The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Hate Hoax Busted by Cop’s Dash-Cam (Also: You Idiots, Get Out of My Way!)

Posted on | February 5, 2012 | 33 Comments

You might think that a lawyer would know better than to try something as stupid as this:

A Queens lawyer has been suspended for six months for falsely accusing a New Jersey state trooper of using anti-Semitic slurs against him, according to a ruling released yesterday.
Attorney Elliott Dear said he made up the outrageous allegations in hopes of getting out of a speeding ticket.
Court papers say the unidentified trooper pulled over Dear, an orthodox Jew, for going 84 in a 55-mph zone while driving with his wife in 2007.
Six days after getting the ticket, Dear sent a letter to the traffic court saying, “This ticket shall be dismissed immediately” since he wasn’t speeding and “the officer called me a ‘Jew kike’ — and this prejudice obviously was the cause for the ticket,” the papers say.
The letter was forwarded to Internal Affairs, which contacted Dear, who repeated that he had been the victim of an ethnic slur.
Unfortunately for Dear — and luckily for the trooper — the traffic stop had been videotaped on the officer’s car camera, and the trooper was wearing a recording device.

Next time I get pulled over for speeding, I’ll accuse the cops of prejudice against NASCAR-Americans. High speed driving is a hereditary trait.

On a related topic, last month Charles G. Hill had a post that turned into a comment thread on long-distance driving. One reason I drive fast is precisely because I so often drive long distances.

In an age of relatively cheap plane tickets, most people don’t do much long-distance driving, and when they do, they tend to drive like commuters, with insufficient concern for the “slow traffic keep right” rule. On a jammed-up metro-area freeway in rush hour — which is the kind of driving most commuters do, day in and day out, year after year — the “slow traffic keep right” rule doesn’t much matter. However, when you’re driving 500 miles from Hagerstown, Maryland, to Myrtle Beach, S.C., as I did a few weeks ago, you understand the need for speed.

Slow-poke drivers don’t get this. On your 20-mile rush-hour commute, the difference in road-time between driving 40 mph and driving 50 mph is inconsequential. But on a 500-mile trip, an average speed of 62 mph means an eight-hour trip, while an average speed of 77 mph means a 6-and-a-half-hour trip. Why should I spend an extra hour-and-a-half on the road, if I can safely drive 77 mph without getting pulled over? (On a 70-mph freeway, no trooper will waste his time busting you for 77, when so many drivers are actually doing 80.)

About safety: Driver fatigue becomes an issue on a long-distance drive and, if driving faster means driving fewer hours — as is demonstrably true — then driving faster can actually mean driving safer. And as someone who routinely drives long distances at high speed, who hasn’t had an accident in decades (if you exclude collisions with deer), I think my experience at high-speed driving makes me a much safer driver than many of the slow-pokes who seem shocked when I go flying past them on the freeway.

That is, once I can get past them.

“Get out of my g–d—-d lane!” I find myself screaming at these idiots who, in utter disregard for the “slow traffic keep right” rule, create a rolling roadblock on the freeway by doing a slow-motion pass of a semi truck.

Let me explain something to you jackasses: If you’re going to pass a truck, pass the damned truck and get it over with. When you’re puttering along at 62 mph in the right-hand lane and approach a semi ahead of you that’s doing 59 mph, do not think you’re being “safe” when you pull into the left lane — still doing 62 mph — and take an eternity to creep past the truck.

Down there on the floorboard of your car, there is a pedal called the “accelerator.” Learn to use it. When you pull out into the left lane to pass a truck, you are obliged to accelerate so as to complete your pass quickly, get back over to the right, and thus clear the left lane for faster traffic.

You want to lecture me about “safety,” you damned idiot slowpoke? Don’t you realize how dangerous it is to run side-by-side with a semi-truck? Those trucks can’t brake quickly, and if a car approaches from the on-ramp to the right — which you can’t see, while you’re side-by-side with the truck — the truck driver may face a potentially deadly choice between hitting the car on his right or swerving left and hitting you.

Use your accelerator, pass the truck, then get back over in the slow lane where you belong, idiot. Because when I’m driving 500 miles, I generally have a certain estimated time of arrival in mind, and meeting that ETA requires me to keep in mind my average speed. So if I’m figuring an average speed of 75 mph, and your slowpoke pass of a semi truck creates a rolling roadblock that forces me to slow down to 62 mph for a couple of minutes, I’m going to have to make up time by driving even faster for another couple of minutes.

You know who I blame for this problem? Richard Nixon.

The stupid 55-mph national speed limit was implemented in 1974 when Nixon signed the Emergency Energy Highway Conservation Act, and this Nixonian “emergency” act wasn’t repealed until 1995. During those 21 years, an entire generation of slowpoke drivers got the idea that they belonged on the freeway. Indeed, they were encouraged to think that driving slow made them more virtuous than others, because the government told them they were not only conserving energy, but also saving lives. “Slower is safer,” they were told.

Guess what, slowpokes? The government lied to you:

In a 1999 study for the libertarian Cato Institute, economist Stephen Moore noted that the number of auto crashes actually fell by 66,000 after the 55-m.p.h. limit was lifted. Moore also pointed out that a lower speed limit means more time wasted idling in traffic: “The most valuable resource on this earth is not oil; it’s human time.”

That’s what really angers me when I find myself out on the road, stuck behind a slowpoke blocking the left lane: You’re wasting my time!

“Slow traffic keep right” is such a simple rule to understand, but evidently they’re issuing drivers licenses to people too stupid to understand that rule, who are probably also too stupid to figure out that passing a semi-truck might require use of the accelerator pedal. (Trust me, idiot: It’s down there on the floorboard of your car, probably somewhere on the right side.) If there were any justice in the world, state troopers wouldn’t be laying radar traps for guys doing 82 mph in a 65 mph zone, but would instead be issuing tickets to slow-moving idiots who take more than a few seconds to pass a semi-truck.

If you’re not in a hurry to get somewhere, stay off the Interstate, but if you do get on the Interstate, stay the hell out of my way.

Some people are born to drive. And some people should ride the bus.


33 Responses to “Hate Hoax Busted by Cop’s Dash-Cam (Also: You Idiots, Get Out of My Way!)”

  1. Huggy
    February 5th, 2012 @ 10:28 am

    I recomend that you pray for a safe trip and an open road. That God warn you of danger ahead by placing slow pokes in your way. And most of all that you don’t hit a deer or anything else and that nothing hits you. Amen.

  2. Anonymous
    February 5th, 2012 @ 11:04 am

    Careful about that 80 MPH in Virginia, Stacy – It’s a reckless driving ticket and a mandatory court appearance. You were saying something about the resource of human time being so valuable?

    That’s the reason the Troopers are, in Virginia anyway (295 around Richmond is thick with them), setting traps in 65 and 70 MPH zones.

    OTOH, I agree with you wholeheartedly – I drive 400+ miles every weekend from DC to Chesapeake and back again, and the left-lane vigilantes irritate me to no end.

  3. Anonymous
    February 5th, 2012 @ 11:05 am

    BTW, just bought a hot water heater via your Amazon link – so you should see a few bucks coming your way soon.

  4. Anonymous
    February 5th, 2012 @ 11:27 am

    I just read a post that you wrote and nodded in agreement the whole way through! Awesome!  (Of course I am sure that means you will get lots of disagreement from most of your other readers, but hey, *I* enjoyed it!)  I have to second the comment from JeffWeimer about those VA Reckless driving tickets at 80+..they suck.  A conviction is actually a CRIMINAL misdemeanor conviction, a class I misdemeanor (the most serious kind of misdemeanor in VA) so watch out.

  5. Anonymous
    February 5th, 2012 @ 11:30 am

    I managed to avoid conviction on mine – but it still cost me money for a lawyer. And I had to take the safe driving course, so there’s more time spent.

  6. Anonymous
    February 5th, 2012 @ 11:42 am

    I got spoiled by driving the autobahn for 5 months in 1994. The cops are sudden death on slower traffic keeping right… and I quickly learned to spot other Americans who hadn’t adapted to the new reality. Not to mention that there, flashing your lights to clear these idjits out of the way is expected.

  7. Davnport
    February 5th, 2012 @ 11:43 am

    Know what it means when a MA driver gets into the right lane?
    His exit is next…

  8. Mike Rogers
    February 5th, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    Right on Stacy, even if this will force Bob Belvedere out of hiding to warn me again why I shouldn’t let you drive my car.
    I, too travel long distances at the fastest speed conditions permit.
    The UK also suffered the same dumb limits during the oil crisis, and then afterwards the limit was raised to 70 on most divided highways – what we lost was the no-limit freeways.
    Can you imagine in this country, or indeed anywhere, in this century, being pulled by a cop and told “70-80, please sir, not 90-100”!!
    With ubiquitous revenue radar, driving to suit the conditions includes a keen awareness of potential hiding places, a good radar detector, preferably hidden, and an even keener awareness of the propensity of the incompetents to stomp on the brakes when THEIR radar detector goes off.
    And don’t even get me started on the commuter lanes in places like California- the most dangerous speed is speed differential, and those brain-dead creations cause the worst speed differentials anywhere.
    Finally, Nixon: He was a communist, even though he hated them, just like Hitler hated Stalin – big powerful government hates competition, such as from a bigger, more powerful, government. Nixon gave us so many failed big government ideas that it’s hard to count them, but having lived under socialism, I can definitely say that wage and price controls were the dumbest and most socialist.

  9. Busted: Lying NYC Lawyer Who Accused NJ State Trooper of Being Anti-Semitic to Avoid Speeding Ticket Has Been Exposed « Frugal Café Blog Zone
    February 5th, 2012 @ 11:53 am

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  10. Anonymous
    February 5th, 2012 @ 11:59 am

    I was in my early 20s and had no money for a decent lawyer, so went without, ended up paying over $1000 in fines, plus probation, license suspension…all for going 85 on a deserted road at midnight.  Lesson learned.  in VA my cruise control goes on 5 mph over and never more.  Then again this is Virginia, where the State Police pulled over the caravan of official NYPD vehicles going to New Orleans to help after Katrina because they were “commercial vehicles” using the left lane illegally.  So it isn’t exactly a friendly place!

  11. Speed Demons | Daily Pundit
    February 5th, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    […] Demons Posted on February 5, 2012 9:00 am by Bill Quick Hate Hoax Busted by Cop’s Dash-Cam (Also: You Idiots, Get Out of My Way!) : The Other McCain In an age of relatively cheap plane tickets, most people don’t do much long-distance driving, […]

  12. richard mcenroe
    February 5th, 2012 @ 1:09 pm

     I’ll accuse the cops of prejudice against NASCAR-Americans. ”

    Which gives them probable cause to check your trunk for ‘shine.  Not a good trade-off.

  13. richard mcenroe
    February 5th, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

    Not that you’d have any ‘shine but I’m betting you still haven’t dumped all them Gingrich signs you’ve been stealing off people’s lawns.

  14. Dave
    February 5th, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

    Most of my long-distance driving has been between SoCal and the SF Bay Area. Fortunately, the CA highway patrol does not consider speeding to be an actual crime. Unfortunately, I-5 is only a four-lane road through most of the Central Valley, so when one semi passes another (which is the most common case of the passing scenario Stacy deplores), your nice, friendly 85 MPH crusiing gets interrupted. Note to – another lane on I-5 and a route from I-5 to San Jose that’s entirely on divided highways would be far, far more valuable than the train to nowhere.

  15. Anonymous
    February 5th, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

    Stacy gets the Sammy Hager Can’t Drive 55 Award for the Year with this post.

  16. Anonymous
    February 5th, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

    Goddamn illiterate Yankees should have paid attention to the signs and stayed out of the left lane.

  17. Jerry Stratton
    February 5th, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

    You should probably pay attention to the National Motorists Association if you don’t already. One of their signature campaigns (since getting the national speed limit removed) is Lane Courtesy, i.e., “slower traffic keep right”.

  18. Michael Adams
    February 5th, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

    It’s also true, if appalling, that plenty of good honest Republican people believe that we should just avoid speeding to avoid tickets, and, if we do the crime, we need to cut the whine. There’s a no passing zone for you, trying to get past the intransigent conviction that speed limits improve safety. Traffic fines are a safe tax, that politicians need not fear punishment by voters, as they raise more funds to be dispensed as largess to potential supporters.

  19. Quartermaster
    February 5th, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

    The law in most states (and that included VA while I was still in the Navy – they used to have signs saying that) is/was, “keep right unless passing.” That’s what it was in Germany on the Autobahns while I was over there. The Polezei would write you a ticket, and collect the fine then and there, for violating lane discipline. Alles ordnung? Alles gut!

    Just in case you don’t realize it Stacy, speeding is a crime, and if you are caught out of state, the delay caused by being taken in will more than eat up any time saved. If your car does not have a cruise control, buy one, install it and use it. It’s a wonderful thing to have on a long trip, and if set to the speed limit keeps the rate of march up without having to worry about the cops. It is also much less tired as well.

    That Peters guy over at AmSpec is best ignored on this issue.

  20. I Can’t Drive Fifty-Five « That Mr. G Guy's Blog
    February 5th, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

    […] Stacy McCain just beat me to writing about our pet peeve…slow drivers on the interstate. Here’s an excerpt from Stacy’s rant: […]

  21. Mike G.
    February 5th, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

    I drove for two and a half years on the Autobahn and you’re right…if you see flashing lights behind you…move the hell out of the way. I was doing 130 MPH one night and saw some flashing headlights behind me. I moved over and the guy must have been going at least 150 when he passed me. Needless to say, I pulled over and slowed down to a more reasonable ninety for the rest of my trip. That was back in ’78 or so.

  22. Mike G.
    February 5th, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

    I linked you and did a little of my own ranting.

    By the way, the speed limits out west and in the mid west are seventy-five, even on two lane state roads and county roads in Kansas.

  23. Anonymous
    February 5th, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

    “Next time I get pulled over for speeding, I’ll accuse the cops of prejudice against NASCAR-Americans” = Driving while redneck!

  24. Anonymous
    February 5th, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

    And in parts of Wyoming, NO speed limit!  Woo hoo!

  25. Charles
    February 5th, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

    And by next you mean that he is just about to miss it.

  26. Bob Belvedere
    February 5th, 2012 @ 6:42 pm


  27. Bob Belvedere
    February 5th, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

    As a matter of fact, I agree with everything Stacy wrote.

    Any warnings to people about letting RSM drive their cars is based on the fact that he does get his Robert-Mitchum-in-Thunder-Road thing on sometimes.

    One of the things like I like about NH is the fact that they posy maximum and minimum speeds.

  28. Bob Belvedere
    February 5th, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

    BTW: I especially agree about what Stacy wrote about passing truckss.  The most dangerous part of driving by the side of one is all it takes is a gust of wind down the wind tunnel a truck creates for an accident to happen.

  29. Bob Belvedere
    February 5th, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

    Sounds like a good campaign.  Younger drivers just don’t get the proper education anymore.

    Most don’t know that on a four-lane highway, lanes [going l-r] 1 and 3 are the passing lanes.

  30. Fred Z
    February 5th, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

    Re your post: Nice work, Rollo.

  31. Finrod Felagund
    February 6th, 2012 @ 1:44 am

    I’ve always thought that people that clog the left lane should have their right to drive on multi-lane highways revoked.  Once they learn how to pass on a 2-lane highway where the passing lane is also the lane for oncoming traffic, then they can be allowed back onto the multi-lane highways.

    I also partly blame The Eagles for the problem.  “Life in the Fast Lane”?  The left-most lane is NOT the fast lane, it’s the PASSING lane.  If you’re not PASSING, stay the fsck out of it.

  32. » Second gear: lean right
    February 6th, 2012 @ 9:50 am

    […] a kind reference to this January post, Robert Stacy McCain once again explains to you clodhoppers cluttering up the left lane why the essen… On your 20-mile rush-hour commute, the difference in road-time between driving 40 mph and driving […]

  33. Jeff S.
    February 6th, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    Stacy, I hope you don’t mind if I add a few points:

    1. If I’m not mistaken, some studies have shown that people do not drive to the speed limit, but to their comfort limit. If you’re asking them to drive over their comfort limit, that could be a problem.  On the other hand, if they can’t handle a couple of minutes at 75 m.p.h., they probably shouldn’t feel comfortable on the freeway at all.

    2. If someone is passing another automobile, using the left lane, and in doing so is exceeding the legal speed limit (say, driving 72 m.p.h. in a 65 m.p.h. zone, passing a car doing 68 m.p.h.), what is the issue?  Is it reasonable for them to exceed the speed limit by a greater amount to cut down on the passing time?

    3. Hmm.  As I think about #2, I realize that my habit is to check for faster traffic in the left lane before I pull out to pass, so as not to clog the lane up.  Maybe that’s the ticket.  (Sorry…)

    4. Having driven I-95 a few times from Canada all the way to Florida, and back again, I think a big part of the problem is traffic and capacity.  The interstate in Maine is a pleasure, but in Virginia and the Carolinas not so much.  That so much of I-95 south of Washington, D.C. is only two lanes each way is crazy.

    5. In eastern Canada, you can’t go anywhere on a multi-lane highway without seeing signs “Keep Right Except to Pass / Garder la Droite Sauf Pour Depasser”.  I’m not recommending the USA go all multilingual on you, but maybe an abundance of these signs (in English only) would help.  There seem to be way too few of them on I-95.

    6. Stay safe.