the shore. South of the line is Jersey, and it truly is the Garden State. North of that is Joisey, and is only an exurb of NYC.

        • PtB, That’s my take on it too. A beautiful ag state in the south and a population that needs mass extermination in the N. Anything in the press always focuses on those fools in the N as if it isn’t actually a truly garden state.

            • Jean, too bad it’s true for other states as well. If everybody that comes to Texas had to enter through Houston it would be much less crowded. Ok, everybody got their gas masks? Backup oxygen sources? Keep an eye on the H2S monitor and CO2 warning.

              I used to frequently travel from the west into Houston and east along the ship channel. At night you could barely or even not see at all the big Budweiser sign on the brewery there(makes you think more than twice about drinking that brew). But that wasn’t the bad part. I have asthma and a few miles on there was a mile or more stretch that had such toxic air I’d have to hold my breath the entire time. It bothered my wife too and she didn’t have asthma.

              Fast forward 20 years and we decided to remove carpet from bathrooms and halls and install tile. I get it all drawn off and a game plan but must first put down this adhesive that preps the floor. About a minute after removing the top I had to snap it back on and flee the house. No doubt in our minds right then where that stuff was made. We’d smelled it way too may times out there on east I-10……and in that humidity it would take your breath away quickly. Live….hopefully, and learn.

              And they wonder why children these days have so many health problems.

              • Not to mention that the weather makes Houston like an armpit even w/o the pollution factor. Close enough to the Gulf to get plenty of humidity, but too far inland to get any sea breeze.

                • Armpit? Smells more like the tang to me. We were waiting to unload grain at the Cargill site and the road was right beside several sets of tracks that were stacked with loaded molassses cars. Don’t know if it’s you need a hazmat sticker on it but it would be close. In heat well in excess of 100 and humidity in the 90’s you’d just hang out and drip. Those fumes from molasses though made it a tough man’s game, real tough. With asthma and being sensitive to loading up on sugar I was standing at the back of my truck one morning shooting the shit with some other truckers and the molasses was thick in the air. I had just eaten an ice cold can of fruit cocktail, chocked full of sugar. You didn’t care what you ate or drank as long as it was cold and it did help to lower your core temp. Everything started getting red and then dark crimson and the next thing I knew some drivers were hauling me to a cot my wife had set up under the trailer. Ah, the ship channel, nothing like that hellhole.

                  And at night the pimps and whores showed up and would honk their horns and wake you up as if you were really asleep but they managed to hit that 2-3 hr window you might get a bit of sleep. Talk about a bunch of women that could have used a high-pressure wash job. Hell, my truck was cleaner. Then they’d holler “Want a date?”. I was too tired to laugh but I lay there and chuckled once when my wife said “Hey stud, want a date?”. Never underestimate a Waco gal. They’d move to the next truck. I never heard anybody say anything but something negative.
                  Then again, I was never near an Okie when they came by. I just couldn’t resist that.

          • 8SM,

            The congestion is even worse inthe ne part of state.

            Roughly 38% of population is in Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, Union, and Essex counties (near NYC) which is about 8% of NJ’s land area.

            • Mith, nearly every nationwide carrier has regional options so drivers who don’t want to go to certain regions of the country or be limited to certain regions when getting loads could stay in those regions or region. First thing I always checked off was no NE loads. Then I learned to check off SE too. You can nearly always get someone to run the W and SW but doing the N mid-west or NE is another story.

              I didn’t mind running La. but Ms. was another thing and roads and sometimes, people, deteriorated rapidly moving east.

              The first time I ever got robbed was in S.C. by a state trooper. I’ve been close to it since but never into it.

              • One annoying feature of North Eastern highways is the number of toll roads and toll bridges.

                With a car, one can avoid many of them at the cost of time and/or distance. I know that larger trucks are restricted in the choice of roads they are permitted to use.

                When I leave to other parts of the country it is nice to use the highways and not pay tolls in addition to the fuel costs.

      • Jean, a great story for you. A couple years ago one of our friends son had been working in Georgia and met up with a titty dancer. Well the boy’s not very bright and had just gotten a divorce. She knew he was making good money on a govt. job so she gloms onto him. Job finishes after a big shitty with some other people who knew her and he “saves” her and brings her back to Tx. So they’re living in this small town, 10,000 people and his nephew goes to a school in a town of about 1,000 people and he’s a big football star.

        They’re at the game, mother my age in tow and cheering him on. Now this is a football field with a small set of bleachers on each side, probably not over 300 people there and when the game caller is not using his sound system it’s pretty quiet.

        So there’s a questionable play and the refs make a bad call for their team and everybody’s yelling but being Tx. they yell a bit and then shut up since it’s sorta serious business. Waiting to hear what they have to say on the field, this Jersey gal screams out in that NY sounding voice much louder than anyone else would anyway and since everyone else had quit yelling it made it all the more loud when she screamed “Faacckkk you”. And then you could really hear the pin drop and both bleachers of people turned and looked at her. You just don’t use that language in Tx. Wish I could have been there or had a vid of it. I’m sure it was ROTFLMAO funny but the family was mortified. Of course the entire thing just bounced right off the Jersey girl.

        • Yeah, you can take the slut out of Jersey, but you can’t the Jersey out of the slut…
          Silk purse, sow’s ear, that sort of thing.

          And to be clear, I DID find a good one there, but she was towards that southern side (Grew up in the Hamilton township area – still farmland, still moral people, it’s a suburb of Princeton… Yet north of Trenton. )

          I miss her…. So hard to find an ADULT, let alone a good woman.

          • Jean, this “society’ as if it could be rightly described with that word, is all about creating lifelong children. Be an adult, assert yourself, stand up for yourself, do the things that get you through the day and you end up in jail. And that’s the reason jails are almost all male.

            Work real hard for longer than you should have to but have to anyway and want a cold one on the ride home, often something that adds a couple hours one way to your day. DWI or DUI or open container at the least although I think that’s mostly an enhancement for the other two. Why stop with a single charge when you can throw on multiples? And that gets worse every day.

            And nobody ever admits that “drug abuse” is to a great degree, simply self-medication. A good analgesic such as high content CBD, low content THC pot is still illegal most anywhere and even where it’s illegal it will get you fired from a job with just a hint of it in a pop drug test.

            And those jobs where a bit of kick to help you physically get through that rough day, same thing.

            If you have a pulled back or something similar and need something to ease the pain of whatever malady it might be and just get a pill or two from a friend or coworker and have the old pop quiz come up, an addict of another sort even though you’ve been 363 of those days of the year without it.

            So many hoops to jump through and so many times people don’t even realize they commit felonies every day and that is for all of us. I can’t say what they are but federal lawyers can, especially persecutors. Who knew? Ah, they did and now you will. But they mainly only use those thing when you get on their radar and that can be from simply being visible when they need to show some extra “work” they gotten done.

            In the last couple years you could often get a job in the patch without a drug test cause they needed competent people or sometimes just willing people but let a bean counter send down an edict of too much money being spent on labor and early in the morning at the safety meeting(can’t do anything any longer without one every single day and it’s the same thing every single day….I get it, I get it, don’t smash my damn finger)the people they can do without are herded to the piss test trailer and hopefully somebody will be taking cephalaxin for the infection they got working in the icy rain and they’ll interpret it however that particular brand of test wrongly shows it.

            And people often have to work and live together away from home on jobs these days since there aren’t many to begin with. 5-6 guys living together or close together and somebody breaks out a joint Sat. nite and it gets passed around and companies know this so those pop quizzes are nearly always done on Mon. What a frickin country to simply try to stay out of jail in. And those people they can’t replace don’t have to worry about that particular malady…..till the job is completed.

  13. Sounds good in theory, but in practice a different result usually occurs.

    Let’s use a metaphor. You are a gun owner who is responsible and so you treat your guns as tools, properly carried as to not accidentally shoot someone, and generally looked upon as a good example of gun behavior. So far so good?Clover

    Now you’re walking down the street and you see a group of people who are also carrying guns, but totally recklessly. They’re hooting and hollering, might even bre drunk but nobody has checked them (since they did no wrong, cops can’t interfere, right? Gotta wait for an accident to occur first…), and playfully pointing their guns at random people to scare them for yuks, shooting random objects carelessly of bullet paths, and generally being a classic example of a BAD gun owner.

    Using YOUR logic on speed limits, THEY have done no harm at all…yet it’s only a matter of time before someone gets hurt. So should someone stop them, or at least talk to them about their behavior? Remember, they haven’t harmed anyone at all, so like speeding, it’s dangerous but since no harm was done, the cops and you have to let them pass with impunity, not even talking to them? I doubt that very much.

    Speeding is the same. Sure MOST people can drive safely at speeds (like most people are smart enough not to pull the trigger when waving a gun around), but why the hell would you wait for a tragic accident when you can see their carelessness is going to get someone killed? If you saw a baby crawling towards a gun, are you saying you’d wait until they got to it before even TRYING to do anything, or would you intervene before an accident occurs?

    Speeding is the same. You’re saying the cops shouldn’t even get involved until someone dies…even when it’s obvious that someone IS going to die if the behaviour continues.

    I think the only real argument you have is they set the bar to the LOWEST point of accident rather than the LIKELY point of accident based on average driver responses and the like. But that’s typical safety margin of error, not conspiracy.

    • No, Mamba – that’s your “logic” (and straw man).

      You write:

      “you see a group of people who are also carrying guns, but totally recklessly. They’re hooting and hollering, might even bre drunk but nobody has checked them (since they did no wrong, cops can’t interfere, right? Gotta wait for an accident to occur first…), and playfully pointing their guns at random people to scare them for yuks, shooting random objects carelessly of bullet paths, and generally being a classic example of a BAD gun owner.”

      Bolded by me.

      Is it really necessary to point out the idiocy of your argument?

      “Speeding” – the definition of which is simply driving faster than a number posted on a sign – is a morally neutral act. The “speeder” has merely disobeyed a rule. There is no harm in it – as such. To equate that with pointing a lethal weapon at another person (let alone firing it in their direction) is a species of idiocy I am simply too got-damned tired to deal with further right now.

      • eric, running out of steam? or just simply running out of patience? Either way, equating doing 56mph in a 50 mph zone with someone pointing a deadly weapon at you and occasionally discharging it is so farfetched I’m amazed anyone could build that stupid of a strawman.

        Why just today I was going 75 mph on a highway that is posted 55 mph and I hurt no one. Oh, wait, that highway USED to be posted 55 mph but now, with no changes to the roadway nor anything else(except the PSL sign), it’s posted 75 mph. Now how’s that for bureaucratic and political stupidity? It was evidently safe at 75 when it was posted 55…..and if it wasn’t, then how come it’s posted 75 now? ? ? ?

        Hey Vern, I don’t get it. Can you have your cake and eat it too? I want in on this deal. Where do I apply?

      • The idiocy is quite profound Eric (Is that an oxymoron? lol). To equate speeding to not intervening if one saw a baby crawling towards a gun. How these guys come up with this stuff really boggles the mind.

    • Putting your gun in someone else’s face is an aggressive act which will provoke a potentially lethal response. To suggest that driving your car at a speed you are comfortable with, whilst minding your own business, is analogous to actively and deliberately threatening someone, is complete absurd.

    • Excuses is right. Speed limits are more likely to cause congestion, and MPG is, or should be, of concern only to the user of the vehicle – especially since AGW is a farce created by the watermelons.
      Yes, it’s been hot this summer, but scientists who study sun spots predict that we are heading into a cooling phase in the next 5-15 years, possibly bordering on an ice age.

    • Yes, Nixon’s speed limit was sort of the ideal mpg speed of 4000lb carb’d V8 sedans riding on bias ply tires. Most of the nonsense we hear today had some relevance to that era but like I’ve said before when government starts doing something they freeze it in that era.

      Congestion control only works when the speed limit is variable in an effort to speed up out flow and slow down inflow to a congested area. This is used in places like Germany and drivers know what they are for. The variable number gives a heads up to the conditions ahead. One can either cruise at a lower speed or hurry up and wait.

      In the USA control freaks insist their globally low speed limits reduce congestion but it doesn’t make sense from any sort of engineering principles. They cripple the outflow of road systems and don’t serve to limit the inflow because drivers don’t have any indication of the conditions ahead because the speed limit is fixed at a low value. American drivers like to hurry up and wait. The idea of cruising at lower speed constantly instead seems to baffle them. I blame the automatic transmission which removes the penalty for hurry up and wait.

      • Since cars back then rarely had an OD, I’d say 40 or so would be the ideal speed for mpg. I have cars constantly pulling into the gap I’ve left so I can continue slowly in a low gear waiting for a light and then sit there and don’t go when it’s green. About the time I have to shut it down and stop completely, they’ll ease away. Oh for one of those James Bond devices or the rocket made real from a 57 Chevy hood.

        And my car back then didn’t smooth out cam-wise til 70 so I was born or bound to speed to to speak

      • Brent, your assessment of speed control actually(said I’d quit using that word) is what happened in Tx.. Nobody in govt. would admit it but traffic is simply insane in nearly all of the state including very remote rural areas due to the 3 years of oil boom.

        Without very little warning or fanfare speed limits went up anywhere from 5-15mph seemingly everywhere. Without it we’d be stuck in perpetual gridlock. Even farm roads and ranch roads for the most part are now 75 which alleviates a huge amount of congestion.

        I’m unaware of any state or federal roads being less than 75. When we spoke last week about speed limits and reckless driving I investigated the reckless driving laws among all states and I”d recommend for everyone to do so.

        Also in that list Virginia and Texas were listed with specific laws of all sorts for some reason. It specifically mentioned I-20 and I-10 as having counties that could institute their own speeds on these roads. I noticed in Tx it was always far west. For some reason, I hadn’t been much beyond Odessa on the interstate instead having to go places on smaller roads so Saturday when I hauled a hotshot load from a rig N of Mentone to the Sterling, Reagan, Glasscock county lines I was surprised in taking the interstate back since the other roads were over-crowded and rough with lots of construction. First thing I notice getting onto I-20 was an 80mph PSL that lasted almost to Odessa. I’m guessing it goes all the way to EP or close to it as does I-10. It was very busy but not bunched up and the only crowding was due to clovers.

  14. The Nixon years of 55mph are not dead yet. Here in corrupt northeast Illinois they are very very much alive. Sure the state legislature changed the law and then the bureaucrats ignored it. Said it didn’t apply to this portion of the state. The then governor agreed since said law was passed over his veto. So the state legislature passed yet another law saying it damn well does apply to the northeast corner of the state. So the bureaucrats did a bogus speed study and will get around to raising the PSL to 60mph some day. Never mind that traffic has been flowing at ~75mph since the economic crisis and was higher before then. Oh and lets not forget possible jail time for 26 over, that is 81mph or passing with a 6mph differential or less.

    Meanwhile the public laps it up. Obey the law the law is the law. Fine the speeders they say so their taxes won’t go up. The taxes go up anyway. They count on nobody selecting their late model toaster vehicles. Just people driving more interesting cars or driving a little faster than they do. So my new attitude is f’ em all. I drive 55mph or less and the public sure doesn’t like it. I need an electronic sign to really get the message across. I’m done fighting this BS, playing this stupid game where winning is just getting by unscathed. Sure it adds 15-20minutes to my typical trip each way to drive 50-55mph. But it’s enough.

    Mr. and Mrs. Clover riding my ass in the right lane, cutting me off, merging and changing lanes into my car. Just the other day Mrs. Clover of the Ohio Clovers just changed lanes into my fender. The day after that Mr. Clover of the California Clovers decided he couldn’t be bothered to accelerate and purposely merged his truck into the other fender. Two out of state clovers in two days. And that’s just the recent highlights of life at 55mph in the right lane. 55mph minding my own business and it’s still not enough for these control freak a-holes. They have to make be break cruise control and brake for them. I wonder if there are any well-rusted ’75 Tbirds anywhere…..

  15. “Can the state be a victim?” I say no. Yet in any ‘criminal’ court case, the persecuting [sic] attorney, a gunvermin employee, will identify him/herself as representing either ‘the state’ or ‘the people’ – an non-existent collective.

  16. eric, that day the speed changed will live in my mind till I don’t have one. I had been all week on the road and a torque arm on the front rear diff. had been done in. I thought the speed would change Monday morning so I tear off to Dallas Sunday morn to be at the main parts center so I can get that arm first thing Monday morning and be back on the road by Tues. I got a ticket early that Sunday morning for 70 in a 55. Well, it taught me to pay more attention to the dates and less to the breathless doofuses on tv. And all the while I’m thinking, how the hell will I make a living driving 55? Not to worry, the OPEC lie that caused the price of fuel to double would take care of that.

  17. TxDOT has fixed some of the problems on SH-130 south of Austin, so it’s safe to drive 85 mph on it again. With summer temps on the way (100 F+), pay attention to your tire condition & inflation when driving at those speeds.

    • chiph, you should see west Tx. roads right now with one big rig after the other all day and night. Dead alligators everywhere and many you don’t want to hit in anything. TxDOT crews are working every day trying to collect all that heat-induced carnage.

      • I don’t get why the trucking industry doesn’t standardize on a TPMS standard. Walking around the truck & trailer and hitting the tires with a stick just doesn’t sound like an accurate way to measure pressure to me.

        Especially when a fresh 22.5″ tire costs $800, plus the danger of an exploding retread, plus the danger of someone running over a tread in the roadway.

        An ounce of prevention…

        • “An ounce of prevention…” costs something right now, while replacing a tire comes later. You know, ‘don’t put off ’til tomorrow what you can put off ’til the next day.’
          Has anyone heard of liability for a gator caused accident?

          • PtB, that’s the way my soon to be ex company operates. Run it till it blows, no matter how many airlines or wiring other damage it does to the truck and they don’t even seem to consider what damage it might do to an innocent party.
            I’ve been out rattling the bushes and shaking the trees for another job. I have that Falling Down feeling.

            • Most honest men, patriots, responsible, and freedom-minded individuals are the same…

              We just don’t want to fall on the undeserving.
              But as gov’t grows, it’s harder and harder to miss the guilty… 😉

        • chiph, the DOT has a 60% standard for pressure. A 120 psi maximum tire should have at least 72 lbs.

          And I don’t walk around the truck and kick the tires or hit them with one of those now “pc” sticks. I used a steel bar and that’s no joke. Once I’ve checked tire pressures on a rig and have swatted that tire I then know by simply hitting them again with the same thumper fairly close to how much air pressure they have.

          But tire pressure is only one variable among millions of variables. Even if all tires were equal, that wouldn’t be any guarantee by a long shot of how they’ll perform.

          Individual axle weights determine the load and they’re not equal by any means and there’s literally no way to make them equal even when you have an adjustable fifth wheel and adjustable axles since different loads load different axles, etc.

          You might run over something that would blow a tire or have something you ran over back when cause a weakened spot that can’t be seen. And then’s there’s ambient air temp and temp of the roadway plus how well a bearing is working, how equally spring pockets load an axle and countless other variables.

          One thing I really detest is retreads on the tractor since that torque takes its own toll on a tire. A retread on a trailer might be ok in some certain circumstances, as in a truck that’s not loaded greatly, stays on pavement it’s whole life(except when you run off the road for various reasons), a tire that’s never overloaded and what brand the tire and what grade the tire and what manufacturers retread used and the person who installs the cap and that can vary the same brand tire and recap to a great degree.

          I’m not much on recaps since they can do more damage to your rig than the cost of a brand new tire.

          Last year we started the season with recaps on all tires except steering tires simply because my bosses don’t know dick about trucking. The first thing I said was get ready to replace these tires and hope they don’t cost you a bundle in damage. They had nothing to say because they’re not truckers. Right off we started blowing tires and since I put in more miles than any other driver I was blowing more. We also ran out of a pit where we weren’t subject to getting weighed and fined so it was load em up to the top and roll. We didn’t blow as many tires doing that as running longer distances that heat the tires more and more.

          Running on heavily traveled roads exposes you to a lot of tire killing debris too, stuff you might never see or might not see quickly enough to avoid.

          Rarely does a truck get nailed for a tire that comes off and later damages another vehicle.

          Last year we bought an old trailer that worked fine but I could tell the tires were old. How old each tire was is anybody’s guess. Just a few loads going to the same place when the trailer was first put into service I saw one explode and run out into the other lane. A bimmer was coming up on me but not much faster than me since I was doing 75 at the time. I hit my brakes immediately and watched in my mirror. The driver stood that bimmer on its nose and let it go by into the barditch. What a relief for me and him both. Other drivers could have that tire coming at them a half mile away and not avoid it. And then there was the truck I got in and drove 130 mile this year after bumping the tires twice and inspecting it. It was parked along a major highway at another drivers house who had enemies. I drove it to a quarry and loaded it and came round the last corner to the scales and as I slowed down to a walk, the two front driver tires on the drivers side just rolled on by. Someone had loosened the nuts but they weren’t loose enough to see when I got in the truck. thankfully it only cost money and nothing else to fix.

          Then there was a trailer that lost hub and both wheels due to someone not staking the key properly when they installed the hub. Again, that was leaving a pit and it rolled into a field. I saw the same thing happen last year on a big tank hauling trailer. Whatever the cause,the whole shebang came off and was so hot it set fire to the barditch in several places and into a field where it started a pasture fire. It’s not like you can kick those tires and determine their loose since they have so much weight on them even with no load.

          I recall the same thing happening at a major intersection on I-20 and the hub and tires together jumped the overpass railing, ran down the barditch for a couple hundred yards and nailed a guy filing a car with gasoline. He never knew what happened. It’s big stuff and shit definitely happens and some times it’s hard to figure out the cause. Maybe a bearing seized and turned the nut past the key and away she goes which was probably the case in that instance.

          It’s dangerous out on the road and not much way to take the danger out. But slowing down to a speed just pacing a big rig and hanging out before finally making a pass isn’t one way to mitigate danger. Doing that old passing ritual where you won’t speed up and your cruise doesn’t hold an exact speed so going up a grade keeps your tiny car right beside something that could kill you in the blink of an eye surely isn’t the correct passing technique.

          • Speaking of tires… recently I read an article that a trailer that was used to haul around the stuff for GM’s Parade of Progress has turned. Still wearing all but one of it’s original tires. This trailer was still on the road in the late 1970s with 1950s tires.

            http://theoldmotor.com/?p=147039

          • Those rigs can be scary business. Summertime here in the AZ desert you cant drive a mile without seeing a tire carcass. People seem oblivious to the danger as well, and will ride right on the tail of the trailers.

            At least once a year I see someone get their windshield taken out or worse when the tread comes flying off. At the distance people are leaving there is no chance to avoid it, as the tread is already impacting before they have time to react.

            Ive had enough bad experiences with old tires that I wont drive anything with tires older than 5 years now. The 4 digit production date should be stamped in the sidewall of every tire. First 2 digits are the week, second 2 are the year.

            • Draebe, you can buy tires with over 100,000 miles life expectancy and I suppose that’s fine if you put 30K on them per year(although every tire like that I’ve used has been rough as hell well before having the tread worn out). I stay with the stickier tires with less mileage life because they’re smoother, stay in balance better and generate much less noise as they age than those uber-distance tires. If tires last me 4-5 years I’m fine with it.

      • Not to mention that stopped sand can semi’s parked on the rural roads at night with only park lights on. Yes, this seldom happens here just like dead cows on the roads do; but it DOES happen here!
        About a month ago I was driving at night on Best Lane in Reagan county when I noticed in my headlights that a black spot that should have appeared to be a part of the road didn’t calculate correctly in my head, so I slowed down and switched lanes. Sure enough it turned out to be a mid-sized fat black calf lying on the road that would badly damage a truck or total a car if hit.
        I immediately radioed my dispatcher about this and requested that he contact the Sheriffs department. There is no city coproaches in Big Lake; only Sheriff Department has the pseudo monopoly on gunvernment gang violence, so there could not have been a conflict between coproach regimes!
        There is a sheriff coproach on duty 24 hours a day; yet 2 hours later it hadn’t arrived at the drastically dangerous to its citizens zone of the county road merely 30 miles away. My company’s ‘pusher’ nearly hit the big calf. He (unlike me) had a chain, so he pulled it off of the road.
        I invite you statists who read this to explain to me how the state in necessary to preserve life and moral order now.

  18. Well, Mr. Peters… If we did in fact live under a regime of “common law” instead of the UCC/Equity/Admiralty bullshit “law” regulations we agree to when obtaining a driver “license” which we need in order to get a “job” for the privilege of paying “taxes”, your arguments would be perfectly valid.

    We have a layer of fetid wool pulled over our rights, and the only way to get around that wool layer that I know of without ending up as a profit center for Correctional Corporation of America is to live as a beach bum.

    • Agree, Warp!

      The “no harm/no foul” standard is my standard… morally speaking. I cannot grok why anyone would take issue with this.

      • I think it’s quite simple. Those who have a desire to have fiefs want to extract the fruits of your labor by any arbitrary means they can think up. That way, they don’t have to do any actual useful labor themselves. Those who make and enforce the “laws” (regulations) have this power.

        I mean, why would a mayor in a small town in CA need >$600k salary, and what terrible things needed to be done to make that possible?

        • I agree Warp. And when those fiefs are populated largely by Clovers who desire total safety there are few rules that Clovers will object to. The Clovers are happy being “safe”. And the lords are happy to drink in the adulation of the Clovers for making and enforcing the rules. And they get a sick pension with a sweet dental plan to boot. The rest of us must pay up or get thrown in a cage.

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