atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#3943: Stupid anus

So there I was, on the motorcycle, running an errand. I was behind a guy in a Cadillac SUV of recent manufacture, and he was behind a grey Saturn. We were all heading east out of the Fungal Vale, and pehaps 300 feet after we had passed the spot where the Milwaukee Road used to cross Exchange street, going downhill, Captain SUV decides that the Saturn is slowing him down! so he passes him.

In a no-passing zone, perhaps 500 feet from a mostly-blind curve and an intersection. I mean, that area is a no-passing zone for a reason, unlike--say--Richton Road, which is mostly flat and unobstructed but is also a no-passing zone for nearly its entire length.

Get east of the big S-curve and it's wide open; you can pass with impunity--but Mr. Very Important Man was not willing to wait because that guy in the beater was slowing him down.

The guy in the Saturn slowed down to 35 for the S-curve--look, people, I can take that S-curve at 50 MPH in my old Jeep, which needs new tires and a 4-wheel alignment, has solid axles both front and rear, and steering gear that was state-of-the-art in 1930; you can surely manage 40 or even 45 in your car with a modern, fully independent suspension. (Can't you? Because if you can't, if the car is that messed up, it doesn't belong on the road.)

Anyway, once past the S-curve the guy was still going under the limit, so I passed him when I had room to do so--safely and in a passing zone because I'm not a complete retard. The guy turned off the road shortly thereafter, so I needn't have bothered, but I didn't know how long he'd be on the road. Once past him and back in my lane, I slowed to the speed limit and rode on happily.

Sure as shitting I caught up with Doctor Asshat at the light on 394. He was sitting there in his Cadillac, behind several other cars, looking at something on his passenger seat and fapping around with things, a radar detector stuck to the windshield with a suction cup.

So what we have here is someone who risked his life, and the lives of other people, so that he could wait longer at a red light. He didn't save himself any time by passing that Saturn illegally; he didn't even save himself any time relative to me since I caught up with him driving at the speed limit.

This is why I support state bans on radar detectors. I didn't used to do so; I used to be all libertarian about it. But then I realized that radar detectors make people think they can drive like assholes, and decided that the public good would be better served by not allowing people to own devices meant to help them avoid the consequences of breaking the law.

Note that I do not support bans on radar detectors at the federal level. The federal government regulates too much as it is. (Note please that the feds set a "national" 55 MPH speed limit by telling states, "You can set whatever speed limits you like, but if you set a speed limit over 55 you don't get any federal highway funds." This amounts to a de facto national 55 MPH speed limit even though it is not a de jure violation of the 10th Amendment.)

My solution? Well, Mattel sells a perfectly usable toy radar gun that happens to use exactly the same federally-mandated speed sensing radar frequencies as police radars do, thus guaranteeing that one will set off the typical asshat's radar detector.

I have one. It would not take much for me to repackage its guts to a) plug into a cigarette lighter/power point and b) always be in scanning mode, or at least be instantly triggerable.

"Honest, officer, this is just so I can check the calibration of my speedometer."

Wish I'd had that on the bike this afternoon.

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