You can’t drive 55!
Drive 55? The stupid – it burns!
Many of you will be “on the road” in some shape or form this Memorial Day weekend.
The unofficial start of summer means a longer weekend for most, and even the start of some beach houses or vacations. Heck, you might even find a parking spot in Hoboken if you stick around!
But the millions of extra cars on the road is also one of the unofficial “black Friday’s” for state and local governments! “Enforcers” will wait in the wings for you to easily violate one of their impossible to abide-by “rules,” and happily pick-pocket you of your hard-earned money. Coffers will be brimming for sure!
Here’s a guest post for you to think about not only while you’re on the road – but for the upcoming Presidential election in November!
by Eric Peters
Donald Trump doesn’t want to Drive 55 – but Hillary does.
The Dear Leader’s armored limo, of course, is not subject to any speed limits. They are for the Little People (that’s us) only.
And if Hillary becomes Dear Leader, we may be driving 55 again.
Here she goes: “The 55 mile speed limit really does lower gas usage. And wherever it can be required, and the people will accept it, we ought to do it.” She uttered this ten years ago almost to the day – May 24th, 2006 – at the National Press Club in Washington, DC (see here.)
You have glimpsed the Heart of Darkness.
But – to paraphrase Tonto’s quip to the Lone Ranger – What do you mean we, white man? Er… woman. Sort of.
She really means her telling us how fast we’ll be allowed to drive.
To “save gas.”
Except, of course, that we’ll be fined for “speeding” and our perfectly reasonable driving characterized as “unsafe” rather than merely fuel-inefficient. Our driving records will be marred with demerit points and these will be used to justify sticking it to us again (so much for double jeopardy) via jacked-up car insurance premiums.
This is how it was for some 20 years, from 1974 to 1995 – when the maximum legal speed in the United States was 55 MPH.
Those who lived through this evil epoch will recall the misery – and the idiocy. Imagine what it was like to drive 20 MPH below the current routine average lawful speed on most highways. Twenty miles per hour below the speed that had been lawful prior to the passage of this fuel economy fatwa (that was enforced as a “safety” issue).
Not only was it miserable (per Sammy Hagar, what used to take two hours now takes all day) and stupid and – yes – wasteful (of time at least and also of gas, bear with me for a moment) it was also corrupting beyond calculation. While there always has been a certain degree of “revenue collection” inherent in speed enforcement, the Double Nickel was about little else.
Motorists were dunned for operating at speeds that had been lawful previously – on highways specifically designed for higher speeds decades prior (back in the ‘50s). Cops charged with enforcing the new fatwa knew perfectly well it was absurd – but this did not prevent them from enforcing it. We knew it was a farce, but that did not help our mood much when we got pulled over for “speeding” and had to play patty-cake with the cop.
If cops are (rightly) despised today as little more than roving tax collectors, the passage of the National Maximum Speed Limit (as Drive 55 was officially known) was arguably the source waters of that contempt. Millions of dollars in outright legal rape was countenanced.
And even though the NMSL was finally repealed in the mid-‘90s (the one solid done by Republicans in my lifetime) no refunds were issued… and the canker persists.
While highway speed limits have mostly returned to their circa 1970 maximums (how about taking into account that it’s 2016 – and today’s cars are probably capable of safe operation at speeds higher than those allowed circa 1970?) the farce is still in force on most secondary roads.
Absurdly low speed limits – evidence of their absurdity being that almost everyone exceeds them routinely, cops included, which tell us either the limits are absurd or most people – including cops – are reckless maniacs; which you do you suppose it is? – continue to be the rule rather than exception. And are enforced with the same cynical viciousness.
That is the legacy of the NMSL.
Oh, and about this “saving gas” business… .
In the first place, didn’t we buy the damn gas? Isn’t it ours to use as we please once we paid for it? Few things strike me as more obnoxious than being told how to use the fuel I paid for by a sour-faced termagant like Hillary. She has every right to use the fuel she purchased as she sees fit – and you and I have exactly the same right.
In the second place, unreasonable speed limits (and enforcement thereof) waste fuel by interfering with the smooth flow of traffic. Cars bunch up and suddenly everyone has to hit the brakes because up ahead, there’s a cop in a cut-out. Then everyone has to accelerate again, which – wait for it – wastes gas.
The Drive 55 crowd will crow back that if only everyone would obey the speed limit, this problem would not exist. But people tend not to obey absurd laws – whether Drive 55 or Prohibition or decrees forbidding consensual acts between adults. Such laws only serve to criminalize the general population and then terrorize them for their “crimes.” It creates a low-grade Soviet out of what was once a reasonably free country.
Also, modern cars are not optimized for 55.
Many now come with seven, eight and nine-speed transmissions – with multiple overdrive gears. A 55 MPH maximum would render the top several gears of modern transmissions useless; the engine would lug (and a lugging engine wastes fuel) if the transmission shifted up past fourth or fifth.
This is not an exaggeration.
Of course, it does not matter to a creature such as Hillary, who sees herself as Our Parent, to scold and direct and – if we are disobedient – to punish.
Feed her fish heads.
There are many reasons to dread a Hillary Dear Leadership – from a certain cementing of government-insurance mafia tributum (and micromanagement of every aspect of our lives) via Obamacare’s not being repealed to the high probability of a Clinton-packed Supreme Court issuing a fatwa that the people do not, in fact, have a right to possess arms.
We know where Hillary stands on all these things.
Now you know where she stands on “speeding.”