Am I the only one who drives the speed limit?

Toulouse42

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Hi All

I know that most (all?) the comments on here relate to US driving but here in the UK, its a bit more complicated. Many of our speed limits are historical (1970s fuel crisis) or completely arbitrary. There is little nuance or science involved. We have very few cops on motorways (highways) so obvious unsafe driving is often missed but speed cameras only catch speeders. They are everywhere, are very ugly and in some cases are just cash cows for whichever authority gets the cash. The highway speed limit of 70 was established when most cars couldn't exceed 100. Having said that, there are now way more cars on the road and driving standards are way worse than they used to be.

I have driven extensively in the USA and found it much less scary than the UK (apart from Miami!).

When I was 17 I "knew" I was the best driver around. Some 50 years later as a grandfather, I know I'm not and I'm much happier to take my time. I've been caught speeding once. It was a lovely summers day and I was feeling just fine when a large police officer with a speed gun stepped in front of me.
 

Chauncey Gardiner

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I purchased the Caddy in 2016. At idle, the STS V8 sounds like a sewing machine. However, when rotating the RMP needle past the 4,000 mark the sound becomes much more appealing. :) Well, more appealing to me. Not so much to The Lovely Mrs. Gardiner.😱

Anyhow, while informing our insurance agent that I'd purchased the car and therefore needed insurance. He asked if it was a V8 or a 6-cylinder. I told him I thought it might be a V8, but I wasn't sure. ;) He replied - "Those motors produce 320 hp. I'm surprised by how low your premiums are. However, if you receive any moving violations you'll incur a substantial increase in your premiums."

I still own the car, but I haven't incurred a substantial premium increase.
 

kerneldrop

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But how much $ more do you spend in fuel? My work truck for example gets 22mpg at 55 and 16mpg at 70mph. That's 3 more gallons in 200 miles or around 40 miles per tank full les

I mostly go the speed limit. My heavier truck runs at a lower RPM so it’s not as bad as a higher rpm gas motor, but I’d rather save on fuel than save a few mins.

I’m going on a 4hrs trip next week. I used that calculator and going from 70mph to 80mph only saves 27 mins over the entire trip. It’s not worth that fuel usage increase to me.
 

Monocrom

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Before the move over law was enacted I used to move over for cops, broken down cars, tow trucks etc. I've been on the shoulder changing a flat and seen state police cars get wiped out in work zones. So that fateful day was just another judgement call like any other day after driving the interstate nearly every week day for nearly 25 years without a single crash or citation. But at driving school I learned the 10/2 position for hands on the steering wheel can result in broken arms in a crash when air bags deploy and that crossing parking spaces in a parking lot can lead to a citation for each space crossed at $25 each.
It's not just 10 & 2.
One of the few useful things I learned from Mythbusters is that one of the most common injuries in a crash with modern-day cars is broken wrists. From drivers gripping the steering wheel very tightly during a crash. The air-bag explodes in your face and erupts outwards so violently that stiff wrists get broken. When my Ford got totaled, I intentionally took my hands off the wheel just before impact.

Wasn't quite quick enough with my left hand though. Thankfully sprained, instead of broken. But yeah, you'd think a driving school would know better. There's no safe position to be gripping the wheel when the air-bag explodes. Actual blasting cap right there in your face.
 

Poppy

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One day while driving a a local interstate in the right hand lane a local squad car pulled up behind me with his lights flashing. I figured he wanted to get off at the next exit ramp, so I pulled over into the middle lane for him to pass. I was surprised when he pulled behind me. So I moved back into the right hand lane, and continued driving looking for a safe place to pull over. I wanted to be able to pull way off of the shoulder.

Apparently I was overdue for registration. They can scan and run your plates automatically now.

When he asked why I didn't pull right over, I explained, to which he responded: "I'll determine where it is safe to pull over!" I think I gave him a Star Trek Mr. Spock look with raised eyebrows, and humbly said... "Yes Sir". I wanted to say... "Well... apparently NOT."

Maybe because I was a local, he gave me a business card with a fax number on it, with a warning: Get this registered and fax proof that you did, OR I'll mail you a citation. "Yes Sir! Thank you very much."
 

KITROBASKIN

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Traveling back roads west from Jacksonville Texas to Albuquerque New Mexico, it is so obvious Texas allows higher speed limits. With roads twisting through thick pine forest some 50 feet on both sides of the road, a deer (or inattentive driver) would total a vehicle so easily bounding in front of you. Speed limit was something absolutely crazy like 55 mph. Drove through a school zone, speed limit was reduced only 10 mph!

When the land opened up with no trees and very mild curves if any in west Texas, the speed limit was fast (65?) but much safer because of excellent visibility. Then as soon as we crossed the state line, New Mexico wanted you to go 10 mph slower even though visibility was still miles in every direction.

Lumping all LEO with those sworn officers who are not good is wrong. Once again I appreciate member DRW’s take on this thread.
 

alpg88

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Old cars and trucks would have a noticeable difference in mpg at different speeds, but modern ones not so much, my 2021 passport has 9 speed transmission, my rpms at 70mph 2k rpm or below in 8 or 9th gear. However some old cars did good at high speed too, i had several cars with 3800 engine that had lots of torque at low rpms, i did 60, and my rpms were 1500-1600, i used to get 29mpg on highways
 
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DRW

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...
When he asked why I didn't pull right over, I explained, to which he responded: "I'll determine where it is safe to pull over!" I think I gave him a Star Trek Mr. Spock look with raised eyebrows, and humbly said... "Yes Sir". I wanted to say... "Well... apparently NOT."
...
LEOs don't randomly light up cars. They ALWAYS pick the spot. Once signaled to pull over, the law typically requires the driver to do so immediately. Any deviation may result in bold print as above. ;)
 

bykfixer

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I'm with Poppy. Basically it aint like we're used to being pulled over to start with. Next, our judgement is different than somone used to pulling people over. Now I can see if he had driven an additional 2 miles until he pulled onto a side street or whatever, and his registration was 6 months out of date, yeah fuss at the guy.

But me I'd have probably done the same thing he did being a "defensive driver" and all. And if that erks the police officer shame on him (or her) for being a jerk. To serve and protect does not give them permission to be obtuse.

It aint like he was driving aggressive or putting the public in danger. He just hadn't coughed up some $45 or whatever for a fee, or maybe had just forgotten to put the dang decal on his plate. It sounds like he used cautious judgement to help make sure the police officer was safe while writing the citation.
 

alpg88

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To serve and protect does not give them permission to be obtuse.
Serve and protect does not apply to you or me, It is literally not their job, according to USSC, nor they are required to know laws, also per USSC
 

DRW

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I'm with Poppy....
I simply explained how it works.

Do what you want, maybe you'll get a warning like Poppy did. Maybe it'll cost you thousands of dollars. Maybe you will spend some time in jail.
 

Poppy

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LEOs don't randomly light up cars. They ALWAYS pick the spot. Once signaled to pull over, the law typically requires the driver to do so immediately. Any deviation may result in bold print as above. ;)
If the USSC doesn't require LEOs to know the law, I can't imagine that they can require the general public to know ALL of the laws. I for one did not know that a driver is required to pull over immediately. Nor do I know now if that is a fact.

For years I drove a Ford Crown Victoria, and now a Mercury Grand Marquis. The crown vic had more exploding gas tanks than any other car on the road. The reason being, that many were Police cars, that were rear ended, struck at high speed during a traffic stop, or emergency stop. No other model car is stopped on the side of the road, or IN the road, than a Crown Vic.

My contention is that one of the most important lights we should carry in our car, is a traffic wand. It can be used to stop traffic, or to warn traffic into another lane when there is an incident around a blind curve, or just on the other side of a crest in the road.

I mention the above two paragraphs as a preface to this:
About 10 years ago, a postman was killed making a mail delivery around a blind curve, just on the other side of a crest in a hill. A year later a young lady was in a disabled car at about the same location. It was a four lane road, there was no shoulder; she was blocking the right hand lane. My wife and I were dropping the grandkids off at school, and as we passed her, my wife said I should stop and help. So on the way back, I made a U-Turn, and pulled up behind her. I put on my flashers, told her and my wife to get out of the car, and to call the police. I grabbed my traffic wand and ran to the crest of the hill, and around the bend. I proceeded to wave traffic out of that lane into the left lane.

When the Police arrived, lights a flashing, he pulled right up behind my car. Still around the blind curve, and below the crest of the hill. Now I had to stay there waving traffic away to protect the Police officer! Maybe his patrol car, a crown vic, would have been rear-ended.

My point being... not all decisions made by officers are the best decisions.
 
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bykfixer

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So recently I'm driving in the rain, speed limit of course as most flew past. I came up on a car going well under the limit and went around it. Now my truck tosses out a good spray from behind so trying to be respectful, I waited until about a football field away to move over in front of the car. Next thing I know this car whizzes past me, pulls right in front of me and reduces speed. I figured it was to say "thanks for the spray buster". I went past the car again but this time instead of waiting a football field away I pulled over in front of it about 2 car lengths. I saw their wipers begin to swipe on max as I started to quickly pull away since they seemingly slowed way down.

The tires on my truck toss a lot of spray. It is what it is so I try to be cool when possible.
 
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