Is it sinful and of the flesh to drive one mile over the speed limit?

Discussion in 'Spiritual Warfare' started by ABondSlaveofChristJesus, Jun 8, 2005.

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  1. D Battjes

    D Battjes Puritan Board Freshman

    Tell this to the 20k cars on the DC beltway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The worse thing about driving over the speed limit is it is illegal.
  2. New wine skin

    New wine skin Puritan Board Freshman

    Same thing in Dallas... Rush hour is akin to a stampede of 20k cars. If you drive the speed limit you get run off the road, someone flips you the bird or tailgates you @60mph.
  3. alwaysreforming

    alwaysreforming Puritan Board Sophomore

    In Italy

    In Italy, (at least in Sicily), everyone goes through red lights and stop signs, its expected AND the norm.

    One time I was coming up to a red light and noticed a lot of people going through it. As I started to slow down, I saw a cop yelling at me to go through, probably so I wouldn't impede the "flow of traffic."

    Its almost as if I had to break the law in order to obey it!

    (I had no problem with that because my motto is always "Safety First". If my actions, even though they might break the "letter" of the law, help to create a safer flow of traffic, then I'm all for it.)
  4. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    A law is only a LAW so far as it is coupled with enforced sanctions. So, don't give the enforcers reason (whatever reason, too slow/fast) to bust you. If the law is enforced at 65 or 85, don't sweat it if you are "legal".

    But, the problem is when you cannot count on fomal (written) or "informal" laws. There is no consistency. I suppose I like best what I read above about Iowa. There, it sounds like the cops try to enforce the written, firm, reliable standard.

    Elsewhere, the "flexibility" is in reality a deeply troubling evidence of manipulation. Everyone (just about) can, with a simple "policy initiative" be found a law-breaker, as the "enforced standard" gets changed arbitrarily. This is what happens when rulers and people abandon meaningful language. Rule of law as a fixed, reliable reference is lost, and we are left first to the mercy of lawyers, and finally to the jungle (because the forces of anarchy are eventually too strong to steer).
  5. BlackCalvinist

    BlackCalvinist Puritan Board Senior

    Or the Baltimore Beltway (695).
    In fact, to add on to the 495 thing (DC Beltway) - folk are actually NOTORIOUS for road rage incidents on the Cap. Beltway - everything from 'brake jobs' to running folk off the road to shooting at people with crossbows AND guns.

    Call it what you want. If you're not keeping up with traffic (and police will tell you that they usually don't ticket the 'flow of traffic' - they usually go for the lone wolf doing 85 and passing everyone), stay off the road.

    Seriously. Folk like you cause accidents.

    *wonders how many of the folk on here actually LIVE what they pontificate on here*
    *waits for everyone to go out and watch their speedometer today.... :lol: *
  6. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    This justifies the Dukes of Hazzard
  7. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    In the news today:

    Survey: Most States Allow Speed Cushion
    By KEN THOMAS, Associated Press Writer
    Mon Jun 13, 2005

    WASHINGTON - Authorities patrolling U.S. highways tend to give motorists a cushion of up to 10 miles per hour above the speed limit before pulling them over, says a survey by a group of state traffic safety officials.

    This practice creates an unsafe comfort level at high speeds and is a potential safety hazard, according to the report being released Monday by the Governors Highway Safety Association. The group found that 42 states allow drivers to regularly exceed the speed limit before they are stopped.

    "This cushion truly exists across this country and in some cases is more than 10 mph above posted limits," said Jim Champagne, the association's chairman.

    "Law enforcement needs to be given the political will to enforce speed limits and the public must get the message that speeding will not be tolerated," said Champagne, who also is executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission.

    Since 1994, 38 states have increased their speed limit, the report said. Congress in 1995 allowed states to raise limits above 55 mph in urban areas and 65 mph on rural roads.

    A study released in 1999 by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimated an increase in deaths on interstates and freeways of about 15 percent in the 24 states that had raised their speed limit in late 1995 and 1996.

    The survey's release comes ahead of the association's forum this week on ways to address speeding. The goal is to make recommendations for states to consider.

    "As a country, if we are going to reduce the carnage on our roadways, speeding must be given the same level of attention that has been given to occupant protection and impaired driving," Champagne said.

    States reported that highway patrol officers and other authorities said enforcing traffic laws has become difficult because of uncertainty in highway safety budgets, the focus on homeland security and a shortage of officers due to retirements.

    Nineteen states lack a statewide database to log speed-related citation data, the survey found. That makes it hard for policy-makers to reach conclusions about the effectiveness of their enforcement efforts.

    The survey said 10 states have some kind of aggressive driving law: Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Utah and Virginia.
  8. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    I don't believe the stats (increase in hyway fatalities).

    No one explains how the figures were figured. What is the baseline? What is included in the totals? What is excluded? More people are driving today than ever, so how much of the % increase might be attributable to greater volume, not higher allowable speed? Point is, we aren't told. The news report is presented in such a way that we get one side of the story. And maybe the writer himself is just sloppy, or his editor. Who stands to gain from a slanted story? Once, I almost had a terrible incident because I slowed down, when going the regular speed (@ posted speed limit) would have avoided the incident entirely.

    Higher speeds is only one factor that must be brought into assesment of the matter (whether allowed by law or not). Distractions, age of drivers, recklessness, driving too slow, rubbernecking, cell phone usage, no cell phone available, cars made out of tinfoil to comply with federal fuel-economy mandates... the list goes on.
  9. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    I fully agree, Bruce.
  10. bmwells42

    bmwells42 Inactive User

    Romans 13:3-5
    "3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same;

    4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

    5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake."

    So, when you justify breaking the speed limit for "safety" or to keep the "flow of traffic", would you fear the red and blue lights if they came behind you? Personally, I drive the limit for conscience sake.

    For those blue moon occasions, such as a pregnant wife or other medical emergency, I honestly would have no fear of speeding then. Therefore I believe there are a couple exceptions.

    (However, being late to work is definitely not one exception....I don't think that excuse would fly with the police officer:pray2: ) :lol:

    [Edited on 6-20-2005 by bmwells42]
  11. Puritanhead

    Puritanhead Puritan Board Professor

    There is a bittersweet irony... that urban expressways are usually marked with a lower 55 MPH posted speed, but the flow of traffic is rountinely 70-80 MPH, in the absence of rush hour of course. Whereas, rural interstates people might not even go as fast... though the posted speed limit is higher than urban interstates.
  12. Scott Shahan

    Scott Shahan Puritan Board Sophomore


    Are there exceptions? Just listened to Piper's sermons on Romans 13. I believe it is sinful to drive over the speed limit. It is disobiedant to God who instituted those govern authorities over us. I am grateful for the law because without it, every man would do what seemed best in his own eyes. Piper asked the question " Is it wrong to drive over the speed limit if your rushing someone to the hospital who's life is threatened? What about civil disobiedance?
  13. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Obey the law, for conscience's sake (I bet many here didn't expect me to say that. :D ). God made men. God made governments, and God is to be obeyed.

    I will obey the government's often idiotic laws (and there are many) but at the same time, through proper means of redress, I will point out to the State that if you have rules that are stupid, tyrannical, idiotic, unjust, then you are signing the death warrant for a civilization (granted, here, we are moving beyond speed limits).

    As much as I do not like the present government, I am quite grateful. For without government we have anarchy, which only leads to more government. So, be content for the moment.
  14. Mike

    Mike Puritan Board Freshman

    Is it sinful and of the flesh to drive one mile over the speed limit? Not necessarily. We are to submit to the laws of our land, but this may not always involve complete, technical obedience. The laws are written by men (and often stupid, corrupt men at that!) and are imperfect. In our submission to them, we can and must sometimes fudge them some in order to better interact with the world and comply with their intent. If a highway somewhere has a minimum limit of 40 and there is an accident, then you better go slower. If someone is about to rear-end you, you should probably go faster. If you accidentally go 1 over when accelerating or setting the cruise control, I don't think you have meaningfully transgressed the law.

    That being said, good faith obedience is necessary. Christians are under obligation to really try to stay within the bounds of speed limits.
  15. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Ditto ^
    Sinful or not, you are paying a ticket!
  16. Mike

    Mike Puritan Board Freshman

    Don't move to College Station, TX!

    From I Civil Engineering perspective, I must disagree. Transportation Engineers do most of the practical setting of speed limits and are bound by efficiency and safety rather than monetary considerations as a matter of law. Real, engineering studies are used to determine how to run our roads. There is certainly a political side, but the necessity and control of speed limits is not governed by it. Plenty of people will disobey any speed limit, so where we set them probably won't change potential revenue, but will effect many other things which are the standards we are legally allowed to go by.

    [Edited on 3-27-2006 by Mike]
  17. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    Speed limits have a veneer of engineering science behind them, but the reality is they are ultimately governed by political and revenue considerations. During the energy crisis of the 1970's, for example, politicians decided that interstates which were built to handle 70+ mph traffic should be limited to 55 to "conserve fuel." When public sentiment reached a critical mass, speed limits went up nationwide in the 1980's. The highways didn't change, the politics did.
  18. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    I agree. The speed limit is not a political or monetary issue, it's a safety issue. The 70's oil crises and the change to 55-mph is the only exception, and these were changed back later on. That only effected interstate highways for a few years. The posted speed limit is primarily and engineering decision on almost all roads today.

    What is being considered is the kinds of people who will potentially drive on the road (anyone from a teenage to a little old lady), and the reaction time of a driver. The calculated "site distance" is the main criteria for setting the "design speed". The greater the site distance (the minimum distance a drive can see an object on the road), the higher the allowable speed. The posted speed limit is usually about 5 mph lower than the "design" speed, so your in that window if your alert and have normal reflexes.

    Also, for a given length of road, we don't want to the posted speed limit changing frequently. So while it may be safe to drive faster along a straight stretch, the posted speed limit may be lowered due to a gentle crest in the road ahead that limits the distance the drive can see when he gets a short distance further down the road.

    I think the moral issue is not "the law of the land", but the intent of the posted speed limit - which is safety. And sometimes the posted speed limit is not necessarily the safest under some circumstances. For instance, when traveling a long straight section of interstate, with a post limit of 55 mph, if cars are passing you one after another, then you are actually increasing the danger to other drivers by going 55 mph. In that case, you do more to increase safety by driving in average speed of the other drivers (say 6o to 65 mph).

    I try to keep a following distance of 2 seconds from the car ahead of me, regardless of the speed. But I know that when traveling the beltway around D.C., that keeping that much distance with heavy traffic - people would pull around me. And when I tried to drop back to the safer following distance, the next car behind me would do the same. I had to adjust reduce the following distance just to discourage other drivers from being stupid. When I'm driving in less congested areas, I go back to 2 or more seconds following distance.

    So I think from a Civil Engineer's perspective, safety trumps the posted speed limit. Don't drive faster just because you think you can. Consider the other drivers, and the fact that the posted speed limit is there to keep drivers who might be a little less alert from having accidents, or because much of the road your on does not provide enough site distance to drive 10 or 15 mph faster.

    Whatever you do, don't drive a lot slower than the speed limit when everyone else is zipping past you. If your on a single lane and there's a 1/2 mile of cars right behind you, it might be a good to pull off at the next turn and let them by so they aren't tempted to pass you on a double-yellow line.

    Bottom line, drive the posted speed limit whenever practical, considering that going a little slower or faster may increase your safety under certain circumstance. (And saving 5 mins on your drive to work is not one of those circumstances.)

    [Edited on 3-28-2006 by Civbert]
  19. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Gotta get a plug in for dem Duke boys :p
  20. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    I do think that there are appropriate exceptions, but it then deals with obeying the law of God to protect life in these circumstances, which, when applicable, always takes presidence over the laws of men.
  21. Arch2k

    Arch2k Puritan Board Graduate

    From the Kansas Highway Patrol FAQ:

  22. Mike

    Mike Puritan Board Freshman

    That's utter baloney. As to revenue considerations, lower speed limits do nothing. You would have a hard time setting them high enough that there are not more than enough people speeding to give out as many tickets as you want. As to political issues, these certainly play in, but the political considerations on an operational level cannot legally have all that much effect on anything other than the allowed extremeties, which are rarely if at all taken to be significantly below what is deemed safe by road designs.

    A fact I am more than well aware of. This was a transparent and honest case, revealing the intent of the law: to, as you say, "conserve fuel" (btw, it was quite necessary to conserve fuel at the time the law was enacted and driving your car at around 55 is quite effective at doing so.) Similarly, there is no secret at the motivation of speed limits now.

    Not based on a desire to screw people over (which they can do at any speed) but to provide a safe environment. These are substantiated by real, solid engineering studies (not some vineer but solid wood.) I know: I read them. No, our speed limits don't perfectly align with what would be ideal, but there are scads and scads of factors involved. In not looking exactly like it would be best for them to, though, they still are not as sinister as what you propose, if for no other reason than they wouldn't do the underhanded things you claim they are there to do.

    I have only skimmed these sites, but I don't really see how this goes to show that the reason speed limits are set where they are now is greed.

    [Edited on 3-28-2006 by Mike]
  23. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    I forgot about that. But my car is top-heavy, thus preventing me from driving like that.
  24. VirginiaHuguenot

    VirginiaHuguenot Puritanboard Librarian

    I'm sorry you feel the need to use such language.

    Speed limits are not based primarily on safety considerations. I gave as an example the fact that highway speed limits were normally 70+ mph before the federal government intervened in the 1970's to lower the nationwide speed limit to 55 mph based on a stated interest in conserving fuel -- this is a political consideration, not a safety consideration, which trumped everything else. Since the federal standard has been rolled back, some highway speed limits have been raised to 80 mph (Texas). Highways in general are obviously built for high speeds, and a 25 mph differential in the speed limit in such places raises the question of why, if 55 mph was the limit based on safety, did the legislature raise the limit to 80 mph, if 80 mph is not safe? The 25 mph differential is much more than the marginal safety window that you have allowed for -- it shows to me that 55 mph is not a true safety limit, at least in that instance.

    There are towns that are designated by the AAA as being speed traps, places where the disproportiante or dishonest enforcement of traffic laws with the intent to enhance revenues has been documented as I have shown in the links below. One of those places is Washington, DC, where I work. The mayor of Washington, DC has gone on record as saying that "revenue" is a primary motivation for the use of traffic cameras to prevent speeding. Laws have been passed in many jurisdictions to prevent cities from basing a majority of their budget on revenues from speeding tickets -- why? because the practice happens and has been well documented, leading to citizen protests. Injunctions have been issued preventing cities from doing this very thing (Reed, Arkansas, 2004). Two municipal employees in Coburg, Oregon have filed a $2 million lawsuit because they claim they were fired for not going along with the city's speed trap scheme. To say that it doesn't happen, and that safety is the primary consideration across the board is just not accurate.

    There are other means by which this is done besides setting speed limits (which are done at the state and local level currently). Placement of speed limit signs in hard-to-see spots, disproportionate enforcement of the law in certain areas (quotas), etc. These types of efforts to use the law for the financial advantage of jurisdictions, rather than to uphold the sixth commandment, constitute a violation of the fifth and eighth commandments, in my opinion.

    Frederic Bastiat, The Law:

    These sources are worth reading if you are interested in learning about the documented efforts on the part of jurisdictions to enhance revenue through speeding tickets.

    [Edited on 3-28-2006 by VirginiaHuguenot]
  25. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    I just wish I could go the speed limit in our part of the country. The Seattle-Tacoma corridor is marked 60mph. I'm lucky to hit 20.

    Regarding tickets, I had a client who did a clever thing after receiving a speeding ticket. On the back of our tickets you can mark a box requesting an evididentiary hearing. In the alternative, you may simply pay the fine marked; in essence you are admitting guilt.

    What he did was send the fine in with the ticket and also requested a hearing. Because the court received the money, it ignored the request for hearing. When my client showed up on the designated hearing date, there was nobody from the county to testify on behalf of the state. The judge dismissed the case for lack of evidence and ordered the money he paid to be refunded.

    I'm not advocating such clever tactics, but I thought it was funny. I always drive the speed limit and stay out of the way of faster drivers, mostly because I'd rather not be worrying about an expensive ticket and increased insurance premiums. Having said that, I agree that jurisdictions may have improper motives for some of the limits, nevertheless, they are grounded in the authority put over us and should be obeyed.

  26. Civbert

    Civbert Puritan Board Junior

    :D Ha! Did he really do that expecting those results?! I would have never guessed! Very clever!
  27. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, that was his plan all along. He understood bureaucracy.
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