Speeding tickets don't land in our mail box very often. But when they do, they hurt.
Notice of offence
Given the number of vehicles rolling out of our driveway on a given day, we do okay around here. Four of the adults living in our home drive for work and school and leisure. Our little Scion XB just flipped the odometer to a visually satisfying, 111,111 kms. So, we're on the road a lot. And some days our pedal pushers can get a little heavy. But we don't pull a lot of tickets.
I'm just about to online pay the $233.00 I owe our beautiful city for my most recent traffic violation. I was driving over 80 kms/hr in a 60 km zone. I deserve a strong consequence. Of course, I want to defend myself just a little. My son looked at the ticket, noted the location, and was immediately sympathetic, "Oh, Mom. That's such a bad spot! The speed drops like crazy from one side of the intersection to the other!"
A little empathy and validation are nice. But I still deserve the ticket. I've driven that patch of road before, and I should have remembered it was a steep slow down.
Playing it safe
I love driving fast. But speed limits are posted for good reason. Safety matters. The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and Transport Canada’s website include the following statistics from the CCMTA: Speed and Intersection Safety Management, Annual Monitoring Report 2009:
1. 27% of fatalities and 19% of serious injuries involve speeding
2. 40% of speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes were 16 to 24 years of age
3. Most drivers killed in speed-related crashes were the ones speeding
4. 80% of young adult passengers who were killed in a speeding crash were in the vehicle with a speeding driver of similar age
5. Single-vehicle crashes accounted for more than 50% of speeding deaths and serious injuries
6. 1 in 3 speeding drivers involved in a fatal crash had been drinking
7. Research indicates that a 1% reduction in speed results in reducing the likelihood of a fatal collision by 5%. (OECD, 2008)
Takin' it easy
So, it's time for me to pay better attention to speed markers. And it's helpful to consider that we're all traffic. Everybody is trying to get where they're going. Everybody has important things to do. And me? I'm as much traffic as everyone around me is.