Driving Fast on Public Roads Shouldn't be Illegal.

And I have an idea that might make it both safe and enjoyable.

1y ago

I just read this post of the new Cannonball Run record and the comments there forced me to write this.

To all the people saying cool but too risky and calling them idiots, be a little sporting, will you? This mentality is exactly why being a spirited driver these days is met with a lot of booooos. There have been occasions when I mentioned to my coworkers and friends how fast I was going and the way they say “you’re putting lives of everyone in danger” just annoys me so much! Believe it or not, some of us drivers put all our focus on the driving and we don’t have a disco going on inside the car where we are dancing with the hands in the air at 70mph. We simply don’t drive with distractions and that gives us a clear sense of where we are, where we've been, what's surrounding us and what's ahead of us. If you drive that way it gives you more agility and you can react quickly to changes. The fact is that some of the fastest drivers out there can drive safer than the majority of slow and distracted drivers, some of which are much more dangerous than us, for example people who appear out of nowhere in front of you at 5mph on a road with 40mph limits, or the drivers that drive at 30 on a 50 mph single lane road. It's frustrating to say the least.

Majority of the people of this generation out on the roads are so lazy to drive that they’re ready to get on autopilot, not wanting to admit that driving skills still exist and not everyone crashes as soon as they get beyond triple digits on the dash. If you put all your focus there you can get through these kinds of runs without hurting anyone.

There are quite a few of us who enjoy driving daily and feel suffocated out on the roads. One of my cars is a stock, stick-shift 1999 Accord and even that car can't stretch it's legs. If you are offended by this view then I deeply apologize but this generation has become too numb with laziness in the act of driving, let alone driving spiritedly. It’s almost lifeless out there on the roads. One boring flow of sub-70 mph tightly packed traffic all going in a straight line.

You say, "if you wanna drive fast go out on the track". Well, the main purpose of driving was to get from A to B. If you’re not getting anywhere, what’s the point? We are not all racers, some of us just enjoy a burst of a fast drive on winding roads while we are on the way to our destination. And we don't all have the Nurburgring close to our streets but we all have somewhere to go on a daily basis. The place where I live, we don’t have a track anywhere within a boring 2 hour drive, so the local roads are all we've got in proximity and we would love to have a little bit of fun. I could try speeding while on the lookout for coppers but that would only reduce concentration on driving and make it dangerous.


Instead of calling it 'speeding' let's embrace the fact that some of us really love to drive our cars fast. We have had the same traffic system for all these decades and it's not fair to fast drivers. Let's have a system where both spirited and relaxed drivers can enjoy driving while carrying out daily activities. Here's my proposition folks:

We have some of the best driving roads out there and they are limited by their really slow speed limits. For example there's a really nice curvy road in my city where the speed limit is 45 mph and it's single lane so no overtakes and most people on it drive at 30-40 mph. Now most of the slow drivers don't see the potential in those curves and they wouldn't miss it if they didn't drive on it, but the spirited drivers know it could be heaven for a quick car.

The 45 mph road where people drive at 30 mph

The 45 mph road where people drive at 30 mph

So, let's have a system where local roads are divided into two tiers of speed limits. The fastest routes to popular locations and straight roads can be for the majority of the drivers with regular speed limits but the long and winding country roads be for the spirited drivers and have double the regular speed limits or more. For example the straight public road can have 50mph while the winding roads would have 100mph. And on those 100 mph curvy roads only drivers who can drive fast safely would be permitted. This could be controlled with a different type of driving license system where you would have to take the driving test on 2 or 3 levels of skill to make sure you can handle those speeds and not put others on that road in danger. Let me simplify:

Level 1 license : access to the roads with regular speed limits.

Level 2 license : access to the tier 2 winding roads with double the regular speed limits

level 3 license : access to the no-limit freeways section (similar to the carpool section in California where you can only drive if you have 2 or more people in the car) that doesn't have a speed limit, or a separate freeway altogether like the Autobahn.

If you pass the test for level 2 the max speed limit allowed on your license would increase to tier 2 and would give you access to the roads with double the regular speed limits. Anyone driving there with only level 1 license would be fined. Passing the level 3 test would give tier 3 road access. Anyone driving in that section without level 3 certification would be fined. And while they can all drive in level 1 roads, they all have to obey level 1 speed limits.

I think we have enough straight and winding roads to put this system in place without hurting anyone while enabling spirited drivers to enjoy their ride daily. This would cause less accidents because all regular and slow drivers would be together and fast drivers would be together. What do you all think?

P.S. Thanks for reading and I apologize for the rant in the beginning. Just been keeping it in for all these years and it finally came out after not being able to enjoy even the slowest car in my garage.

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Comments (23)

  • In theory your idea sounds great, but I hardly doubt it would work. For one, having to do seperate licenses for driving would be a massive pain in the butt, as you have to learn the same things two or three times.

    Additionally, you expect the government to build extra roads just so that some people can do 100 mph? The existing Freeways and Motorways are already the fast roads, you just happen to have lower speed limits for political and historical reasons.

    If you want everyone to drive faster & safer, the quality and quantity of the driving lessons have to be increased, and some political change has to happen that would allow higher speed limits on your Motorways or Freeways or whatever you call them.

      1 year ago
    • I agree it's not very easy to accomplish. Firstly I think if we have already passed level one, we shouldn't have to go over it again on the second and third levels. Those 2 and 3 level would only test the more technical aspects of driving at...

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        1 year ago
    • The problem with winding roads on the outskirts: they are incredibly dangerous. Here in Germany, the winding, empty country roads are far more dangerous than the Autobahn, for exactly the reason you mentioned: people want to go faster and...

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        1 year ago
  • I regularly drive a thousand miles a week for my job as an ac contractor. No matter how good you think you and your machine are there's just way too much that's outside of your control. I'm saying this as someone with so many points on my license I had to start my own business because I couldn't get insured to work for someone else. (Not from accidents, for speeding). Many municipalities rely on traffic revenue to make their budgets work so it will be an uphill battle to change the system so fundamentally. Boxers, martial artists and MMA fighters probably would love to choke out or submit annoying people every day, too. They get it out in a more proper forum. The solution is, for us, to create a controlled environment where we can get it out of our system, too. We need tracks and track days.

      1 year ago
    • Gino, I understand your point. I think if each city had a track that would be amazing! I don't know if that will ever happen, though.

        1 year ago
    • It should be a part of normal driver training. The tracks and instructors would make revenue if it were mandatory. Whether it was electric vehicles or combustion engines the parts stores and subsidiary industries would benefit. Finland...

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        1 year ago
  • This idea completely ignores the fact that traffic engineers do not put a speed limit on windy roads because they think drivers are too bad to drive faster, but due to technical limitations, e.g. the lack of fencing, too many blind curves caused by lush forestry, presence of slower vehicles (cyclists, agricultural machines, special purpose vehicles, etc.) and even things such as emergency access or lane width.

    And even if I'd agree with the idea - which I don't - doubling the speed is just ridiculous. I could imagine an extra +10-20 kph (thats about +7-15 mph) for driver's who are past their first 10 or 20 years of having a driver's license without any accident caused, but the relation between braking distance and speed is definitely not linear.

      1 year ago
    • Thanks for reading the post! I am not suggesting this idea for roads where slow traffic, cyclists, agricultural machines, special purpose vehicles would be. There are a few roads that are very isolated from these things and even the slow...

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        1 year ago
    • Also if you see the tests on youtube where they test average consumer cars' braking distances, they are much shorter than the ones calculated by these engineers.

        1 year ago
  • I agree. Far too many numb drivers

      1 year ago
  • I do like the idea of opening up discussion about speed limits and licensing. Not sure if we would ever see something like you're suggesting. But Ive often thought about what simple things could make my commute more enjoyable.

    Again, simple things that would make a difference. Like taking learners on the highway for their driving test. The local driving test centers around me do a small circuit through an industrial park. I see so many folks who obviously don't realize they are causing a hazard on the highway by sitting in the passing lane matching the speed or going even slower than the cars in the right lane. This is actually a law in my state as well. But it happens all the time on the highway or double lane one ways.

    Another thing is I think you should have to take an exam every 10 to 15 years. This way if people get into bad habits on the roadways it can hopefully be caught and corrected without having to hope a cop sees and pulls them over. Also it would get people who think they can drive under the speed limit because they have no job or anywhere they need to be off the road. Or at least correct them a bit.

    The other would be making lanes have different posted speed limits. Right lane 60 left lane 85. Or something like that.

    Another would be to add a pull over and let pass law for country roads. If a person is directly behind you and flashes the headlights..pull over and let them pass.

    I like where your head is at. We need to revise speed limits and motoring laws. Modern cars and modern tires can handle much more than 55 to 65 mph speeds without being hazardous.

      1 year ago