20 mph = 8.9408 m/s

Last weekend, at 2:50 in the morning, I was struck by the need for a sandwich… a veggie one, with avocado. If you are nocturnal like me, you know that means I had just 10 minutes to get to Jimmy John’s. Making it from Malcontent Manor to Jimmy John’s in 10 minutes is possible… well, it used to be possible, before the speed limits around campus were lowered to 20mph.

Most people go more than 20mph in a parking lot. In most cars with automatic transmissions, if you just take your foot off the brake, you’re doing more than 20mph. 20mph is the speed reserved for one or two blocks around the front of an elementary school, and even then there is a light - it’s only for about an hour in the morning, and an hour in the afternoon. 20mph is slower than the standard speed limit for residential zones, where there are old people, and children on bikes and rollerblades, and folks playing catch, and walking family pets – if 25mph is safe enough for that population, why, then, is the speed limit all the way around UW’s campus 20mph, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

Is it because the leaders of tomorrow can’t successfully cross the street?
Did some trustee’s kid got mowed down on his way to Roofie Night on sorority row?
Is the city just trying to keep me from getting to Jimmy John’s in a timely fashion?!

It’s none of those reasons, as I helpfully explained to the officers who stopped me on 15th street. It’s just a revenue generation scheme. Just like doubling the cost of metered parking on campus, and extending the city permit parking areas, this too, is simply another way to squeeze the citizens of Laramie (Laramie-ans? Laramites? whatever) for a few bucks more.

As I told the officers – and yes, that’s plural, because I have been stopped twice on that downhill section of 15th – that speed limit is bullshit. As cops, they have discretion in how and when they enforce the laws, and as a former cop myself, I know this is one law that I would not enforce unless the offense was truly heinous. I wouldn’t stop someone at 2:50 in the morning on that stretch of road unless he was swerving from curb to curb with dead babies wedged in his wheel wells. Any cop that enforces that speed limit is either a ball-less automaton, or just trying to hang some paper to justify his existence.

When I politely explained that to them, one had the temerity to ask me if I’d been drinking. Seriously? Would a drunk person use the word "automaton" correctly in a sentence? Honestly! Not exactly detective material, are you Skippy?

In the end, that officer saw the logic of my argument – or he decided it wasn’t worth tazering me over. At any rate, I didn’t get a ticket, or an avocado sandwich that night, and frankly, I’m still pissed about it.

The moral of this story? Speak your mind. I questioned the genital soundness of a cop and lived to tell about it, and you can too! Also - plan ahead for the munchies…

2 comments:

Teh Dr. said...

Really? Really? You got pulled over for the 20mph infraction? That reminds me of A friend of mine my mother pulled over in highschool. She was just going to remind him not to do 35 in the school zone, but when he opened his glove box to give her his papers his paraphernalia fell out and she had to take him in....ok I guess that's not really like your story at all.

His Sinfulness said...

Indeed - I was pulled over TWICE in the same place for the 20mph infraction. Both stops were relatively late at night, and both resulted in verbal warnings. No dope was harmed in the making of these stops...

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