Guilty, your honor. Guilty as charged.

I WAS ONE OF "THOSE" GUYS

That was a while back soon after the speed limit on the Owensboro bypass increased to 65 miles per hour. And, yes, that was me. I was one of those who would get frustrated at drivers who would drive five or ten miles per hour slower than the speed limit.

Most of us kick it up past the limit when we're behind the wheel. The unspoken "safety zone" is no more than 9 MPH above the limit. And, no, I'm not encouraging that because the speed limit is the law. I'm just reporting on human nature.

THE "TENNESSEE WAY"

It's always tempting, if not easy, to go past the limit. I've been on interstate highways in Tennessee more times than I'll ever be able to count and I don't have to tell you what it's like on I-65, I-40, or, God forbid, I-75. Actually, now that I say that, I'm not sure 75 is that much worse than 65, which is pretty "Indy 500-esque," in my opinion.

My point is, it seems like a motorist in Tennessee needs to drive an egregious number of miles per hour over the limit before a state trooper will pull them over. I'm not saying they're not doing their jobs; they just have an expert's take on those superhighways.

THE BIG SWITCH IN 2017

But even though the bypass speed limit has been 65 MPH since 2017, there are still drivers that do 55 or 60. And that's perfectly alright.

I take the bypass when I come to work, now that I've moved. And I've seen what certain drivers do when they get behind someone they feel is driving too slow. There's the obligatory tailgating and then, when the left-hand lane is clear, they go around and step on the gas and they're out of sight before you can figure out what the bumper sticker says. And sometimes you can see hands flailing in frustration before "lift-off."

BUT IT WAS 55 FOR SO LONG

Yes, four years. But the bypass was at 55 MPH for almost FIFTY years, meaning folks can be forgiven for being used to that speed limit and "obeying" it, even IF they can go faster.

As a friend of mine once said to me--and while I was in the car being a leadfoot, ironically--the speed LIMIT is just that. It means they don't want you driving any faster than that. And unless there's a posted sign indicating a MINIMUM speed, it's perfectly alright to go slower.

I'm not saying it's rude to pass someone who's driving slower, but I don't think it's cause to get angry and form an opinion.

Drive safely, everyone.

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