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.
MY IDEA FOR US TO ENJOY DRIVING FAST WHILE MAKING IT SAFE FOR OTHERS DON'T WANT TO DRIVE FAST:
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
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.