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New Law Could Redefine Speed Limits on Busy Roads

What does a speed limit actually mean?

How’s that for starting with a loaded question? But, wait, friends: I’m serious! When you’re driving along and you see that the speed limit is 55 miles per hour, how fast are you supposed to drive?

55? 60? 65? Or 80, like the rest of traffic?

A new law being considered in Georgia will leave some of the more responsible, law-abiding drivers among us scratching their heads. That’s because the law, designed to force people to either speed up or move out of the way of faster drivers in the left-hand lane, establishes a penalty for people who slow down traffic in the left lane who travel at a speed less than the speed limit.

Let’s ponder that one for a moment, shall we?

The speed limit is 55 and you’re in the left lane. Some jerk behind you — they’re always jerks when they’re behind you — rides up to your bumper, angrily flailing his arms and blinking his headlights. You can’t move to the center lane because there are cars there. So this new law would force you to break the speed limit so as not to slow the speeder down.

Does this make sense to anyone else? This one ranks pretty low on the common sense scale.

How fast is now acceptable if you’re in the left lane and you want to make sure you’re not causing a slowdown? Can you now speed up to more than 10 miles over the limit if the guy behind you wants to go 20? And if a state trooper is there with his radar gun beeping away, who gets a ticket? The first guy he sees who’s speeding, or the jerk behind him who’s legally forcing that speed?

One wonders how such an idea wouldn’t make speed limits next to impossible to enforce on a busy multi-lane road.

If you’re the one going the speed limit, and someone’s trying to run you off the road to zoom past you, it seems to me the lawmakers — not to mention the cops — should be targeting the faster drivers, not the ones who are actually minding the law.

If 55 isn’t fast enough, up the speed limit to 65. If that is fast enough, ticket the drivers who won’t follow the same rules the rest of us have to.

Isn’t that the common sense solution?


  1. The Germans have this (non) issue whipped – no top speed limit on their autobahn, at least in areas with little congestion. This takes care of the airheads drifting along at glacial speeds in the passing lane (aka LEFT lane). You know the ones, either a) they’re oblivious to the existence of other life forms on the planet, much less those with the intention of getting where they’re headed before the NEXT ice age arrives; or b) the ones who believe it is not only their RIGHT, but it is their god given DUTY to police the world of everyone who doesn’t look, live, eat, breath, believe, and yes, DRIVE exactly the way they do. Somehow this is associated with their interpretation of the King James version of their bible – but that alone is enough to make anyone with half a brain pause for a second or two, scratch their head in amazement and disbelief, and chalk it up right there along with the fundamentalists found in any OTHER fundi religion, Islam included (perhaps especially so). Which brings me back to the autobahn. Even mental lightweights would opt to stay to the right after happening upon one too many accidents on this world renowned roadway. accidents which were caused by this type of mindset, leaving a good christian family of four wiped out by a heavy German sedan traveling at 150 to 175mph – in that left hand lane! Why? The head of the family felt it was HIS responsibility to “slow the traffic down”!
    Forcing your idea of the ‘correct’ speed in such a way is the height of arrogance, ignorance and stupidity. No one is forcing you to drive faster, as long as you quit using the passing lane as YOUR personal parking lane. You don’t own it anymore than the next guy does. So, yield to drivers opting to travel faster by moving to the right hand lane as soon as it is clear to do so, or be blown of the road at the discretion of faster traffic. Besides, isn’t that what Jesus would do?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.