Rant and Rave

Speed, or Lack Thereof: A Point/Counterpoint Rant and Rave

Guest Rants from Lee Estes and Mark Sousa


Lee Estes sent the following letter:

Dear C&C:

Are you guys nuts? The entire trend of Western civilization for millions of years has been to get things down faster and go places quicker than in the previous millennium. Yet you continue to whine on about SPEED LIMITS and how the rest of us are supposed to comply with this ridiculous requirement.

First: Speed limits are arbitrary decisions made by politicians, with no basis in automotive safety WHATSOEVER. They just post those signs to annoy people like me and give complainers like you guys something to complain about and fill otherwise dead air time.

Second: America is a land where the males (at least most of us) have an abundant supply of testosterone (although you two may be an exception); therefore, high-speed travel is our natural right. Traveling too slowly causes the male body to develop an excessive quantity of estrogen.

Fortunately, here in Michigan we have the RIGHT idea. We know the posted speed limits are advisory only. Only if you are unable to drive with a sufficient degree of skill are you required to actually obey those damn signs. As a person who travels in excess of 30,000 miles per year, I say 55 or even 65 mph is ridiculously slow. If I drove within the speed limit I would still be trying to get home from last month.

(Here's the part you find really shocking.) I routinely drive the interstates in Michigan at speeds of 90 to 110 mph (no, not kph, mph). I don't get in wrecks. I don't run other cars off the road. I give other drivers room. Although sometimes I have been known to lean on a serious speed nazi (defined as anyone in the left lane traveling at less than 80 mph). The state police obviously know what I'm doing is not a problem. I rarely get pulled over, and ticketed even less. So LIGHTEN UP. Modern cars, tires, shocks, brakes, seat belts, air bags, etc., make for a safer car than a '63 Dodge Dart. If that Dodge is the basis for your opinion on what's too fast, no wonder you guys are wusses. Nobody could drive a car like that! But some cars can go faster safely. End of rant.


Mark Sousa sent the following letter:

"Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse" isn't viable for me. The last time my corpse might have been good-looking was 20 years ago. I've got a feeling it's problematic for Lee Estes, too, since most people wouldn't consider a corpse with a surprised, moronic look on its face (probably caused by the proximal appearance of the word "Peterbilt" 10 feet in front of his hood ornament and getting more proximal all the time) to be good-looking.

Speed limits aren't the problem.

Enforcement is the problem.

What we need is a device that will track and destroy the vehicle of anyone bouncing around the interstate at a speed greater that 10 percent above that of the current average in their current driving lane...while performing personal hygiene functions, while talking on a cell phone, while reading the paper (like they could learn anything, anyway) all at the same time. Hey, buddy--that's my wife and kids in this econobox you're rather erratically and intermittently aiming at. Thank God you can't concentrate on anything long enough to actually hit us (WHOOPS! CRUNCH). Please feel free to point yourself at any bridge abutment you want, BUT I don't want to go with you--not just because I'm not ready to leave this mortal coil yet, but also because I don't want to go out with anyone who is so conceited as to think that HIS 15 minutes of adolescent highway misbehavior is worth scaring the crap out of my kids or my wife or especially ME...AND I'VE BEEN COOPED UP IN THIS CAR WITH THEM FOR FOUR HOURS ALREADY TODAY....GO AHEAD, HIT ME!

What we need is to refocus the Star Wars program. Who cares if some little country tries to hit us with a ballistic missile...never gonna happen! Put this technology to work tracking the speed of vehicles on our streets and roads. Build a device that tracks vehicles moving significantly faster than the rest of traffic, or just driving stupidly, or just track the ones that annoy ME. Blow their junk off the road and do it in a way that doesn't cause a pothole or a stain on the roadway and put it under MY control.

That's what we need!

See ya, Lee.


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