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August 11, 2011


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Um, as Christians we're told to follow the law of the land except where it is contrary to God's law. Where in the bible does it say it's ok to speed?

In my younger days I had occasion to discover that being stopped and ticketed seemed to take around 15~20 minutes from pull over to pull away. So, I try to bear that in mind personally and share that with others when they are blazing a trail just to shave 5 minutes off of a trip. There goes your grand time savings! :)

Good point. "He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much" also comes to mind. Honesty in all things is not a popular course, but it is worth striving for, IMO.

My fiance recently received a speeding in Michigan, where we live. She took an online class (a commitment of maybe four hours total) that exempted her from receiving the points. She still had to pay the fine, but received no points. She used (I'm not making this up). I don't know all the details, but according to her, it appears to be available for a number of states. I would suggest anyone looking to keep points off their record look into this option.

Photo speed enforcement is all about revenue collection, not public safety. Your insurance company may not even notice, since many camera generated citations result in no points.

@jeffbone is right, camera violations generally do not include points, they just want your $75. You are best just doing what you did, paying this and letting it go.

I used to speed like crazy and would constantly get frustrated at having to weave around slower drivers or people that would switch lanes without looking. Then I decided that it wasn't worth the effort. I was saving maybe 10 minutes on my hour commute but would get to work extremely frustrated.

So I started setting the cruise control for 5 over the speed limit. I also usually don't set it for over 60 (on part of I270 the limit is 65, I just leavw my CC set for 60.) I get passed by almost every other car I see (most people near DC go 10 to 15 over) but my commute's actually incredibly less stressful. I stick to the right lanes so people who want to go faster aren't being held up by me.

Since I started doing this I noticed my fuel economy improved quite a bit. I was originally getting around 22 to 23 MPG in my 2000 Sable. I started getting 25 to 27 MPG. I just replaced the Sable with a 2001 Sentra (was able to buy one in good condition for cash) and it looks like my average MPG will come in slightly above the old (pre-2008, before the government revised them down) fuel economy ratings for this car.

Beyond the lower stress and lower gas bill, I've not gotten in ticket in several years. Between no tickets and not having to carry extra coverage for a car with a lean on it, my insurance bills are pretty low these days.

I hope your insurance company does not raise you rate, because that would be a recurring financial hit. But what about that $75? Poof gone and nothing to show for it.
Any involvement with the court system can turn into a messy, frustrating, expensive affair. I've seen tickets that were paid not be marked as such and its a chore to set things straight. Best to make a big effort to avoid entanglement with that system.

5 mph is above average? Seems like 5-10 mph above the speed limit is average in most places I've been (and I've driven all around the country).

Anyway, my insurance (or maybe it is the state) allows for I think 2 minor moving violations within 3 years before your insurance costs go up. Not to say that it gives you freedom to cause trouble every few years, but it helps on those rare times that something comes up, like the time that I definitely stopped at a stop sign but the police officer disagreed, even though he didn't have a clear line of sight to where the stop line actually was.

As for following the law of the land, as with most Bible references, I think we need to understand the meaning rather than go word by word. The intent of speed limit laws is for the safety of the public. You can drive safely at 1 mph or 5 mph above the speed limit in most cases. Plus, there are a lot of laws that don't make any sense (in Michigan, supposedly a woman cannot cut her hair without her husband's permission), and so you can't follow all of it.

Slowing down also reduces vehicle maintenance costs. Brakes and tires last longer, rocks are less likely to crack the windshield, damage to tires, wheels and suspension from potholes are reduced.

FMF, unless Iowa has reciprocity (meaning the DMV's share information with each other) with Michigan, the ticket will not have an impact on your insurance. Auto insurance is based upon moving violations (high correlation with claims) the company can see on your record. Usually neighboring states will share information. Since Iowa and Michigan do not border each other, you're probably ok.

Geoff --

I see longer hair in my wife's future. ;-)

Most ins co's do not "ding" you for one tix (moving violation) unless it is a gross violation (USAA/AFS Ins co's anyway), and a "camera tix" may not be reported. Since I purchased a Jeep, I'm w/in 5-10 mph or at speeed limit (if 70 mph) anyway (to save gas and the vehicle isn't a sharp handling car), though around town, those 25 mph zones could be a catch. Even so, staying out of the "criminal zone" (10, 15, 20 MPH, whatever it is ) over the posted limit is good knowledge to have. And, at least whe driving on the highways: be somewhat with the flow, passing on the right, changing lanes, etc., is not KEWL! I wish like europe, the left lane was patrolled better in US for fast drivers/passing/flash high beams like in Europe, it is safer when only used for that purpose!

My wife got a camera ticket in AZ (we live in MN) and the insurance company knew about it. I have progressive and they show you any violations on your record online, which is nice to know exactly what they know about. I'm not sure how much my insurance went up exactly because of it--we got a new car around the same time, so it's hard to know for sure.

BTW, you got off easy with $75. It was $150 in AZ (about the same amount over).

@MikeS: It's not just neighboring states, it's nationwide. There's the Driver License Compact and the Nonresident Violator Compact, which most states (45 and 44, respectively) participate in. Michigan, however, participates in neither so it looks like FMF lucked out here...

@John Vinall: here's something my wife wrote on the subject of speeding, sin, legalism, and wisdom:


The legalist says, "The Christian ought to respect authority, and authority says this street is 35 MPH. So we go 35 MPH, no more and no less. Case closed." That's no good, because there's a lot more to being a good citizen in driving than just obeying the speed limit. I've been driving in dark or in snow, when moving at the speed limit would have been suicidal. I've also been driving on the freeways at times when traffic was moving so fast that driving the speed limit would have been suicidal. To add to that, the cops seem to not care if you're 5ish over in the city, and more on the highways. It hardly makes sense to interpret a law more precisely than the government does--one wonders if the legalists get precision speedometers, so they can travel at a constant 35.00 MPH. Or if they drive at 34, just to make sure they don't offend the law. That's not righteousness, that's pedantery.

The apathetic looks at the whole situation and says, "Clearly the speed limits are just guidelines; I can go any speed I want." That's no good, because even if the speed limits are just guidelines, you have more moral demands on yourself. What about keeping people safe--how about the community center at the bottom of the long hill, where people sometimes come running out into the crosswalk from behind some tall rocks? If you zoom by there at 50, what does that say about you--do you value your time more than those people's lives? How about keeping the people in your car safe? How about respect for the law? You can't just go any speed you want!

Neither of these approaches is good. It's best to study the situation with wisdom and try to find the right thing to do. As a Christian, I ought to respect the government, out of respect for God and fear for the government; then again, in this case, the government clearly doesn't care if you speed a little--certainly not if you're way out in the middle of nowhere. I ought to respect others' safety, and sometimes that entails going slower or faster than the posted speed. I ought to consider what sort of example I'm setting for the teenagers in the car--even if I know in wisdom that speeding is all right somewhere, I might be setting one of them up to go the apathetic route. ("Well, Drakona's pretty wise and she speeds sometimes, so I guess speed limits aren't too important...") I ought to be considerate to other people on the road, but then I also ought to be considerate to the people who are waiting for me. And on the third hand, I ought to be effective when I'm considerate--that is, doing things to "be nice" that don't really help anyone are hardly of value. And then there's integrity--I shouldn't drive any differently with cops behind me than without.

Righteousness is balancing these considerations, and constantly driving in a way that takes all of them into account. Legalism is no path to righteousness, but that does not excuse apathy. It is best to be wise! Weigh all the considerations, and drive in such a way as to please both God and government, without being stupid.

Taken from, Jan 02 2005

As for the general wisdom in this thread: driving fast does burn fuel and cost extra money, but may be worth it. Getting busted for driving *too fast* may cost a lot more money and not be worth it. Be wise in your choice of speeds -- and, more than that, be wise in your choice of other actions behind the wheel. Drive smoothly, with the flow of traffic; aggressive driving can get you and others killed, and even if it doesn't, it tends to make a lot of people's day worse and also wears out your car.

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