Living Outside The Lines: “I Can’t Drive 55!”

In staying true to the theme, “Everything’s Bigger in Texas,” we are also home to the single fastest highway in the nation.

by, Becky j Miller

Released in 1984, “I Can’t Drive 55” by Sammy Hagar is a sentiment most of us can relate to in some way. If driving within the speed limit were practiced more frequently, then Americans would not pay approximately  $6,232,000,000 annually for speeding tickets. That is a lot of Georges to part with for a preventable occurrence.

Did you know there are 196,000,000 licensed drivers in America?  Of those drivers, 112,000 per day receive a speeding ticket. The number increases to 41,000,000 annually, or 20.6% of the driving population. The average cost per incident equals $152. That number does not include any court costs, fees for defensive driving, or take into consideration increased insurance premiums.

Texas ranks fifth on the list of Top Ten Driving Citation States. That position either means we have a higher number of citizens driving with a heavy foot, a larger number of police issuing speeding citations, or perhaps a combination of both.

On May 20, 1899, a New York City taxi driver made history when he was awarded the very first speeding ticket. The posted speed limit in downtown Manhattan was 8 miles an hour; he was arrested and imprisoned for a reckless 12 mph. Many argue speeding tickets are simply a revenue generating activity for state and local municipalities, but in 2011 it was estimated to be a contributing factor in 30 percent of all fatal car accidents. That year a sobering 9,944 lives were lost in speed related crashes.

Red cars are rumored to garner the highest volume of moving violations. However, according to statics, white cars account for 19% of total traffic citations and red only 16%. The top 3 cars ticketed most often are: Mercedes Benz SL Class Convertible, Toyota Camry Solara Coupe, & Scion tC Coupe. Anyone looking to purchase a car ranked among the least ticketed, should stick with a Jaguar XJ Sedan, Chevrolet Suburban SUV, or Buick Park Avenue Sedan.

When it comes to driver classifications; males ages 19, 20 & 21 are issued more speeding tickets than females, or other males in any other age bracket. What’s the hurry, guys? Please slow down, your moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles and anyone else who loves you wants you to arrive safely, even if it means you are a little late.

In 1974 President Nixon signed the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act. The act, setting a national speed limit of 55 mph, was intended to decrease American consumption of foreign oil. By 1987 Congress began allowing states to determine speed limits within their borders. The national speed limit law was not fully repealed until 1995.

Today, Mr. Hagar and others sharing his sentiment may travel up to 85 miles per hour on Texas State Highway 130. In staying true to the theme, “Everything’s Bigger in Texas,” we are also home to the single fastest highway in the nation. Understanding the life expectancy of crashing at that speed, I was petrified the first few times I drove highway 130. And sadly, 85 mph is still not fast enough for some drivers.

A 1970’s public safety license plate campaign in Florida reminded motorists to, “Arrive Alive.” Almost 50 years later, the slogan still rings true. #slowdown #arrivealive

Until Next Time,

Becky J. Miller

“Warrior Princess”


Becky J Miller is a contributor and is exclusive to SM Corridor News. You can read more of Becky’s columns in Lifestyle.

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