Oct 13, 2006

Dire Predictions

I was talking to the girl that sits next to me in choir tonight. She's 22, an administrative assistant for a local manufacturer. She's had 7 or 8 traffic tickets. 7 or 8!! In what can't be more than 7 years!! Holy, freakin' sh*t!!

And I thought my husband was a leadfoot.

(Of course, *he* believes that speed limits are unconstitutional. His argument? "If I can safely drive 85, I should be allowed to." The impracticality of this argument seems to evade him (probably deliberately). Everyone who drives that fast thinks they're driving safely. And, clearly, from the state of our roads today, they're not.)

Her latest ticket is for doing 50 in a 30 zone. She claims she couldn't possibly have been going that fast as she was following a minivan (or an SUV, she wasn't quite clear on which) that was farting along at the speed limit. She claims the officer was headed the opposite direction, saw her talking on her cellphone (sans headset, of course), pulled a u-ie, and followed her for a bit (whilst she was still following the mommycar) before pulling her over.

Her indignance at being nabbed for speeding when she was really breaking another law altogether was really very funny. It scares me though. This bright, and very, very talented, young woman will probably be dead before she hits 30.

I wonder if her mother knows she drives like this. I wonder if she worries herself sick.


Blogger Jade said...

It is frightening when someone doesn't learn the lesson from getting a ticket. The MIL was pulled over once for speeding (she is a ledfoot and impatient) She was trying to merge, and rather than wait her turn she sped up around the line of cars to try and cut in further up. A cop clocked her at nearly 75 in a 60. She tried to explain that she was just getting around the "jackoffs" who were daring to merge properly in front of her *rolleyes* The cop said "around here we drive the speed limit" (the MIL still had California plates at the time) She tried to say she was pulled over for being from California, I pointed out that she was pulled over for speeding. If she hadn't been speeding, she wouldn't have been pulled over just for having California plates.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Brightdreamer said...

It's amazing, the general disregard for the law that's spread through the country as generations pass. So long as they can justify it in their own mind, they figure they shouldn't be held accountable. After all, the law is for those other crazies, not the self-justified ones. "It's okay if I speed through the school zone - I don't see any kids in the road." "It's okay if I have another drink - I've driven drunk before and nobody's died." "I don't need to hang up even though I'm driving 76 on the freeway. I can drive with one hand and half a brain! I - AAGGHH! That jerk just cut me off! What's he doing, 80? Where's a cop when you need one?" (Sorry - people demanding the law's help before and after utterly disregarding its advice or assistance is a whole 'nother rant...) Maybe that's why so few people understand why we need to keep so close an eye on our lawmakers; they figure the new rules really won't apply to them, not so long as they're clear with their own malleable conscience.

2:44 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

The saddest commentary is that it wasn't her fault. I've never heard so much blame being placed on someone other than the one who got caught.

Even in court. The victim becomes the villian while the villian becomes the victim. Poor baby. He had a tough childhood and because of that he murdered these other people. We should feel sorry for him. Bull. He made the decision to do wrong now be big enough to take the blame.

In closing, the girl's mother is worried sick. You try to teach Katie to take the blame when it's her fault. We had one who blamed everyone but himself for things gone South.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:46 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

One more thought:

"Everyone who drives that fast thinks they're driving safely. And, clearly, from the state of our roads today, they're not."

I don't think the state of our roads has much to do with it. I think we would have a much clearer idea looking at the statistics of auto fatalities. Heck, the roads here are perfect compared to OH and we still have fatalities due to speed.

One other thought: John may be able to drive fast safely but who knows about Joe Blow and how he defines driving safely at 85 mph. Clearly we need to drive defensively.

Laws are for the safety of everyone.

Have I gotten too opinionated?

(deleted to edit for spelling. sheesh)

1:48 AM  
Blogger Brightdreamer said...

Actually, people who feel they can "safely" drive at speeds so far above and beyond the speed limit are deluding themselves whether or not they've actually crashed yet. We're humans. Our synapses only fire so fast. Our reaction time is limited. The laws of physics - specifically, momentum - are relatively rigid. There is only so fast one can go before one is traveling too fast for a given stretch of road. People who defend their excessive speed, traffic-darting, tailgating, lane changing without signals, illegal turns, driving while putting on make-up/carrying on cell phone conversations/reading the morning paper/etc. because they haven't had any problems when they did it before are just setting themselves up for a fall. Reminds me a bit of the line in the second Pit Dragon Trilogy book (Jane Yolen, YA Fantasy), after Jakkin just fatally injured a fighting dragon by doing something he should've known better than doing, but which seemed to be working at the time. He is told, quite sharply and correctly,"Every great mistake starts with 'It was going great until'."

The driving manual exists for a reason. I have to agree with those who say that America doesn't train people to drive, but trains people to pass the driver's test... it's too easy to forget that driving isn't a right, but a privilege, and operating a potentially lethal motorized vehicle ought to be given more respect and attention than people want to allocate to anything these days.

1:40 PM  
Blogger peppypilotgirl said...

I absolutely hate when people do that, Jade - try to "get ahead" by zooming up the breakdown lane instead of merging where they're supposed to! And, yeah, it does frighten me that people don't learn from traffic tickets. Both for them and for me!

You're absolutely right about people needing to take responsibility for their actions, Robin. And about Joe Blow defining "driving safely". As I said, I would bet that if you asked 10 aggressive drivers - the kind that scare the bejeebers out of the rest of us - if they drove safely, you'd get the same answer out of each of them, "Of course I drive safely!" BTW, what I meant about the state of the roads wasn't the physical condition of the roads but the general overcrowded nature of them and the ever-increasing number of people driving aggressively.

That's a really good quote, Brightdreamer. Your comment on the synapses only firing so fast reminded me of another traffic peeve of mine: people in SUVs that speed on snowy and icy roads, rationalising that they can keep control because they're driving an SUV. Sure the SUVs will "go" in the snow better than most. They don't, however, stop any better than any other vehicle. (argh!) And, as sad as it is, it's not just poor driver training... America spends a lot of its educational opportunities training people to take tests instead of really enlightening them. But that's a different rant altogether.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Aurora said...

Maybe I'm just conservative, but I think getting tickets is just plain dumb! How hard is it to follow the damn rules? I guess that's not modeled very well in this country though...

Thanks for stopping by and singing my theme song...

12:14 PM  
Blogger smileymamaT said...

I absolutely agree. My guy says I drive 'like a Memere (Grandma)". I do. Meaning, I drive safely, I follow the speed limit, never more than 5 over, I don't go fast around corners, I watch for pedestrians, I have to have all belts buckled before we go, etc. Oh well. I took defensive-driver's Ed in high school, and I watch out for those who drive worse than me. People tailgate me all the time because I'm not going fast enough for their hectic days, and get angry when I stop completely at a stop sign.(!!!) I must be the biggest pain in the butt. However, my family remains safe. That's all I need to know. :) T

9:50 PM  

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