The problem with speed limits is they’re arbitrary and presumptive.
A velocity maximum is decreed, and you are presumed a threat to others if you exceed it. Almost everyone understands this is silly—else almost everyone would not “speed” routinely. Most of us do not play Russian roulette, for instance, irrespective of any laws forbidding it, because we don’t need to be threatened with a ticket to refrain from putting a loaded gun to our heads.
Almost everyone understands that driving five, ten mph, or even faster than above whatever the speed limit is isn’t like that. That “breaking” the speed limit is like stepping on sidewalk cracks and not likely to break your momma’s back. It is why few feel shame or guilt when “caught” going faster than the speed limit. Indeed, the opposite is likely true. Drivers resent being extorted by the courts and insurance mafia over something we know caused no harm and was not likely to cause harm.
Interestingly, this defeats the supposed purpose of speed limits if the purpose isn’t to pretextually fleece motorists.
Ostensibly, speed limits are posted—gird yourself—for “our safety.” It is an almost mathematical axiom that the very last thing intended is the plain meaning of those two words when you hear those two words.
An altogether different meaning is intended, which can be demonstrated by pointing out how useless speed limits are as information about how fast or not it is safe to drive on any given road, especially an unfamiliar one.
This ought to be the purpose of speed limits—advisory rather than arbitrary. Suppose limits convey useful information about speed in relation to the road ahead instead of the set-deliberately-below-the-speed most people drive on that road. More might actually drive the advisory speed limit. Inevitably, most drivers ignore the posted limits and see them as easy pickings for on-the-go tax collection.
Part of the problem is vocabulary.
A speed limit sounds like some engineering threshold, like an engine’s RPM limit. Exceed the redline, and engine damage is probable because the engine’s mechanical limits have been exceeded.
Most people take care not to exceed the redline because they know it has objective informational value, and they’d better pay attention to it.
But a speed limit is nothing like that. It is a statutory limit—something illegal to exceed because it has been so decreed but not necessarily harmful in and of itself.
It is obviously not an objective threshold beyond which danger lies, which is why most people do speed, regardless of any statute. General contempt for speed limits is universal, which undermines “our safety.”
It is not because people “speed,” but because the correlation between the signage and conditions is so tenuous that most of us ignore the signs unless police are in the vicinity. While some drive too slowly relative to the speed, the rest of us are driving to make sure that traffic does not needlessly bunch up when it could be flowing much more smoothly. This sets up a bizarre and irritating dynamic.
The speed limit obeyers are often taking a kind of righteous delight in their rigid obedience, which in their minds justifies not yielding to the drivers exceeding the speed limit because they are breaking the law! While the “speeders” understandably get exasperated by the “slowpoke” ahead who is preventing them from driving at a speed they know isn’t dangerous, even if statutorily unlawful.
If “our safety” rather than our money is desired, the gov, perhaps, should post speed advisories with no fines attached.
This would benefit drivers not familiar with a given road by giving them a sound ballpark idea about how fast they ought to enter an unfamiliar curve, for instance. They would be given heed for the sake of safety as opposed to fear of a fine.
Because we have speed limits, people tend to either completely ignore them—knowing they can likely take the curve up ahead at ten or even twenty MPH faster than the sign says is “safe” (even at the risk of a ticket) because they have been driving that road and taking that curve every day for the past ten years at ten or even twenty MPH faster than the sign says is “safe.”
If a driver is not familiar with the road and has not taken the curve up ahead every day for the past ten years, they see the sign that says twenty-five MPH and creates a road hazard by driving preposterously slow for the curve. The next time they take that road, they’ll probably ignore the sign, like almost everyone else.
Motorists then habituate a combination of contempt for the signage as well as mindless obedience of signage irrespective of conditions, and neither is of much service to the cause of “our safety.” The entire regime is as counterproductive and cynical as it is profitable.
This explains why probably speed limits as absolute won’t end anytime soon.
Eric Peters lives in Virginia and enjoys driving cars and motorcycles. In the past, Eric worked as a car journalist for many prominent mainstream media outlets. Currently, he focuses his time writing auto history books, reviewing cars, and blogging about cars+ for his website EricPetersAutos.com.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the author.
Republican Governor Phil Scott instructed Vermont’s public schools to interrogate returning students today to determine whether they had enjoyed a holiday gathering with more than just their immediate family or whether they had traveled to gather with others for Thanksgiving. If the students snitch on their family, they will be forced to online classes only for 14 days or 7 days plus a negative Coronahoax test.
If the Coronahoax tests really work and mean anything, why can’t they just get one on Monday and go right back if they are negative? Why can’t the asymptomatic be assumed healthy until proven sick? We have done it that way for every other disease. Why are they assumed to be infected and must test, yet the rest of the allegedly asymptomatic “infected spreaders” in the school require no testing? Which junk science should they follow? Fauci’s new claim that children do not carry/spread Coronahoax, or that all asymptomatic people are infected carriers? In either case, Phil Scott and the State of Vermont are wrong with their new Family Snitch policy and will not protect “public health”.
George Orwell describes this exact tactic in 1984:
“They had played a similar trick with the instinct of parenthood. The family could not actually be abolished, and, indeed, people were encouraged to be fond of their children in almost the old-fashioned way. The children, on the other hand, were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations. The family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police. It was a device by means of which everyone could be surrounded night and day by informers who knew him intimately.”
“Nearly all children nowadays were horrible. What was worst of all was that by means of such organizations as the Spies they were systematically turned into ungovernable little savages, and yet this produced in them no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party. On the contrary, they adored the Party and everything connected with it… All their ferocity was turned outwards, against the enemies of the State, against foreigners, traitors, saboteurs, thought-criminals. It was almost normal for people over thirty to be frightened of their own children.”
There are many who are rightfully upset about turning public school students into Family Snitches. However, I would suggest many never noticed that the schools have been doing this for many years (See the D.A.R.E. program for example). They just didn’t worry about it because the children were being trained to snitch on those they saw as “bad” and if they weren’t doing “bad” things, they would have nothing to hide.
Good to know Sen. Kelsey thought it important that county/local folks have zero power to do anything about it. Important enough to sponsor Google’s “autonomous vehicle technology” bill to protect robot cars instead of us.
“Another day, another story of a horribly irresponsible Tesla owner “beta testing” the company’s Autopilot software while putting countless other lives at risk. And likely, another day the NHTSA in the U.S. will do nothing about it. Today’s story comes out of Canada, where a 20 year old man is facing charges for sleeping behind the wheel of a Tesla that was doing more than 90 mph. The RCMP was called when witnesses saw “a speeding Tesla electric car heading south of Edmonton, and what appeared to be no one behind the wheel,” according to NBC. Both front seats were fully reclined and both the driver and the passenger appeared to be asleep, according to the report. The car was doing about 87mph on a roadway with a posted speed limit of about 68mph. Police say that when chasing the Tesla down, it accelerated to more than 90mph as other drivers on the roadway pulled over after seeing the patrol car’s lights. RCMP Sgt. Darrin Turnbull said: “Nobody was looking out the windshield to see where the car was going. I’ve been in policing for over 23 years and the majority of that in traffic law enforcement, andI’m speechless. I’ve never, ever seen anything like this before, but of course the technology wasn’t there.”
“Stunning, but sadly no longer surprising video was posted on Tik Tok this week of what appears to be three 20 something guys, indulging in alcoholic beverages while their Tesla – with no one in the driver’s seat – barrels down the highway.
It is the latest thumbing of the nose to the NHSTA, who has repeatedly failed to meaningfully address how Tesla’s Autopilot has played a role in several fatal crashes across the nation.”
Tesla using “autonomous vehicle technology” crashes into parked highway patrol vehicle and ambulance.
“A Tesla on Autopilot smashed into the back of a patrol vehicle on the side of the road near Benson, Arizona today, according to Arizona’s Department of Public Safety Twitter feed….”We can confirm the driver indicated to troopers the Tesla was on autopilot at the time of the collision….The impact caused the patrol vehicle to collide with the back of an ambulance, but fortunately the occupants of the ambulance weren’t injured. The driver of the Tesla had non-life-threatening injuries.”
You can see the Tesla using “autonomous vehicle technology” swerve and lock wheels as it approaches the pedestrian, then release brakes and pile head-on into an overturned truck.
“Recall, earlier this year the NTSB revealed that Autopilot had played a role in a fatal 2019 Model 3 accident in Delray Beach, Florida.
The driver had set the car to go 69 miles per hour 12.3 seconds before the crash took place on a highway that had a speed limit of 55 mph, according to Bloomberg. The NTSB also revealed that the driver’s hands were not on the wheel for the final 7.7 seconds before the crash.
The NTSB had also arrived at similar findings regarding a 2016 Florida crash where another Tesla driver didn’t react to a truck in the roadway. In that instance, the NTSB found that Tesla’s Autopilot design contributed to the cause of the accident.”
Do these reports of accidents caused while using driverless vehicles or “autonomous” vehicle technology concern you? Do you know that Tennessee Republicans made it impossible for your local county or municipal government to do anything about them operating on the roads you pay for? Here’s how it happened:
Tennessee District 35 Representative Jerry Sexton first took office in 2015 as part of the 109th General Assembly. As a freshman legislator, one of his first sponsored bills was HB0616 which prohibited county and local governments from making any ordinances or statutes regulating operation of a vehicle in their boundaries using what was then called “autonomous vehicle technology”. A pretty strange topic for a freshman legislator from a rural district. Why would Rep. Sexton feel that autonomous vehicle technology was being unreasonably assaulted by his neighbors and needed some form of protection back in 2015? I am willing to bet that exactly ZERO Grainger and Claiborne county constituents were requesting this legislation. So how did the bill originate? Who “gave” it to Sexton to sponsor? Who was it supposed to benefit in the future – knowing that people WOULD eventually want to control killer robot cars that crash themselves and spontaneously combust after the lithium batteries are punctured like Tesla vehicles have many times been shown to do? At the time, a handful of Republicans argued in support of this bill and stated that this type of technology already existed – citing technology such as proximity sensors in bumpers or parallel park assist. The bill seemed like a solution in search of a problem. No locality in Sexton’s district was trying to prohibit vehicles with backup cameras, proximity alerts or park-assist. However, these legislators so concerned about “autonomous vehicle technology” completely ignored other existing autonomous vehicle technology such as large trucks with compression or “jake” brakes which actually ARE discriminated against by county/local governments. Plenty of towns still have their “No Jake Brakes” signs, including those in Rep. Sexton’s district (see Highway 25E northbound entering Tazewell for example) – a “state highway” where allegedly this bill would protect autonomous vehicle technology as it was sold. This is also proof his constituents didn’t and still don’t believe in the principle of the original “autonomous vehicle technology” bill. It is proof the TNGOP was not really defending autonomous technology that pre-existed – because they have never removed these prohibitions IN THEIR OWN DISTRICTS.
Once successfully tying the hands of the people with Sexton’s freshman bill, the redefinition of “autonomous vehicle technology” has changed to reveal the true purposes and what corporate interests would benefit from future bills. If you watch the very first video in Transportation sub-committee, Sexton mentions Google as a beneficiary that was in process of driverless vehicle experimentation, but it was carefully not described to the committee members voting on the bill. They would have had to read the bill – I know, a foreign concept in modern legislative bodies – to see the plain language:
“For purposes of this section, “autonomous technology” means technology installed on a motor vehicle that has the capability to drive the motor vehicle without the active physical control or monitoring by a human operator.”
So we were not talking AT ALL about park assist, braking assist, or proximity sensors in your bumper, but full-on driverless robot cars. It was a lie and the Republicans who deceived their fellow legislators on this bill (knowing that they would not read the bill and just vote for whatever their Republican party apparatus told them was “their bill”) were revealed for the corporate shills they are. Apparently there was a need to remove the liberty of all Tennesseans to regulate robot cars on the local roads they fund – before they existed.
If you watch the first consideration of the bill in the Transportation sub-committee, Rep. John Ragan of Oak Ridge pipes up in support of the bill and how important it is to Oak Ridge with the biggest supercomputer in the world, blah, blah, blah. Completely hiding the true nature of the bill:
Rep. David Alexander (R-Winchester) asks Sexton what “autonomous vehicle technology” is. Sexton is unable to explain what “autonomous vehicle technology” even is and says “that’s a good question”. This bill isn’t his idea. It isn’t his constituents’ concept. Nobody requested this from his District. Rep. John Ragan has to hand Sexton a slip of paper with a definition of what autonomous vehicle technology is for Sexton to read BECAUSE HE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THE BILL HE IS SPONSORING IS FOR. It is admitted that this phrase means vehicles with no human in control of them – or necessarily even in the vehicle – not vehicles with existing technology such as parking assist or proximity sensors as was presented in sub committee. Rep. Alexander then asks Rep. Sexton “Where did this bill come from?” Rep. Sexton then states that “this bill was given to me by Senator Kelsey.” Nothing particularly nefarious about that. Every bill has to originate in both the House of Representatives and the Senate and requires a sponsor in each house. The bigger question is, why pick a freshman representative to run this bill or rather, have Rep. Ragan pull his puppet strings? Why use District 35 representation to pass something they have ZERO interest in?
Alexander then correctly takes the people’s side of liberty as he represents his constituents and not Google’s corporate interests and states: “Every day up here almost it seems like I’m having to choose between the state dictating to our local, you know, entities or not and I just believe that uh, the people in Tennessee that live in their homes should have the right to decide how they want to live in their homes and what their laws are around their homes. So, I sometimes think that state government acts as Big Brother and I have a big problem with that.”
Boy, did he nail it on the head! Just think of what these legislator’s view of Google and Alphabet Corp. might be today? But, too late, you already sold us out to fill in the failed Hemlock Semiconductor corporate welfare boondoggle in Clarksville with Big Brother Google.
Then Rep. Eddie Smith questions if there are any existing regulations for these technologies and likens the technology of his cell phone that can erroneously decide to make calls on its own to unproven robot cars that could go “haywire”. He questions if the legislature is being premature in forcing the acceptance of robot cars with unproven technology that the bill would leave wide open since there are no standards or requirements for the autonomous technology except current road rules and regulations, which do not address them at all. Sexton again admits this bill is to serve Google and prevent balking on their investment in Tennessee if they cannot have free reign use of their robot cars across the state. He then refers Smith to a youtube video, that he doesn’t have the title or link to, where you could watch a 90% blind individual “drive” from home to Hardee’s to get a biscuit. I guess there was a big demand for that in Grainger County and Germantown.
Terri Lynn Weaver politely expresses concern similar to Rep. Smith and requests if Rep. Sexton would consider moving the bill to summer study. Sexton questions what summer study is and says he has heard that is where bills go to die (typically that is true). He is willing to entertain sending the bill to summer study as long as the bill would be heard next year. He doesn’t care about the “urgency” of Google’s corporate welfare, BECAUSE IT ISN’T HIS BILL. Chairman Matlock then comes to the rescue of the Google Corporate Shills and suggests moving the bill to the last calendar of the year so people can get better informed on the vague bill and ensure it gets passed this session. This last committee meeting is two weeks later and the bill passes the full Transportation committee with little resistance although Rep. Joe Armstrong and Rep. Alexander have the only comments in opposition and Rep. Sexton again demonstrates his misunderstanding of his own bill in that it ties the hands of every county and local entity in the state. Even at this point he thinks it only applies to state highways, despite the brevity and plain language of the bill (that he didn’t write).
The bill then eventually proceeds to the full House to be voted on for the third time, conforming to Kelsey’s Senate version of the bill for final vote. You can watch that video here and see how Beth Harwell, House clerk “Smokin” Joe McCord and Rep. Matlock ramrod the bill through, literally telling Rep. Sexton what to say on video. This is how the sausage is made folks.
On the Senate side, there was virtually no opposition. Kelsey also tried to sell this as already existing technology by using the parallel parking feature. He admitted on video that he had no knowledge of any place that was prohibiting this technology in Tennessee (i.e., there was no problem for this “solution”). Jim Tracy joked about how his wife thought he needed a driverless car and also thought Frank Nicely should have one. Maybe they would be interested in a Tesla 3 autopilot ride. Hopefully it wouldn’t drive them into a bridge abutment and explode like has happened to others. But hey, they “meet all safety requirements”! Now, you will be interested to know about bills introduced in later legislative sessions that have modified this robot car idea after Representative Sexton and Senator Kelsey laid the foundation for Google corporate welfare. There have been multiple attempts to excuse the robot cars from requirements that you as a taxpayer are forced to comply with to operate your vehicle on the road – such as the registration and proof-of-insurance documents required of you to be able to produce at any time to a “law enforcement” officer. And seatbelt requirements for the operators of the driverless cars – where you operating your own vehicle are responsible for not only yourself and all passengers in the vehicle (unless you are driving a public school bus – “for the children”) but the robot car operator is not responsible. I may write about those in a future post.
I wrote Mr. Cobble suggesting one change to this otherwise excellent document. From me:
“There is one word that I think should be changed in this document. On page 6, the last sentence of the third paragraph the word right should be replaced with power. A mayor, or for that matter any government official, has no right to do anything. They only have the power to do something as authorized in the TN Constitution.”
Mr. Cobble’s response:
“You have made an excellent point. Upon reflection, I agree with you that the better word would be ‘power,’ but alas, I have already ‘fired off’ the document to a variety of source, and so it should probably remain as it is. However, if questioned about my word choice, I will acknowledge that ‘power’ is a better word.”
Please watch. Corona virus is not new. It always was present along with influenza, rhino. It is present in the exact percentage range that COVID-19 testing is finding for TN.
How else can CDC shill Dr. Fauci be making statements about an alleged brand new cocktail bioweapon virus made in China (not from the meat market now then?) and saying it is “seasonal”? How could he possibly know?
The Rockefeller/Gates/CDC plague is created by them. So will the forced vaccines be. And they will be just as ineffective as the “free” flu shots pushed all year every year. But it is the other aspects of government control that are being implemented in response to this ruse. How much will America give up to “get the economy going again”?
This article is a reminder of just how far this country has strayed from constitutionalism that the main author of the Constitution vetoed the spending bill related to roads. Today many people want to feds to do everything.
Almost time for the new cell-phone ban law to go into effect. But the Tennessee Republican super majority made sure the new law doesn’t apply to “law enforcement”. They can do whatever they want, putting others in danger – and issue citations to you for the exact same activity. The Tennessee legislature loves to use the “Mom, all the other kids are doing it” rationale when justifying their bills often times using law in other states as some kind of precedent and apparently we all need to be the same as the other kids. I guess maybe they didn’t look at what is happening to other states where “law enforcement” drives distracted. Or maybe like Arlingon, they too think Tennessee “law enforcement” will be “above the fray” and have special, different brains from everyone else and can multitask on their computer, radio, cell phone all at the same time. Think it isn’t happening already in Tennessee? Stay tuned for Part 3.
Because….trained professionals…uhhhh…whose brains work different than yours…like the government constantly reminds you that you are incapable of multi-tasking in those radio PSAs and distracting text message signs over the interstate…trained professionals, they never do that…
Art Swann, Tennessee State Senator from Blount County, is trying to ban talking on cell phones while driving. Simply talking on your cell while driving is not in and of itself a danger, excluding the health effects from radiation.
People use their hands while talking to passengers and driving every day. Should that activity be criminalized as well since it involves using our hands and talking while driving?
The state of Tennessee already has a distracted driving law. That is sufficient to stop people who pose a danger.
The very fact that legislation is being discussed to criminalize what is usually safe activity means that most cops don’t view driving while talking on your cell phone as dangerous activity. If they did, they’d be charging people with distracted driving. Safe activity shouldn’t be criminalized.