Speed Limits

Most speed limits are set at a rate with which eighty-five percent of drivers will be comfortable at. A small percent will want to drive faster, and a small percent will want to drive slower. Not so in Bonner County. Most of the residents have conditioned themselves to drive at least ten under the posted limit, with a fair sampling choosing twenty under. This phenomenon has occurred for a variety of reasons.

First, all of the old-timers here are, well, old. Older people realize they have failing vision and fading reflexes, and naturally drive slower to compensate. They also believe that a blizzard can happen at any given moment, even in July and August, and feel better being prepared. Then there is the occasional farm tractor blasting down the highway at five miles per hour to keep one on one’s toes. Finally, there is the metropolis of Sandpoint that has dubbed itself as a walking town. This means that all pedestrians feel that they can jump out in front of any moving vehicle like a crazed jackrabbit or deer, regardless of crosswalks, timing, safety, or consequences. This has conditioned the old-timers to immediately slam on their brakes every time they see a person within twenty feet of a paved surface.

Of course, all of the transplants here feel it is their duty to provide a big city driving experience, both to balance out the normal snail’s pace of traffic flow and to help educate the old-timers in case they might venture out of Bonner County and encounter real-life driving conditions. Therefore, the transplants try to drive ten over, give lessons on passing four cars and a logging truck in one fell swoop, and treat any jackrabbit-inclined pedestrian as a target of opportunity.

Copyright © 2019 J.J. West. Fiddlesticks! Tales From A Country Ghetto.
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