Monday, January 13, 2014

HB 51: Minimum Speed Limits

Virginia House Bill #51 would, if enacted, establish a "minimum speed limit to be set forth on signs posted" on highways:

http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+ful+HB51

I don't like it. I'm a slow driver myself; I've also ridden in slow vehicles, typically cars with automatic transmissions that were sticking in a low gear, and I don't think there's any need to add to the hassle we get from impatient drivers behind us.

Virginians are not too nice to remind people whose transmissions are dying that the left lane is traditionally for passing slower vehicles, who are traditionally expected to stay on the right. I see no need to waste money on signs about this.

Most of all I see no need to make people feel that, when they're not sure what their car is doing or what they need to be doing with it, they should feel pressured to careen blindly forward until they hear something go crash. The last time I owned and drove a car, I didn't understand what it was doing, barely missed a head-on collision, then rolled the car. One reason why nobody was hurt was that I did at least understand the importance of moving very, very slowly until I'd recovered complete control of the car. (It would have been better if I'd been able to act on my first instinct and just not move that car until someone else had figured out what was wrong with it, but unfortunately people qualified to do that didn't want to do it.) I would hate to be on the road with people who didn't feel free to use their brakes when in doubt or trouble.

Delegate O'Quinn is relatively new to the General Assembly, hasn't sponsored many bills before this one, and has voted the right way on bills of interest to this web site. This web site urges his constituents to be polite when explaining to him why HB 51 is a bad bill. Although we have some readers who rush to condemn a legislator on the basis of one bad bill, no matter how commendable his or her other work, this web site encourages O'Quinn constituents to review his other collected works (http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?141+mbr+H242C) and commend him for HB 592, HB 947, and others as they think fit.