I got a speeding ticket on the way down to NB last month. Sorry I didn't tell you, Dad, but I was a little embarrassed by it. But I've had a little time to think about it, and there was really nothing to be embarrassed about. I feel that I was  in the right, and the cop was just a jerk to have set up a speed trap where he did.

What really burns my pants (burns my pants?! what does that even mean?) is that I was being very careful not to speed.

A few years ago, I got a speeding ticket coming home from Toronto. It was justified too. I was going about 120 km/h on HWY401. I can't complain about that ticket. At least the cop was nice enough to reduce the speed he clocked me at so I didn't get any demerit points. He explained that it was deer season and they were simply trying to discourage high speed collisions with deer; to prevent deaths. I thanked him and went on my way, but I gained a greater respect for the dangers of driving, and since that time I've really tried to keep my speed down – both on highway and in the city. I no longer have the same sense of urgency, and that's helped with my "road rage" issues. It makes driving much nicer, I have to say.

Cut to present day. Here I am zipping along towards NB. Now, I won't say I drive at the speed limit. 100 km/h is just way too slow. But I don't generally push it beyond 10-15 km/h over the limit. The exception is wh1en I'm passing in a two-lane situation.

From Rivière du Loup, QC to Edmunston, NB, there's a stretch of two-lane, and every so often, you get a third lane in which to pass slow-moving vehicles. They're usually uphill stretches so you can pass the big rigs (which have trouble climbing). Of course, when you're driving in the lane that doesn't have that third lane, you're headed downhill, right? And in that situation, if there's no oncoming traffic using the passing lane, you're allowed to pass. There's a broken line and everything.

That's where I was. I had just crested a hill and saw that, while there were two oncoming cars, they were both in the non-passing lane and so I could zip around the one car I had been following. Of course, I wanted to get out and get back in as quickly as possible, in case one of the oncoming cars decided to make a move. So I hit the accelerator. Downhill though, acceleration picks up quickly. So I got up to 125 in a snap. It's faster than I should have gone, or even meant to go, but I wanted to get back in line.

Of course, right at that instant I spotted the cop car. And in my rear view, I saw him pull a U and snap on his flashers. Yargh!

I was gonna try to explain it to him, but his English was spotty, and my French not good enough to clarify such a complex situation. Thankfully, he also reduced the speed on the ticket – maybe because I did try to give a cursory explanation – but it still cost $130.

It hurt the pocketbook, but honestly, I feel I wasn't in the wrong. I would do the same thing again (well, maybe not quite so fast, but that was just a misjudgment of the car's downhill acceleration). But what hurt worse was that this happened when I was deliberately trying to maintain a reasonable and legally acceptable speed.

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3 responses »

  1. margotinto says:

    I should also try to not speed, but honestly, driving the QEW and the Gardiner on a regular basis will turn you into a speed demon. EVERYONE is going 120km, you feel like you are going to cause an accident if you don't go with the flow.

  2. It was like that going through Montreal, but we just got in the "slower" lane and let people go by. It's kind of entertaining watching people try to force you along when there's another lane for passing. It's all bluster.

  3. If I recall correctly, QEW has a speed limit of 90km/h. This is a joke, considering how everyone is going at least 120km.~Junkii

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