Odd Thoughts: Dufus and Speed never satisfied

The guy behind me clearly wanted the speed limit raised. NOW!

We were heading along the main highway, just two lanes of traffic, one lane each way.

I was not going fast enough.

He sat on my bumper, then slipped back a bit… and rushed right back to my bumper.

Over and over, he did this.

A typical highway bully, he was a road rage incident waiting to happen.

Here’s the thing, though: we were in a line of traffic stretching as far forward as I could see, and as far back as my rear-views could reveal.

Neither of us was going to go any faster than we were going.

In fact, I was kind of pleased at the speed, considering the volume of traffic: the limit was 80 km/h, and we were veritably zooming along at 70-75 km/h.

Usually, on that stretch of road, at that time of day, in that part of the week, you’re lucky to break 60.

But that was not sufficient for Dufus behind me. The speed limit was 80, and he was going to go 80… over and over and over again.

Was he making me sweat a bit? Darned right. I’d seen a driver do that to the car ahead of him before. They were both just ahead of me in traffic. The one guy kept rushing the bumper of the guy ahead, over and over.

Then something happened. Mr. Speed must have lost his train of thought (or whatever his brain does) for a moment, just as they were approaching a red light, and he smashed into the driver he had been tormenting.

As I discovered when I pulled over to bear witness, Mr. Speed had been drinking and stunk of alcohol. And now I had his Cousin Dufus worrying my back bumper.

These are the guys, I am convinced, who vote for the political party that Gordon Campbell bequeathed us.

Campbell himself was caught driving drunk in Hawaii, and his sycophants passed it off as no big deal. His premier successor Christy Clark made light of running stop lights – with her kid in the car, no less.

Campbell/Clark right hand man Rich Coleman killed photo-radar in response to complaints that it wasn’t “fair” to ticket them without giving them a fighting chance to play “spot the cop car.”

Mr. Speed and Cousin Dufus and the rest of the clan were placated, and average over-the-limit speeds on our highways shot up a extra 10 km/h overnight.

Coincidentally (or not?), that period shortly after photo-radar was nixed saw a flurry of horrific car crashes.

Mr. Speed, Dufus, and their fast and furious ilk continue to complain that they aren’t allowed to drive as fast as they should – actually, as fast as they’d like. The real menaces on the road, they point out, are those who frustrate them into doing stupid things by sticking close to the speed limit. Using impeccable NRA logic, they point out, “Speed doesn’t kill, bad drivers kill.”

That assumes, of course, that the faster you drive, the better a driver you are.

And it appears that this government, extending the Campbell road vision yet again, is acceding to their guttural vocalizations.

Interestingly, the B.C. Truckers Association – made up of the people who probably know the road as well as anyone – opposed the government’s proposal to raise speed limits.

Some of their reasoning is instructive. They’re not going to go faster, because it messes with the return on their fuel investment – and it’s simply not safe: a loaded tractor-trailer running at 90 km/h takes 107 metres to come to stop, but adding just 15 km/h to the speed adds 73 metres to the stop distance.

And Speed and Dufus will put their complaints pedal to the metal again in no time flat.

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