This past week as the weather turned warmer the need for many people to move faster has taken an upturn. I have always wondered about the things people do in cars to speed up their day. Crossing a double-yellow line to get around a car doing the speed limit. Tailgating on the expressway so the person in front of you will get out of the way. The place where my mind wanders is what does the person who practices this speed do with the extra time their behavior gains them?
If I’m being charitable these kinds of behaviors give them back two minutes. So, I wonder what does a person do with those extra two minutes?
Do they use them to do something on their job for two minutes longer?
Do they use them to think about important things?
Do they save a life?
Do they write an extra line in their literary work?
Do they read an extra two pages?
Do they spend that time in meditation?
Do they spend that time with loved ones?
Or, do they do nothing with this extra time?
If it is the last one what justifies taking a risky behavior like most of the ones in a moving car. Is a mistake when passing on a curve, or following too close, or just plain going too fast, worth it? Is the damage you can do to someone else worth those two minutes?
In the country area, we live in I’ve seen too many close calls with the bicyclists who like to ride outside of the city and the drivers who have to always be going fast.
I know there are reasons to go fast; medical emergencies, picking up children, respecting an appointment made. Even then consider whether those two minutes will change anything at the end of your journey.
As we all start to enter the travel portion of the year please try and remember all the risky speeding behavior behind the wheel of a car probably doesn’t gain you much. Let those two minutes go.
One thought on “The Sunday Magazine: Two Minute Warning”
Hear, hear! I live in a leafy city neighborhood filled with walkers and bicyclists, that non-residents cut through. Most of the entrances and exits are on streets that have traffic lights at the intersections. The speed limit is 25 mph, which most of us residents faithfully observe. Inevitably, people cutting through will do all the things you've described, plus a few others like passing on the right, driving in the dedicated bike lane, making obscene gestures while passing, leaning on the horn when behind. And then they reach the traffic light, where they are waiting for the signal to change when I pull up after going 25 mph. So no, they didn't gain even one second, let alone two minutes, through their dangerous, churlish driving. I wish more drivers understood your point.