Enforce the Law
really wrong – ethically indefensible – to
“speed,” then why not enforce speed limits to the letter?
The law doesn’t spot shoplifters one pocketful of stolen stuff
before action is taken. If you only pay some of the taxes
you’re told you owe, they won’t overlook it. So how
come we’re tacitly given license – most of the time
– to ignore the speed limit, up to a certain point? Cops will
sometimes openly say they won’t hassle us so long as we’re
not traveling more than “x” MPH over the speed
bizarre – if you take the position that the speed limit is
not merely a number on a sign but quite literally the absolute maximum
speed any driver may achieve before he puts himself and
others in mortal peril. This, of course, is exactly the position
taken by the cops – the same ones who “spot” us
5-10 MPH over the speed limit – when they decide it’s
time to enforce the speed limit. At least, this is what they’ll
tell you in court – and so will the judge. They’ll never
tell you it’s ok to “speed” – even a little
– and even though they do so themselves and know it. Appearances
must be maintained.
almost – drives at least a few MPH over the posted lawful
maximum as a matter of routine. In other words, almost everyone
“speeds.” This strongly hints at the truth of the matter:
That “speeding” – while certainly illegal –
is not unethical. It’s not a violation of natural law to drive
45 in a 35 zone. Taking someone else’s property, hitting them
over the head – those are always wrong. Violations
of natural law. The system doesn’t “spot” offenders
against natural law – or “cut them slack” –
at least, not in theory. If you steal, you’re a thief
and if a cop is around, he’ll bust you. Few would argue with
the propriety of the cop’s actions. In fact, most of us would
expect – would demand – merciless treatment
of thieves and other offenders against natural law.
Yet most of
us sympathize with “speeders” – and are
glad when we “get away” with doing so. When we “talk
our way out of it,” or finagle some way to game the system
so that the charge is dropped or reduced.
talking Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread to feed his literally
starving to death children, few among us sympathize with thieves.
Only a sociopath feels glad when he “gets away”
with stealing or harming someone else. Normal people feel shame
when they do wrong. Are disgusted when a thief games the system
– and the ethically justified charges against him
are dropped or reduced.
So, why not
cut the crap?
is ethically wrong – or it is another in a long litany of
victimless crimes manufactured by statute but without any ethical
If it is always
and necessarily a violation of other people’s rights for any
person to drive faster than “x” MPH as established by
bureaucrats and politicians – then enforcement ought to be
merciless. Every identified incident of “speeding” ought
to be regarded in the same way as every instance of theft or assault.
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automotive columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2013 Eric Peters
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