A few months ago I made the decision to no longer intentionally drive above the speed limit (note: this only applies while driving in town…I know, I know…for some reason, the interstates are a separate thing in my mind which isn’t right, but that’s how it is right now… ) because I realized that it is a sin. It’s become quite the “respectable sin” in our society, and I’ve become increasingly aware of it in my own life.
I’m a California girl. Everyone speeds there. I lived in Southern California for seven years prior to moving to Pennsylvania, and there, if you don’t speed you get run over (on the interstates, at least). It became a way of life…but that is all changing now.
Believe it or not, this didn’t start because of a speeding ticket (I’ve only had two in my entire life, and neither of them were recent).
This started because we live on a road where the speed limit is 25 miles per hour. And there are great reasons for that speed limit: the road is narrow, it’s a neighborhood, there are children, and there are many hidden driveways all along our road. However, because people often use our road to bypass part of Hersheypark Drive, they are always flying down our road.
Having lived here for six months now, it has come to irritate me greatly. It took me awhile to put words to my irritation, but here’s what it comes down to: disrespect. I felt disrespected by the non-residents flying down my road.
This led me to realize that whenever we speed, we are being disrespectful both to the residents of that area AND to the local law enforcement officials…and to God. So, I decided to stop.
It has been a process, and I’ve learned a few things along the way:
1–I care FAR too much about what strangers think of me…
It is amazing how much I’ve been tempted to speed because someone gets really close to my tail and I get anxious–not because of safety, but because I don’t want them to (1) think I’m a bad driver or (2) get angry and call me names that I can’t hear anyway. It sounds ridiculous written out, but it’s true! Why on earth do I/we care so much about strangers being upset with us because we are obeying the law? (Working on this…)
2–It is AMAZING how many people speed…
I can honestly say that I’ve felt very isolated in my quest to obey the law. Related to number one, it is amazing how many times I’ve been passed in recent months…and it has been humbling. And it has surprised me, because the local police here in Harrisburg/Hershey are ALWAYS looking to catch speeders. Always. I think they’re bored But seriously, I didn’t realize before just how many people choose to disobey the speed limits continually.
3–Speeding doesn’t really save that much time…
That’s an argument I hear quite a bit from those who choose to speed–that it saves them time. From my observations lately, unless you’re doing 100 mph, you will likely not save more than a couple of minutes. Yesterday I was passed by someone on a two lane highway who was in SUCH a hurry…we got to our destination at the exact same time due to lights and other cars ahead of him doing the speed limit. And yes, that made me happy inside. Working on that, too.
I’m sure there will be more lessons learned as I continue my quest to not speed…but this is what I’ve learned thus far.