Conversations With Myself: Speed Limits


Speed limits are one of those many things where most people see a fuzzy guideline and I see a hard-and-fast rule.  Chances are you’ve seen those stretches of road where everyone always does 10 or 20 over the posted speed limit.  I regularly drive one of those, and I often have a conversation with myself that goes a little something like this:

“Well, the sign says 50 km/h and the gauge is on 50 exactly.  Everything is right with the world. Hmm…everyone seems to be going faster.  Maybe I should do 60 like everyone else.”

“But…the speed limit is 50.”

“Well, yeah…but the unspoken rule is that you do 60.”


“I know, but you’ve got to keep up with traffic flow, and everyone’s doing 60.”

“So if everyone else starts driving their cars into a ravine you’re just going to plunge to your death along with them because you’ve got to keep up with the traffic flow?”

“You know, that guy behind me is riding my tail.  I’m doing 60.”

“Oh, sure, just go ahead and flagrantly violate every traffic law you don’t like.  OMG YOU JUST HIT THAT LITTLE OLD LADY WHO WAS JAYWALKING ACROSS THE STREET!!”


“Ok, I made that up.  But that extra 10 km/h could have increased the distance required for stopping enough for you to hit a little old lady jaywalking across the street.”

“Well, she probably shouldn’t be jaywalking.”

“That’s not the point!  A hypothetical little old lady has just had her life snuffed out because you had to follow the herd!”

“Ok, I’ll do 55.”

It’s kind of like a metaphor for so much of my life, really.

CC image courtesy of mahiskali on flickr

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7 Responses to Conversations With Myself: Speed Limits

  1. ischemgeek says:

    Flashbacks of kid-me. “You know, the speed limit’s 90.”


    “You’re doing 110. You’re speeding.

    “I know.”

    “Speeding’s illegal.”

    “You’re right.”

    “It’s dangerous.”

    “Not if you drive safely.”

    Etc, until I irritated my parents into slowing down or they started yelling at me to shut up if I knew what was good for me, whichever happened first.

    Also, I totally get doing the speed limit in a 110 zone and having most cars on the road passing me… and being annoyed with them for speeding and torn over whether to go with the flow of traffic and break the law or go with the speed limit and… break the law (if you’re an impedance to the flow of traffic here, you’re breaking the law). Catch-22s like that annoy me.

    • Aspermama says:

      “It’s dangerous.”

      “Not if you drive safely.”

      I hear that sort of thing a lot, and it drives me up the wall. You can’t drive safely at crazy speeds.

  2. suburp says:

    Ha, good. 🙂 I am a bit the same really.
    I don’t like “unwritten rules” at all…

  3. I agree with you. When people go over the speed limit, it is so difficult for me to know what to do.

  4. autisticook says:

    Hahaha! I don’t drive, myself, but I SO GET THIS.
    (Cue conversation with my partner in which he complains about getting a ticket, and I go, “But you were speeding. That’s illegal.”) 😛

    • Aspermama says:

      Haha, I probably would’ve said the same thing! And I definitely envy you Europeans and your pedestrian/cyclist friendly cities. It’s so nice just to bike and walk sometimes.

  5. LOL! In Chicago where I live, the speed limit on the highway is 55 but most people are going at least 75! When I first started driving my mom told me that you can usually go up to 5 miles over the speed limit without getting a ticket, so I stuck to that rule for a long time. But I’m afraid now I speed with the best of them… it can actually be more dangerous to GO the speed limit when nobody else is! You could get crashed into. Or shot.

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