3.05.2008

Your Speed Is…

For the last several weeks there has been a Your Speed Radar Gun Thingy on the road that runs by my apartment.

For those of you who don’t know, a YSRGT (perhaps not the technical name for it) displays the posted speed limit for a given road, and then displays your speed as you pass by.

I’m fairly certain that YSRGTs were developed to act as a deterrent to speeding, but based on my own reaction to them, I’m not entirely sure how effective they are (especially when left up for two months or so, as the one by my apartment was).

The speed limit on the road by my apartment is 25 mph, and apparently this had been violated enough that it became necessary for a YSRGT to be deployed to curb the speeding.

Over the years, my reaction to YSRGTs has basically followed three clear stages:

Fear: When I first came across these as a driver, they scared me to death. I was convinced that my speed data was being immediately transmitted to a cop car just around the bend who was waiting to pull over anyone who upset the YSRGT’s delicate sense of right and wrong.

Fascination: After a while, I realized that no one was pulling me over for speeding past a YSRGT, and so I started to cautiously experiment with them. Sometimes, whenever I saw one, I would try to drive the speed limit according to my speedometer and then see if it matched the YSRGT display. Other times, I would see how many mph over the limit I could go before the YSRGT started flashing a warning at me (usually about 3 mph is all you can get away with).

Exploitation: Finally I decided that not only did the presence of a YSRGT not automatically indicate the presence of a patrol car nearby, it actually indicated the absence of one. At this point, I realized that my experiments could be more daring. Now I would see how soon after first spotting the YSRGT I could get it to flash at me in warning, or see how much I could accelerate between two given spots, or, while driving the speed limit, see how close I could get to the YSRGT and then still manage to exceed the speed limit by 5, 10, or 15 mph by the time I passed it.

As I said before, I’m pretty sure that YSRGTs don’t actually encourage people to slow down.


In case my lawyer-sister is reading this and is concerned about my tendency to have speed-related legal entanglements, rest assured: I’ll be resisting all exploitative urges for the next year or so.

6 comments:

Rachael 3/5/08, 3:27 PM  

See that you do clamp down on your tendency to break the law. Any more infractions and my retainer is going to skyrocket.

Anonymous 3/5/08, 8:08 PM  

I got my car up to 75 once by that.

amanda 3/5/08, 9:41 PM  

Now that I think of it, I have no memory of actually looking at the ROAD while passing one of those radars. I must have no idea what is going on ahead of me for at least 200 feet while I am staring at the flashing sign "nuuuumberrrs....*drool*"

Luke 3/6/08, 9:29 AM  

Rachael,

I'm trying. I know I can't afford market rates.

Luke 3/6/08, 9:30 AM  

Anonymous,

The 25 mph speed limit is excessively slow. However, driving 75 on that road is a little on the quick side.

Is this Deezy?

Luke 3/6/08, 9:31 AM  

Amanda,

Ya, I'm pretty sure that YSRGTs aren't all that conducive to road safety. That would probably upset the inventor.

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