[thechat] Speed limits in USA

deacon web at master.gen.in.us
Wed Aug 11 05:22:07 CDT 2004

On 11 Aug 2004 at 14:44, Madhu Menon wrote:

> Still... 75 ain't too much of an improvement.

The law is written differently in different states. 
In most states, the speed limit is hardwired into the code. In Ohio, the 
law is "too fast for conditions" and posted speed limits are advisory. 

In rural NW Ohio, the land is as flat as a sheet of plywood, and curves 
are rare. From the platform in Antwerp, you could see the conductor 
swinging his lantern, signalling the train in Defiance could pull out - and 
that's 17 miles away. For motorists, you can pretty much on one 
intersection every mile, at right angles, and it's not uncommon to be 
able to see 3/4 mile each direction down that cross road while you're 
still a half-mile from the intersection. 

The state patrol knew that one of the County Court judges would throw 
out a speeding ticket if someone was going 90 MPH on a clear dry 
road on a sunny afternoon. On the other hand, if someone had a 
collision while going 15 MPH under the limit, they best not annoy the 
cop investigating the accident, because he could write a speeding 
ticket, and the judge would uphold it. 

That particular judge has retired, but last year when "home" for a 
funeral, I was driving 85 MPH on a rural road, and all of a sudden, a 
deputy appeared on my rear bumper. As soon as oncoming traffic 
allowed, he passed me and took off like I was standing still. My wife, 
who grew up out of state, looked at me, pointed at the deputy's car, 
and started to babble incoherently. I pointed to my watch. "It's noon.  
He's going home for lunch."

There surely must be rural areas in other states where, by local 
custom, local drivers are virtually exempt from speed limits.

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