Speed Limits

This month the men and women of Minnesota’s various police departments have been holding one hell of a fundraiser in the form of speed traps. They’ve been using the tagline “There’s not excuse for speeding.” And they’ve been covering billboards, newspaper pages, and other advertising space (with our tax dollars no less) with propaganda about the dangers of speeding (the ads are kind of like reefer madness but less entertaining).

Do you know what fucks up traffic flow? People who don’t drive with the flow of traffic, which is always above the posted speed limit because those posted speed limits are bullshit and the state knows it. This shouldn’t surprise anybody though. Who knows the maximum safe operating speed of a stretch of road better than the people who drive it twice a day, five days a week as they go to and from work? Posted speed limits are the product of arbitrary decisions made by people sitting in marble buildings who have no idea what the maximum safe speed on a random stretch of road they’ve never driven on is. Flow of traffic is the result of people who have a great deal of experience driving on a stretch of road doing so at the maximum speed they know to be safe.