Speed Limits

I’ve been pondering speed limits a lot lately. Did you know that the German word for speed limit is geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung? It means something along the lines of the absolute highest speed at which you can drive. Why is it that people have such a problem getting that simple idea into their heads? Now, before you call me hypocrite and start throwing tomatoes, yes, I’ve been known to speed some, like most of us on the road today. But not anymore. I am resolving from this day forward to obey the speed limit.

Here are the reasons why:

  1. Romans 13:1 tells us that we should be subject to the governing authorities. “Aww, but Stick, speed limits are so stupid/arcane/draconian/old-fashioned/unnecessary/pointless, so God doesn’t really expect us to follow them!” Well, I’m here to tell you I think He does. The guy that wrote Romans 13 (and the rest of Romans and a good deal of the New Testament) - Paul - knew a thing or three about the unjust application of government authority, and yet he still wrote Romans 13. I think that he would laugh off anyone who felt that speed limits could be labeled authoritarian abuse.
  2. It would be a better world if everyone followed the standard of a common maximum speed. If you haven’t read about Traffic Waves, you should do so at your earliest convenience and immediately put into practice the suggestions on their website. The military has a saying that “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.” Same goes for traffic.
  3. It’s so easy! Cruise control is almost ubiquitous on modern vehicles. According to the aforementioned Traffic Waves website, not only does cruise control make it easy to follow the speed limits, it actually helps traffic, and according to, it saves you money!
  4. Speaking of which (and I promise I started writing this article before The Simple Dollar posted Trent’s own analysis of speeding costs), driving slower saves you money! says that driving the speed limit could increase your gas mileage by fourteen percent over driving at “average” speeds. Trent’s analysis goes even further by using statistical probabilities to account for the cost of possibly getting a ticket. He comes to the same conclusion I have - drive the speed limit, it’s cheaper.

If you’re not convinced that speeding is really a problem in our culture, then try driving the speed limit for a week and watch as people whiz by you - the main road I drive to work has a 50 MPH speed limit and traffic routinely moves at 65 MPH. The worst part is that that section of road is about two miles long, meaning that people drive fifteen miles per hour over the speed limit to shave 30 seconds off a three minute commute. If we’re not responsible enough to respect our (duly elected) government and give them 30 seconds of extra time in the morning, maybe they’re right, and we don’t deserve to be responsible for our own future….