Saturday, July 28, 2012

Is There a Need for Speed?

We are driving down the road, heading to Kentucky this morning. I have a family reunion this afternoon, so we are hoping to make it there in time to see some of my relatives. We've been on the road for a little over two hours, and the excitement that we had for about an hour of our journey was following a speeding vehicle with federal government license plates. This guy (or gal) was flying. We're talking upwards of 90 mph at times.

Since my husband works for the federal government, he said that the license plate will identify which department the vehicle is from and, along with the date and time, who is driving that vehicle. So, I pulled my trusty camera out and played citizen journalist. Here is the license plate on the Jeff-Gordon-wannabe's van.


That picture was taken from 50 yards away since we could not get any closer. If there are any federal employees out there who know this car, please tell the driver s/he's busted!

Now, I will not pretend to be innocent when it comes to speeding. Just yesterday I wrote a $40 check out to the People's Republic of Montgomery County Maryland for getting caught by a speed camera on the way to 7-11 for coffee before work. I have mixed feelings about speed cameras like the 3 that have caught me in the last 5 years. Once you are "got," you won't get caught by that one again. So they are effective in that regard. But they normally put them in residential areas where you don't get a lot of non-repeat traffic. So word spreads pretty quickly once they are installed. This just happened to be an area that did not have a camera until recently. So, now I know and I will not make that mistake again. Imagine if they put them on the Beltway! Holy mackerel, talk about a goldmine!

Am I a hypocrite for pointing out the speeding van when I am guilty of speeding also? Some may say yes. But I can guarantee you, promise you, state unequivocally that if I was driving someone else's vehicle, especially a GOV (government owned vehicle), I would not speed. I am not a saint in my POA (privately owned automobile), but I would not risk it in someone else's car, even a rental car.

All of this does make me reflect on my own driving habits. I don't speed because I am in a hurry. In fact, I am almost always early for anything that I do. The ticket I got on the speed camera was a result of my impatience. A pokey-pokey driver was in front of me and I was just anxious to get around him. So when the second lane opened up, I darted around the guy. I saw the flash, and I knew. And I'm sure pokey-pokey dude knew also, and he probably got a good laugh at my expense, in addition to the $40 expense that it cost me. Luckily, there are no points assessed on a license for speed camera tickets since they do not know who was driving the vehicle.

The bottom line is speeding is wrong. I know that, but I have such a competitive sense that I cannot stand to see a car beside me get ahead because I am trapped in the slow lane. Unfortunately, the older I get the less patient I get. But I am working on it. Counting to ten, breathing deeply, and telling myself I am in control are ways that I try to keep from honking my horn at the many pokey-pokey people who drive in the D.C. area.

So I have a couple of nice pictures of the back of my car to add to my two other sets of photos of my old car from several years ago. And my wallet is $40 lighter (up from $35 that the first two tickets cost me.) I just hope the third time is charms. Lesson learned.