"If you aren't scared to the point that you might pee yourself, you aren't going fast enough."
I drove through 7 states yesterday; Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. It was a hell of a drive, a motorway blast through the heart of the east coast, riding the very arteries of this great country. As I powered through the mountains at 85 miles per hour, I found myself marveling yet again at the sheer size of not only the largest highway system in the world, but the largest public works project ever.
We've hacked away through mountains, across lakes, rivers, creeks and estuaries. We've slung power cables and telephone lines over mountains that have stumped travelers for hundreds of years. We've flattened out hillsides and built hotels, fast food franchises and radio towers on top of them. We truly have conquered mother nature. But we haven't cracked traffic laws yet.
Last summer I visited Germany and a few other countries in Europe. Though we had a pretty basic rental car with a tiny engine and an even tinier wheel-base, I thoroughly enjoyed driving in Europe. People didn't drive 10 mph under the speed limit in the inside lanes of highways, cops didn't hide behind every nook and cranny on the damn road with their radar guns pointed at innocent travelers trying to get somewhere, and best of all, trucks were restricted to outside lanes (most of the time). Are you listening, Mr. Obama? We need CHANGE.
It's ridiculous that instead of enforcing laws that might actually save people's lives (Slower traffic : Keep right fuckers), cops choose to hide on the side of highways and hand out speeding tickets to the same innocent, hard-working, tax-paying citizens that are essentially signing THEIR PAYCHECKS! It's ridiculous that they fine you exorbitant amounts of money for going 80 mph in a car that's safe at 120. Why do we still let this philosophy of "speed kills" govern our traffic laws? My average speed yesterday was well over the legal limit, but I didn't even come close to crashing. I ate, I made phone calls, and I changed radio stations all while driving a 6-speed manual car, and it's funny, but I'm not dead. I didn't even have a single close call through all 17 hours of my trip. Why? Because I drove carefully, defensively and was constantly aware of my surroundings. This is what really matters.
I understand laws are supposed to be for the common good, but seriously, we need to rethink a lot of our traffic laws. Regardless of what the speed limit is, people are always going to have crashes. Instead of limiting everyone to 65 mph, why don't we try educating our teen drivers better, making sure our adult drivers can still see and hear adequately, and for god's sake, can we please stop handing out licenses to every idiot that can parallel park a car and turn on their turn signal?
Germany's unlimited Autobahns are proof that speed isn't really what causes the majority of crashes; bad drivers cause crashes. Let's work on eliminating the real problem.