The Grand Bibliotehque in Montreal was closed for the holiday weekend (Canada Day was Sunday; the old port has been spiffed up even more this year). Plus my state of lethargy was particularly pronounced.
Thus I did not get a chance to go in and blog my usual survey of people driving over the speed limit, but I did in fact keep a record as I drove up Interstate 89 between Concord and Lebanon from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. last Friday evening—that would be June 29.
You can probably guess the results. Going approximately 65 miles and hour (the legal limit), for every car I had to pass (in other words, cars which were going less than the speed limit), I was passed by three cars speeding. I wrote the exact numbers down, but managed to misplace it. Still, I'm sure you'll take my word for it (it was something like 33 to 12).
Actually I tried to go slightly more than 65 (a confession), so no one could argue that 65 would make the survey improper.
Thanks to a law that should not be on the books (65 miles an hour on roads meant to be traveled at 70-75 miles an hour); the New Hampshire Legislature continues to make 75 percent of its citizens law breakers.
Don't blame me.
I introduced legislation to raise the speed limit last session, and despite the increased number of Libertarian-minded Representatives it failed lacking support of nearly all nanny state Democrats and Republican leadership which seemed more intent upon cramming gay marriage repeal and contraception control down our throats than of acknowledging that 65 is not an appropriate speed limit.
Here's the kicker.
Most people appeared not to traveling at unusually high rates of speed. I would estimate they were going in the 70-75 mile and hour range. Thus, had we changed the law to reflect reality, we would not have a state of law breakers.
The one dangerous spot in my 60 miles trek was not caused by excessive speed, but by a driver (Vermont license plate) poking along at 45 miles and hour, flicking cigarette ashes from her car when I passed her, causing a jam up.
I'll continue to say that it's not speed that kills. It's a divergence from a reasonable speed limit. With 75 percent of our citizens (albeit perhaps not Vermonters visiting here) breaking the law every time they get behind the wheel of their cars, we lose respect for all reasonable laws.
I will continue my surveys when I set out of trips later this summer (one in early August and one for Labor Day most likely). Does anyone doubt that the results will be similar?
It's time to do as Maine has done--raise the speed limit to 70 or 75 miles an hour--to respect the WILL OF THE PEOPLE. D.J. Bettencourt wouldn't get behind it as Republican leader. Anybody wanna bet if he kept his speed down to 65? I suspect not.
Maybe next year...at least Deej won't be here to oppose such sensible legislation!
My stay in Canada was uneventful, that is to say just fine. Creature of habit that I am, I was not pleased to be unable to find my favorite weekly entertainment paper (The Mirror) which last year had welcomed me with the news that the B52s would be performing a free outdoor concert as part of the Jazz Festival. No such luck this year; Liza Minnelli was on hand (but not for free). Apparently the biggest name at the Festival was Chromeo, billed as the first Jew and an Arab in a rock group. I took a pass on it, but the Old Port was fun. Lots of fireworks; no one hurt; and they lasted more than 15 seconds.
I never did make it to the spot where Ethan Allen was captured (in 1775, not 1776); it’s not at all centrally located, way out beyond the LaFontaine tunnel. Maybe next time. Nor did I make it to where Jackie Robinson played minor league baseball, but I did read that his child was conceived in Montreal, and he loved it there.
So do I, even without a Mirror!
I dragged myself out of lethargy to film about 45 minutes (including some of the Art Festival in le Village--not as good as last year--I couldn't find Tick Tock Tom and his bleeding heart sculpture) and will be using it the next few weeks on The Liberty Express (Channel 23 in Manchester Monday at 10 p.m., Thursday at 9 p.m., Sunday at 6 a.m. and noon and always available on line at vimeo.com/channels/mpa).