• Debra Berry

Speed Demons

For the most part, I am a happy easy going individual. It takes something pretty outrageous or unkind to get me very upset, but even I have my limitations.

Today, I am going to share with you what really annoys me out on the roads. Speed Demons, the drivers who think speed limits do not apply to them.

Just where is everyone going so fast and in such a hurry? In my neck of the woods the speed limit on the freeway is 70 or 75 miles an hour. Well, just who drives the speed limit? Day after day, cars whiz by me. I am usually left behind in their dust while I meander along around 72 to 77 miles an hour. Even in a 35 or 40 mile an hour zone, cars streak past me.

I try to give the Speed Demons the benefit of the doubt. I assign them an excuse for speeding, like the woman in the passenger seat is in labor and about to deliver, so they need to get to the hospital. Sometimes, I excuse them due to having chest pain or another potentially life threatening issue. I have even excused them because they just got a call that their house was on fire. I always wish them safe travels as they whiz by me.

Several years ago, I volunteered with my county’s sheriff department. As part of my training, I was afforded the opportunity to spend a shift on the road with one of the deputy’s. He asked me, as we began the shift if I had any questions. “Yes, I do. Why do we have speed limits?” I asked. I remember he chuckled when I asked him, but he never gave me a clear or satisfying answer.

At one point during the shift things were seemingly quiet, so he said, “Let’s see if we can get you a speeder.” He drove us to an area he said was known for drivers speeding through. He parked the patrol car in a secluded spot, took out his speed gun detector, and we waited for Speed Demon.

“How much leeway do you give them?” I asked.

“Fifteen miles over,” he replied.

“Then why do we have speed limits?” I asked again.

He started chuckling again, and then suddenly he said, “I think we got you one.”

So off we went blue lights flashing and racing after my speed demon. Alas, the traffic light ahead of us turned red. Speed Demon made a get away, while we halted at the red light.

We hunkered down again and within minutes, the second speeder emerged. Off we raced again after this speeder. Success, Speed Demon pulled to a stop at the side of the road, and we pulled in behind him. The deputy instructed me to wait in the car. He approached Speed Demon in his car. For a minute or two, I sat watching the interaction between the deputy and Speed Demon. Then, the deputy began lumbering back to the patrol car with his head hanging as Speed Demon drove off.

The deputy climbed into the patrol car, gave me a sheepish look, and said, “I had to let him go.”

I was stunned. “Why?” I asked.

“He told me he needed to find a gas station fast, he had diarrhea,” the deputy said.

I couldn’t help it, I burst out in laughter. “OK, if I ever get stopped for speeding, I now know how to get out of a ticket,” I laughed.

Now, when Speed Demons creeps up on me I say, “Travel safely. I hope you make it to the room in time.”

"Take it easy driving - the life you save may be mine."

~James Dean

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