Thursday, December 08, 2005

Speed limits

After looking at a Cato Institute report, lawblogger Professor Bainbridge has a suggestion: "why not emulate the German autobahn and significantly raise (or even eliminate) speed limits on rural interstates?"

I like the idea. (Note: I am fully aware that my primary reason for liking it is selfish.) I like it because raising speed limits on the aforementioned sort of roads would significantly cut down the time it takes for me to drive from the place I currently live in academic exile to places where I actually know people from contexts unrelated to my post-secondary education experience, especially places where I have many relatives. I do some really long road trips these days, often without the help of another driver. There's a lot I'd give to make these odysseys shorter. "A lot" includes an increased percentage of my very small paycheck. Of course, it's easier to say this now that gas prices are lower than they were in the recent past.

My roommate and I actually had a discussion about this a few weeks back. We disagreed and still disagree. The Nanotribologist says that she doesn't want speed limits raised, for reasons that mostly have to do with decreased fuel efficiency once a vehicle attains a certain velocity. It was much more environment-friendly than mine, and I felt guilty about that. I remember that I countered by saying I'd be more than willing to buy more gas if doing so got me to my parents' house faster. Plus, my number of miles driven on a voyage home is about 3.5 times her equivalent trip; consequently, I think I'm a little more desperate to get home fast, and I go home less often. That, essentially, is my reasoning as to why I'd love speed limits on interstates raised, please.

Random bit of trivia: I have yet to receive a traffic ticket. I've never even been pulled over by a police officer.