The Attraction of the Left

I don't know what it is...but we've all experienced it. It's just this natural urge that you can't seem to resist. No matter how things go we all want to be on the left. Oh sure maybe some people think that they're ok on the right, some people even convince themselves that they like it over on the right...usually these people are religious wakkos anyways so its not even worth lumping them in with the rest of us. For most everyone though, you just feel the left is the place you need to be. Sure you can analyze things any way you want, people come up with a million and one different reasons why they're over on the left, but whatever yours is, once your on the left you just feel right...err, correct. As you grow older and learn more about the world and differnt things begin to take priority (bills, a home, a spouse, kids and all that kinda stuff) it suddenly seems less important to stay over on the left, the older you grow the more to the right you find yourself drifting. There's always that wild few though, those that always stay over there on the left seemingly their whole life. Well wherever you are left or right, all I have to say is, get the hell out of the way. I mean if people just yielded to faster traffic and moved over to the right when they didn't need to be on the left we wouldn't need umpteen lane highways just to get traffic to flow halfway decently. Do you realize how much it cost to build all the wide damn highways we have in this country? I mean you wanna complain about taxes but you wanna be free to just sit your butt in the left lane clogging up the flow? Not to mention the enviornmental effects when traffic is slowed down and the petroleum that's used to produce the highways. I guess some people think they can sit out there on the left because people shouldn't be speeding and breaking the law...but isn't that vigilantism which is against the law? Anyways, these are the thougts that go through my head as I speed down the highway in my beat up Honda with no A/C and it's 90 freakin' degrees out. I really think this country would be a much better place if people just knew how to get over on the right! There's something I'd never thought I'd say.



I'm getting older but I've always been in the center. Where everybody else chooses to be is their business. What if the left lane is HOV?

Can't go wrong there


"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

While I spend

much of my car time in the left hand lane. I do really wish folks would get to the right and out of my and other buttheads way.

While we are speeding, at least we are in front of you finding the cops and not riding your butt and potentially doing something stupid behind you.

I know, what a dumb thing to say, but it is true.

Now that I live in NC, vice VA, I have slowed down and enjoy the ride. When I get into a big city (elizabeth city is huge now) I find myself more or less in the right hand lane, unless Im in my Mach 1. Then Im usually to far in front of folks to worry about left or right!~

If you are enjoying the ride, get out of that crazed guys way. While he is being a jerk, let him be a jerk way in front of you, vice trying to pass you on the shoulder or worse, running you off the road.

Didn't realize

going 9 miles over the posted speed limit (the defacto speedlimit as that's what's enforced) on a split highway was being such a jerk. As for the safety aspect, I don't believe speed limits have as great an impact of traffic safety as proper driver education, which is severly lacking for the most part.

Mainly though, I was kidding. I recycled this post from my blog a few year ago, no longer have the good ole Honda sans A/C so have actually chilled out (pun intended) a lot now that I don't have to maintain some airflow.

Are you saying the laws are just for other people?

Accidents happen even to very good drivers. The speed limit is a law, not a guideline. If it is set at 65 mph, that doesn't mean 65-75 mph. Nice that speeders think they get to pick and chose which laws they follow. Oh, and guess what they teach you in driver's ed - to obey traffic laws. They don't teach you about "de facto" speed limits, just speed limits. It isn't proper driver education that will improve safety on the roads as much as it is driver's who actually apply what they learn in driver education courses. The "it's OK b/c I won't get a ticket for it" school of thought needs to end.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

No, that's not what I'm saying at all...

Laws should certainly be followed out of respect for the law, not out of fear of punishment. However respect from the law comes from knowing that a law is rational and in the public interest. My point about the 'de facto' law vs written law is that if law enforcement officers who swear an oath to uphold said law don't even show it respect (eg enforce the posted speed limit), why should a citizen?

Um...because its the law.

Police officers have been known to kill, steal, beat their spouses and to break any number of other laws. Are you going to use those violations to justify killing, stealing, etc.?

It isn't that I don't understand what you're saying about why you think there's a "de facto" speed limit. It's that I think it is lame.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

SD, step away from the straw man!

The obvious difference is that there isn't a general consensus among the departments charged with policing homicide, larceny and domestic disturbances that commission of these crimes within a clearly defined limit is not worth police trouble.

When I lived in Mebane, I drove the stretch of 40/85 between Durham and Greensboro uh-lot, and I learned the de facto speed limit. One day, while traveling right at said de facto speed limit, I suddenly found myself right next to a state trooper. "Eh, what the hell." I passed him, and got pulled over. While chatting with him, I pointed out that I go that speed all the time on this stretch, and see a fair number of troopers. He responded by saying that he never would have pulled out onto the road to come get me for going 15 over, and if he had been going faster, he would not have pulled me over. So really, I guess, I got pulled for passing a police officer, and not for speeding, but that's another rant.

Anyway, he didn't give me a ticket. It seemed pretty clear to me that the troopers patrolling that stretch (or someone in authority over them) have determined that enforcement of the posted speed limit is a less effecient use of resources than defining a zone of tolerance and enforcing everything above that. I'd call the top end of that zone a de facto speed limit.

As for getting pulled for passing a cop

Arica was driving while we were going out to her folks' place one Thanksgiving or Christmas, and found herself approaching a police car that was traveling the same direction in the far left lane. She slowed to three or four miles per hour over the speed limit, but was still gaining on the cop. We discussed it, and agreed that no sane cop would pull an otherwise-innocuous vehicle for traveling three or four miles above the posted limit on a state highway.


When Arica asked how fast she'd been clocked at, the officer said "not very fast, but you should know not to pass a po-lice!"

That's just ridiculous.

As Lance said...

I'm not saying because some police officers disobey a law I should be allowed to. With speed limits there is a systematic enforcement higher than posted. Also no one should follow a law JUST because it's the law.


it's good to disobey the law on purpose. Civil disobedience has its place.
The Den
My darling girl, when will you understand that 'normal' isn't necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic


Excellent point.
The Den
My darling girl, when will you understand that 'normal' isn't necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

Yeah, this is definitely not a case of civil disobedience.

Although it's funny to imagine what a related act of civil disobedience would look like:

Open Letter to the North Carolina State Police

To Whom It May Concern:

At Eleven O'Clock on Monday, May 7, 2007, I will get in my car in Durham, North Carolina, and begin a trip to Greensboro. Details concerning the make, model and registration of my vehicle are included below. Whenever it is safe and practicable during my trip, I will travel at exactly nine miles per hour over the posted speed limit in violation of state and local laws. While I believe that these laws are oppressive and, plainly, wrong, I understand that it is the duty of your officers to ticket me. It is my hope that my actions will focus public opinion on the folly of our speed laws and move our state toward a positive change. I speed today so that others may be free!



Watch this space in the future for my "Letter from a Birmingham Traffic Court".

Heh. That makes me want to try it, Lance.

But I can't afford the bump in insurance rates.

The Den
My darling girl, when will you understand that 'normal' isn't necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

Certainly speeding isn't up there...

with not paying your taxes to protest a war and spending the night in prison. My point wasn't that I was a martyr in any way but that a citizen can choose not to follow what they feel is an illegitimate law, which as the police rarely can be bothered enforcing it, speed limits often are. I also stand by the point that speeding in and of itself does not necessarily endanger others. I often get honked at for not running yellow/red lights so I'm far from a reckless driver.

And Finally...look at the tag on the post!

No fair hiding behind a humor tag!

The point I started out to make about civil disobedience (before I got too wrapped up with cracking jokes) is that it's not the nobility of the cause that makes something civil disobedience, but the way in which the violation takes place. It's one thing to not pay your taxes to protest a war, but it isn't civil disobedience unless you make sure you're going to get caught. In college, I got a big kick out of my peers who felt that their drug use was a form of civil disobedience. If it were civil disobedience, they'd be doing it on the courthouse steps!

That's exactly right.

It doesn't do any good to have a protest by linking arms and standing shoulder to shoulder across your living room. It's much more effective to do that across a highway or gate to a nuclear plant, or something like that.
The Den
My darling girl, when will you understand that 'normal' isn't necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

Civil disobedience and nullficiation are two different things...

One last point, ever looked up the definition of crimes against nature in our state? I think that's a law a lot of people choose to legitimately violate without regarding it as some form of protest, its just something the state has no business telling them what they can or cannot do. If you've never violated CAN laws in this state I'll concede the arguement, but really you're the one that's losing out. :)

In reality

people don't obey the speed limit at all. I just drove back to the Triad from the Myrtle today in my ancient Volvo with no AC. Even without running the AC the car would start to overheat if I pushed her a bit over 60mph so I set the cruise control and suffered along in the 65mph zone . People where flying by me all the way up 220N. I only saw one car pulled over in that whole stretch. It made me realize how much more stress the engine endures at higher speeds and by extension how much more gas is being used.

I remember when the speed limit went to 70 on I-85. I think it was about the same time the Republicans took over and also permitted concealed handgun laws.

Party of life, my foot.


Isn't part of that the Richard Petty Memorial Hwy or something like that?

Cars go faster on that road than they do on interstates all the time, I think.
The Den
My darling girl, when will you understand that 'normal' isn't necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

It sure is.

do they all fancy themselves NASCAR drivers though?

I think so.

I have to go to Greensboro often for work, and I've started going "the back way". It takes a little longer, but it's prettier, and I'm much less likely to try to match velocity with the speedfreaks on 220N.
The Den
My darling girl, when will you understand that 'normal' isn't necessarily a virtue. It rather denotes a lack of courage." - Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

It depends on the car

so its not worth making a law about it, but it is often more fuel efficient to go faster than slower. for instance, a car might actually be burning less gas by going 70 instead of 65. but then another car could be burning less gas by going 55 instead of 65 so...

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Liddy 44 Brad 33

"Keep the Faith"

I can't drive 55

Wasn't there a study that showed that driving 55 was the most efficient speed?

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions