A Long-Awaited Post (at the very least, I made it wait a while)


Frater Atzo on Speeding

The rate of speed at which I travel on the highway is a matter of personal attentiveness and practice. I don’t ask or expect anybody else to do it, or to buy into it. But essentially, I stick to the posted speed limit like glue. If on a major highway, I use the cruise control to help me do this. I’m sure mine is nowhere near the only valid viewpoint on how one should behave on the road. I also understand the widespread social convention, here in Maryland and probably lots of other places, that police will allow drivers that five or ten miles per hour over the speed limit. Let me also say that if I’m supposed to follow someone else in my car, I’ll defer to his or her speed, if I can do so safely. (If I can’t, I’ll tell the lead driver.) And if someone who is following me gets aggravated at my strict adherence to the speed limit, again, if they discuss it with me politely, I’ll likely accomodate them in the way I drive while they’ve got to be behind me. And I do realize that highway driving will put me occasionally in the position where I have to accelerate above the speed limit for a short time to avoid an accident. But those situations mostly if not exclusively arise from the effects of someone else choosing to speed, and that’s the main point I want to discuss here.

If you’re a good enough driver that you can exceed the speed limit without risking injury, irritation/fear or inconvenience to yourself or others, I salute you. I wish I could drive like that. Perhaps with practice, I could someday. I don’t want to do that.

I don’t want to be one of those who goes around a person adhering to the speed limit, only to hit a delay up ahead. Why? Because I then hit that delay before the strictly law-abiding driver does, affect how much it delays him or her, and add to that poor virtuous driver’s travel time. If there are many of us, as there so often are, zipping around this person, the delay when we hit it can really add up. We’ve gotten to the clog faster, had to put on our brakes harder, and have made it bigger, and quite often slower.

I also know that every mile per hour over the speed limit that I go is an increase in the potential danger I pose to myself and others when and if the unexpected occurs and I must react quickly.

I also remember from my youth that the 55 mph speed limit became widespread as part of a nationwide effort to save gasoline. That’s more important to me now than ever before.

In short, it’s about interconnectedness. I firmly believe that as a society many of our problems have resulted from emphasizing competition over cooperation, ambition over compassion, the pursuit of individual happiness over the pursuit of joyful, meaningful and authentic coexistence with one’s fellow human being. Corporatism and collectivism have collided with the information spiral and the technological boom, and increased stress and debt… and isolation. When we’re in our cars on the road, we’re not alone with our problems, our stresses, or our desire/need to get where we’re going real fast. We’re in it together: together with everyone who has to slow up, speed up, or move around us in order to deal with how we’re moving along the road; together with the person who can’t move to the left lane to let people on the ramp merge because we’d rear-end him or her as we tear-ass down the fast lane; together with the birds of the air and the creatures of the land who I’m sure are just thrilled at the prospect of hearing our mighty engines rev as we exult in power, freedom, and absolute narcissistic myopia, to the benefit of $B$I$G$$$O$I$L$ and SWELLAUTOIMPORTDISCOUNTERS.ATINYLITTLEMULTINATIONALDIVISIONOFGMBMWDAIMLERTOYOTAHUMMLAUT,INC.,ALLRIGHTSRESERVED,PRICESANDTAXESMAYVARY,CONSUMECONSUMECONSUME,BUYBUYBUY,PAVETHEEARTH,PEOPLE

Okay, that’s enough out of my smart mouth. Now I’d really like to hear some of those other perspectives whose truth I’ve obviously not realized or I wouldn’t have gone on and on like this. In other words, even if you hate my words, PLEASE SHARE how and what you think and feel.

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