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ot-speed limit

i drive the speed limit and am constantly honked at, given the finger, passed illegally, dangerously tailgated. i interpret the speed limit to be the speed which is the "limit", not the speed at which one can drive 10 miles above. i understand that engineers design the roads and help determine the speed limit, as well as the structures and pedestrian traffic on each roadway, so it seems wise to abide by the speed limit. and i figure that if i get into an accident, i would prefer not to be speeding and add insult to injury with a speeding ticket. why are other drivers so aggressive towards me for driving the posted speed? anyone have any opinions about this topic? (i'm sure i'll be blasted from some of you, but i can take it. i might even change my driving habits if presented with a persuasive opinion.)

Fri. Sep 15, 10:46am

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You are right the speed limit is the speed limit, and in general all should go the speed limit because of the reasons that you noted. But now let me give you this: You are on a 6 lane road in Atlanta,GA you are driving 55 because that is the posted speed limit (not because of design, not because of ped. traffic because GA state law says if you are in a large city, actually there are guidelines based on the number of people in the surrounding city, then speed limits are imposed,) if you go 55 on this 6 lane road you will get run over. Probably my biggest suggestion to you is, don't drive on roads that you could be involved in a road rage incident because you are driving the speed limit, if you are on a road were you are getting passed and it is possible that you are going the speed limit but you are not with the flow of traffic, go ahead and step it up just a wee bit as to not cause an accident.

Friday, September 15, 2006, 11:17 AM

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I understand your point and position. The posted speed is for safety, for drivers and pedestrians. I try especially hard to stay slow when I know it is a school zone or a lot of people may be out crossing the street. It is frustrating when people are zooming by me in a school zone. It's really not worth getting to work three minutes sooner if I get a speeding ticket, or hit a little kid crossing the street.

That said, I still speed on the highway...

Friday, September 15, 2006, 11:20 AM

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yes, good point. i do actually stay with the flow of traffic when forced to drive on freeways and even major highways. however, i find going 45 on small streets in the morning on my way to work, in an area riddled with deer, just seems to piss people off. i am not willing to put myself in jeopardy just to avoid bothering someone else who is driving and wants to speed. am i alone?

Friday, September 15, 2006, 11:21 AM

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An additional note about highway driving - the speed limit varies from state to state also. In MI, most roads are 70 mph speed limit. It also seems kind of random when it changes from 65 to 55 and back again.

Friday, September 15, 2006, 11:22 AM

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You make the decisions for your vehicle

I'd say, just grow a thicker skin. If the limit is 65 and you're doing 65 in the slow lane -- not in the fast lane -- then the guy (why is it always a guy?) who comes up behind you flashing his lights and honking for you to get out of his way has his own problems. (Unless, of course, he is driving an ambulance!) They don't have to do with you.

This really IS a safety issue, as is following distance. For instance, I'm often driving a heavily loaded pickup truck for work, and I know the speed at which it will handle when loaded, and the distance which it will take me to stop. I drive accordingly. Don't let another driver bully you into driving your vehicle as if it was a sports car. He is not behind your wheel.

Now, just to add to the rant -- my "favorites" are the guys who, when everyone is in bumper-to-bumper traffic, are flashing and honking and swearing as if there was someplace for everyone else to GO to get out of their way. Guys, if your wife is in the back seat having the baby, pull onto the frickin' median!

A lot of the people speeding through residential areas only do it because they don't live there. They would never drive that speed in their OWN neighborhood, where their OWN kids live. Kudos to you if you are as respectful everywhere as you are at home!

Friday, September 15, 2006, 11:40 AM

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op here. don't get me wrong, i do not let it bring me down or make me feel inferior or like i am the one with the problem-at least not usually. but i wanted to get others' perspectives because i'm not positive that this hasn't become a sort of passive-aggressive way for me to deal with stress. you know, pissing people off lawfully but knowingly...and sometimes feeling pretty righteous about it.

Friday, September 15, 2006, 11:49 AM

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Actually based on reliable information that I have, most of the stop sign runners and speeders in neighborhoods, is actually people IN the neighborhood....

I don't know if they have kids or not.

Friday, September 15, 2006, 11:54 AM

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sounds clandestine...

Friday, September 15, 2006, 1:13 PM

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comment on OPs post of 11:49
You are not alone!!!
I too will sometimes just purposely go closer to the limit just to piss someone off...depends on the situation though...and what sort of day I'm having! Usually though, I just let them fly around me - zig zagging through all of the traffic - because they are obviously in a huge hurry to get to my exit 2 seconds ahead of me!
There are some areas where you know they issue lots of tickets and I make sure that I stay at the limit there. Usually though, on the freeway I am doing a reasonable 5 over like the majority of the other drivers. Occasionally I find myself doing 10 over (bad me!) but what floors me is that there are people riding my ass because they feel the need to do 15 or 20 over. If I can I let them pass - those are the road rage people that I don't want to piss off!

Friday, September 15, 2006, 1:35 PM

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ooooh! it drives me batty when someone is riding my bumper in hopes of-what? in hopes of "bullying" me into going faster? isn't traffic just a part of driving? people seem to feel so entilted sometimes!

Friday, September 15, 2006, 1:38 PM

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continue to drive the speed limit if that is what is comfortable for you-but i would suggest pulling over and letting the person flipping out behind you pass your vehicle. he/she will probably get a ticket up ahead anyhow and you can wave to them from your car! you could still be involved in an accident even if you are driving safely because of some a-hole who angrily drives erratically trying to get around you. make it safer for everyone (including yourself) and just get out of the way of aggressive drivers.

on a side note-i totally have no problem w/ people going the speed limit-but what i absolutely CAN'T stand is when people "ghost" brake. there is nothing in front of them, not even a curve in the road and instead of taking their foot off the accelerator (which naturally slows you down), they tap their brakes over and over. this drives ME to some road rage of my own!

Friday, September 15, 2006, 1:48 PM

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Above poster: God I hate the constant tapping the brake too!! I also hate when people ride the brake... like, the brake lights are on, but they aren't slowing down... that is so unsafe!

Friday, September 15, 2006, 3:06 PM

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Sorry but I am one of the "fast" drivers we are talking about! I don't think I am rude but I really do get frustrated when there are "slow" drivers blocking all the lanes and they don't even seem to notice the line of cars behind them tyring to get by. I don't mind as long as you stay in the right lane! I think driving with the flow of traffic is safer than going exactly the speed limit!

Friday, September 15, 2006, 4:51 PM

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I think that having a drivers license is a privilege, and it can be taken away....if you don't want it to be....simply follow the rules of the road. I try not to speed and because of that, I see people in my rearview steaming mad! Oh well, not my fault that they left late and are in a hurry!

Friday, September 15, 2006, 5:46 PM

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You are not alone!

Generally I do go 5-10 over on the freeway, but on residential streets where there are pedestrians and folks pulling in and out of driveways I do the speed limit. Perhaps it's because I live where there is a lot of foot traffic, few sidewalks and blind curves, but I could never forgive myself if I were at fault in an accident and it occurred because I was speeding. I do get some impatient folks behind me but every time I come around a curve and there is a pedestrian right there in front of me and an oncoming vehicle in the other lane, I am glad I wasn't speeding and had time to react.

I have no problems with anyone doing the speed limit. Just because I do not obey the law at all times doesn't mean I have the right to try to bully those who are. Thus I never crowd or push anyone although I appreciate the courtesy when the other driver moves over to let me pass. Now occasionally there are drivers doing under the speed limit and I usually take the first available opportunity to slip around them because many of those are just plain worrisome (unless it's legitimate like a semi).

Friday, September 15, 2006, 6:51 PM

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op here

this is surprising to me!! i thought the opinions expressed were going to really rip into me, but many have the same idea about speeding as do i. too bad we're not all driving in the same area...

Saturday, September 16, 2006, 9:09 AM

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I was cured of my speeding on surface streets habit by getting two speeding tickets within three days of one another!! I figured the universe was trying to tell me to slow down and I didn't get the picture with the first ticket. The second one did it!!
On the freeway though I still go with whatever the flow of traffic is. I think it's unsafe to drive in the far left lane doing 65 if the flowing speed is 80--especially here in LA!! Best to stay to the right if you need to go slower.

Sunday, September 17, 2006, 10:29 PM

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To the drivers of the speed limit: please only do so in the right-most lane. The left lane is the "passing lane," and you are probably not passing anyone if you are going the speed limit. If someone is going slower than the speed limit, then you may go into the left lane to pass that person, and then go immediately back to the right lane. It will be safer for everyone if people who want to drive fast are not stuck behind you, and frusteratedly tailgating you, whether or not their behavior is appropriate. Your job isn't to teach them a lesson, it's to keep yourself safe.

Fast drivers, if you are behind a slow person on a road with at least two lanes in your direction, just go around them. Don't honk, tailgate, flash your lights, etc. Just go around. Again, it's not your job to teach anyone a lesson either; it's just your job to be safe.

Monday, September 18, 2006, 12:29 PM

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I NEVER do the limit... I always go faster... case in point I went out of town this weekend on my drive there and back i was hitting 95mph when the limit is 70...i'm bad

Monday, September 18, 2006, 12:37 PM

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OP Where are you located? I'm curious because different parts of the country are known for aggressive driving. I live in the Washington, D.C area and it can be quite an experience to drive on the beltway. While I generally follow the speed of traffic which is a little faster than the posted limit, I'm not a fast driver. I generally stay out of the left lane and that helps me to avoid some of the more aggressive drivers.

Monday, September 18, 2006, 12:48 PM

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op here

i live in and drive mostly around the nj/pa border area. i am not the type of driver who drives slowly in the left lane, however, if i am passing someone else who is doing close to the spped limit or when there is merging traffic on the right side of the roadway, i will get into the left lane to pass. and i do not do 80 mph while i am passing and trying to get back into the right lane. there are numerous 2-lane roads that i drive on frequently and these are the roads where i seem to really piss others off. i don't feel a sense of duty to move out of the way if i am doing the spped limit on these 2-lane residential roads and someone is "on my back". i feel that i have as much right to obey the law as others have to break it.

Monday, September 18, 2006, 1:05 PM

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i guess i was typing to fast- i meant to write speed, not spped.

Monday, September 18, 2006, 1:06 PM

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you know what's funny? i live in NH and i find that most of the roads i drive on here have posted speed limits that seem really unreasonably low and i admit that i often speed around on them. but, recently i was in sort of the south/western part of maine and i felt that on some roads the speed limit was way way too high-some back windy roads where the speed limit was posted at 50 i could barely do 35/40 with out fearing i would end up in the woods!! haha! it's all relative i guess!

Monday, September 18, 2006, 1:18 PM

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Ugh OP I feel badly for you anyway because (and I mean no offense here) NJ driver's are notoriously horrible driver's anyway. And yes, driving along the NJ/PA border area can be a hassle (I drive in the area) and I would just do the speed limit and not worry about it... if people have to be somewhere so badly they flip out because you're doing the speed limit on residential roads they need to leave earlier. I myself like to drive reasonably fast, especially if it's a back road (that's just me though) and also on the freeway, however, if I'm in a residential area or on a back road I try to remember that I really can't get pissed at the person driving the speed limit in front of me because, they're not even technically required to go that fast... that's the maximum, not the minimum. But that's all just personal opinion. Good luck with that! Oh and hey, do you ever go to Cow Town? I love it there!

Monday, September 18, 2006, 3:45 PM

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In my town I drive the speed limit (25 mph everywhere) and it drives people crazy. On highways I usually drive between 5-10 mph above the speed limit, although I make sure I leave room between myself and the car in front of me. I don't understand why people tailgate. You need one car length for every 10 mph you are driving. I think people are generally inconsiderate while driving because it's anonymous. If you think about the people in the cars around you possibly being your friends, relatives, loved ones, you would be a better, safer driver with more consideration. By the way, generalizing that NJ drivers are notoriously horrible drivers is just wrong. I live in NJ, a suburb of Philadelphia. I've seen bad drivers with PA plates, too. Everywhere you go there are bad drivers and there are also good, courteous drivers. Just my random thoughts on this interesting subject. :)

Monday, September 18, 2006, 4:07 PM

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funny thing...i recently attended a "safe driving" course to save some $ on my auto insurance and right after the class let out, i was almost backed into in the parking lot! some other attendee failed to look in her rearview mirror. i almost did not even honk because i was shocked that she might actually hit me. i just did not think it was going to happen. luckily, my wits got the netter of me and i honked just in time for her to slam on her brakes.
i also am conscious of the fact that anyone i know might be driving on the same roads as me and this has really helped me take it easy.

Monday, September 18, 2006, 4:15 PM

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not really about the speed limit, but this morning on my way to work i stopped to allow people to cross in the crosswalk and the person driving behind me honked and then tried to drive around me! if looks could kill, the glare the other driver received from the woman in the crosswalk would have rendered him dead!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 11:21 AM

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I think a lot of us have a problem with our sense of self-importance.

"I'm so important that I have to get where I'm going right now and you should all get out of my way!"

None of us are that important. In the grander scheme of things, we don't really make a difference. If we dissapeared, the world would move on, almost seemlessly. Someone else would quickly fill your shoes, take your job, etc.

you aren't that important. slow down.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 12:36 PM

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your last comment would make a great bumper sticker!!!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 12:39 PM

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I want to make billboards. Some day...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006, 12:43 PM

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