It won’t be long before people can drive 85 mph in west Texas to legally speed along the trip to El Paso and beyond. Alternatively, I have always thought that long, boring highways would be the perfect venue for movie scene billboards. If you drove the appropriate speed limit, you would be viewing movies, which could be audio-linked to your radio. Another advantage of this roadside movie industry would be the creation of jobs, not a lot of jobs, but jobs nonetheless. The disadvantage is obvious, of course – one’s mind (or eyes) would not be on the road. Dadgummit! Another idea gem bites the dust!
(sign from Canadian/Alaskan highway)
Anyway…Too many people drive too fast. Speed limits have become mere guidelines. Most people don’t stick to them. They merrily rise above them, but usually not enough to warrant a ticket. I, myself, am sometimes guilty of setting the cruise to a few miles over the speed limit on freeways/highways. (Man, cruise sure shows you how inconsistently people drive!) However, this brings up another issue.
Why does the car industry even build engines that can exceed the speed limit? If our country is serious about speed limits, and there are laws against speeding, why are vehicles equipped with speedometers that indicate 120 mph and more? Why are claims of speed and “zero-to-sixty in three seconds” the basis for selling cars? Give me a break!!! Human males like to drive fast, feel the power of the engine, impress babes, yada, yada, yada – so the rest of us have to be put in danger. And, who designs these “sleek and sexy” speed products – mostly M-E-N.
Another idea: Hey, all you entrepreneurs out there, buy up 25 acres or more of land outside every city limit with populations of 50K or more, grade/pave lots of curves and straightaways, and charge people $25 for fifteen minutes of speed driving their own vehicles. The drivers would have to be at least 21 years old and sign a waiver against injury or death. Also, no alcohol could be sold on the premises and Breathalyzer testing would be mandatory after 6pm. Otherwise, woohoo!!
Nearly a century of accidents and fatalities have not diminished this seemingly inate need for speed. This is the one area that insurance industry lobbyists don’t seem to have any influence. I suppose, as long as America has enough uncongested freeways/highways and rural areas in which to drive fast, speed will continue to be the appeal/thrill. So, I guess, the future of lower speed limits and engines incapable of going fast is a long, long, long way off.
Texas race tracks: http://www.na-motorsports.com/Tracks/TX/