Can I go just over the speed limit by five or ten miles per hour?
You “can.” You can get away with many things in life. However, should you?
We all know that you should not.
First, most drivers do not understand speed, at all. What I mean by that is the effect of speed and physical laws. For example, if your car weighs 2,000 pounds and it is going 10 miles per hour that equates to 20,000 pounds of impact velocity. Now, assume you are traveling at 50 miles per hour; that is 100,000 pounds of impact velocity. Impact velocity is weight for that one moment, imagine 100,000 pounds even for a moment is crushing power. A two hundred pound individual represents 10,000 pounds of impact velocity at 50 mph, coming to a crushing halt against an air bag and seatbelt.
Unfortunately, most people do not understand the physical forces they are dealing with – they just understand the thrill.
Second, let us now consider the law. The “Prima Facie” law sets a maximum speed limit. The “California Basic Speed” law states that one should never drive faster than what is safe for the prevailing conditions. When we decide that it is “all right” to ignore a posted speed limit, then we are taking the law into our own hands and breaking it. Therefore, any time you are over a posted or non-posted speed limit, the police can stop you and issue a citation for speeding. Make no mistake – yes, even if you are two or five miles over the speed limit, you have committed an offense and can receive a ticket. Some might argue that officers allow minor leeway. This is true. However, which officer will and which will not permit this leeway? How are they feeling that day? You just do not know. It is simply not worth it. My advice is to follow the law. Remember, when the government establishes a speed limit, it is a compromise between what the authorities believe is safe, and the type of vehicle that can safely drive and negotiate that particular road. It is not there to make your life miserable, but to protect your life and the lives of others.
So, why else should we not speed? Well, it definitely kills. Regretfully, Paul Walker, the famous actor from “Fast and Furious,” and his friend, tragically found out the hard way. Incredibly, they were not ignorant of speed, at all. They had worked around it and built a career on it. Yet, they took speed into their hands and lost control of their vehicle, driving at over a hundred miles per hour, on a road built for no more than possibly 40 or 45 mph. Even professional, highly skilled Formula 1 drivers will tell you themselves that there is great inherent risk in speed, and that the cost of a mistake is often catastrophic.
If people would think before they speed, they would most likely choose not to. If people realized you could destroy another life, as well as your own, most people would refrain from doing it. The problem is our personality. The more we do something and do not suffer the consequences of our actions, the more we are convinced it is “ok” – we can handle it. Therefore, the five mph over the speed limit soon becomes ten mph over, and so on. One of my instructors had a wonderful saying: “Better to lose a second in your life than lose your life in a second.” That was great advise.