Breaking the law :: speeding (why don't we just fix it?)


This is a minor mental digression about speeding in cars.
It is against the law, right? It's dangerous. Lethal in fact. With serious penalties. And even if you could tweak the speed limits of zones - it feels like people would only tweak them, by a few mph.
We believe in speed limits and think they're a good thing, an important law.  
So why does everyone break that law? A lot. And more importantly - why don't we use the technology we carry to fix it?
For example, say your tax disc / rego became a GPS device. That way you would know if an untaxed car was active on the road. If you have a GPS and a map of the speed limits one can also know whether a vehicle is breaking the speed limit at any point on the road, and by how much. And let's say you are speeding, thats OK - sometimes you really need to, so why not have a fine that runs on a meter, like a cab. You can start by adding some credit.
Then society might fine you $10 for every 10% over the limit you are per minute. So speeding in a slow zone would be more expensive than speeding on a motorway. (which is a good thing). And as a proper disincentive at a certain point you start to lose points from your license. And then when it is clear you are a maniac the police are called and given the registration and your location.
That would probably eliminate a lot of speeding. Without the need for speed limiters. Or ugly speed cameras. Just a GPS. Or a smartphone. And as we are seeing rise in cars introducing smartphone-based control systems - that feels like a pretty low-cost, easy to implement solution.
And the tracking? Well, let's say the data is only stored while you are moving. And only becomes accessible to humans if you break the law. Which seems fair to me.
So. No cost. No interference. Let's uphold the law. Yeah? No. No, and to be clear. No. Amazing how much people dislike this idea. So now I'm more interested in why than the idea itself. I think what I worked out when talking about this is that transgression is almost as important to society as law. We need to break the rules, just a little bit, to feel autonomous and alive. I'm not sure whether this has come from advertising, or Hollywood, or is innate, or cultural (do other countries break speed limits?). But the need for speed is actually relative to the limit. What we need is the naughty.
So maybe the most important thing about speeding is that it isn't enforced. Funny to think that maybe society is just as controlled by the rules we break as the rules we adhere to.
But that's nice too. Live a little. Press the pedal to the metal. Just a little. Be free.

From Road Trip
Written by
Tea Uglow
There is, it turns out, always a Tea in team. And Beth. Of course. x
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