Comment of the Week: ‘I have an idea! Why not drive at the speed limit?’


In the age of comment threads, I’ll sometimes revisit older stories and see if anyone’s added some new and interesting opinion. I was particularly struck by a comment left by michael on our special report, “Ticket to Safety?” which ran last July.

The debate centered around the motivations of law enforcement in writing traffic tickets. And I think his post, made Feb. 26 — made around seven months following the story’s publishing — is insightful while being a bit tongue-in-cheek.

Here it is:

“I have an idea! Why not drive at the speed limit? There are two immediate advantages. First, you won’t get a ticket, so you won’t pay a fine! Second, you’ll be able to ‘stick it to the man’ by refusing to give up your hard-earned money over to the county and state. I know it’s a novel idea, but I’m pretty sure it works!”

He goes on with an anecdote:

“And further, you still get where you want to go. Consider: You and your buddy both work at the same place and are next door neighbors. You leave work at exactly the same time and have an average commute. You carefully observe the speed limit all the way home. You;re a couteous driver who is patient in the face of obstacles. Your buddy rushes home as fast as he can. He drives ten over when he can, rushes through stop lights, and swerves from lane to lane to pass all those slow drivers. he gets home, pulls into his driveway, goes to the mailbox and pulls out the daily junk mail, then walks up his sidewalk to his house. Then you drive up.

What has your buddy gained?”

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