Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Speeding Legislators et al

On the Turner Turnpike today I was poking along at 75 mph (the speed limit) when a series of cars bearing H's and S's went zipping by at speeds of 80-100 mph. For those that don't know, Oklahoma tags issued to House of Representatives members bear an "H" and State Senators have an "S" on the tag. For example, the tag "H-7" that sped by today was on the car belonging to the House of Representatives member representing House District #7 - which would be Rep. Larry Roberts of Miami, Ok. His vehicle was going about 80 mph. The next one went by so fast all I could see was the "H". Chances are, their speeding was legal, because many years ago our Legistalators passed a law exempting themselves from speeding laws if they were going to or coming from a Legislative session. In other words, our Legislators believe that their work is so urgent and important that risking others' lives is a risk worth taking. This says a lot about their sense of entitlement and self-importance.

The Legislators aren't the only drivers out there with a sense of entitlement - Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers routinely speed in non-emergency situations. Today I passed a trooper that had a car stopped at the side of the turnpike - apparently handing them at ticket. A minute later, the same trooper driving a HP Chevette passed me at a steady speed of approx 80-85 mph. I watched him speed on until he pulled behind an overpass to hide and look for speeders. I'm not sure if it is legal for a trooper to speed in non-emergency situations but it is certainly unethical to ticket others for doing exactly what one does himself.

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