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6:51 AM Wed, Nov. 21st

Organic Matter: Obeying the speed limit

I have decided that what I would like in the New Year is not something of a material nature, but rather satisfaction or gratification when traveling on our county roadways.

Last week, I was returning to Kingman from Valle Vista along Route 66.

I was doing 65 miles per hour, the legal limit for that stretch of highway, when a pickup truck shot past me for town.

The driver must have been doing at least 75 mph.

Why is it a sheriff's deputy or highway patrol officer is never around when you need one?

Before going further I should say that I have once been ticketed for speeding and it happened here in Kingman a couple of years ago.

I was engaged in conversation with my wife, Colleen, and doing 35 mph, the normal speed limit along Airway Avenue.

I did not notice a 25 mph sign had been posted as construction was in progress and a city police officer soon pulled me over and wrote a citation.

I would estimate I obey posted speed limits 98 percent of the time.

If anyone out there says he or she obey those signs 100 percent of the time my response would be "right."

But there is a difference in doing 10 mph over the limit in an area where you are doing what is the usual speed limit and doing so out on the highway where you know 65 or 75 is legal and still drives faster.

The incident last week on Route 66 made me realize how badly we need stricter speed limit enforcement outside the city limits.

Oh, sure.

I have seen MCSO or DPS officers with motorists pulled over.

But as I was not there when it happened, I cannot say if it was for speeding or some other offense.

Colleen and I were returning from a visit with her sister and her family in Las Vegas two weeks ago when we encountered the same problem.

We were southbound after dark on U.S.

93 on Sunday Dec.


Anyone familiar with the highway near Hoover Dam knows it divides into a four-lane roadway for southbound traffic at milepost 17.

As we passed MP 17, I got into the right-hand lane and kept my speed at the legal limit of 65 mph.

Before we had reached MP 25, I counted 10 cars, vans or pickup trucks passing me in the left-hand lane.

The drivers must not have realized the speed limit in the left-hand lane is the same as in the right-hand lane.

I have, on occasion, driven 65 mph in that left-hand lane and guess what? Drivers would zip past me in the right-hand lane.

In any event, as one driver after another sped past I said to Colleen, "Hurry up.

You have to get to the morgue before it closes in 15 minutes.

You don't want to stop at a motel and pay for a room when you can get free lodging at county expense."

She understands very well how irritated I get at speeders, who get away with breaking the law.

I could not see to read my watch and the second hand in the dark as we continued toward Kingman.

But I estimated I could not see the taillights of any of those vehicles after 90 seconds.

Does that give you an idea of how fast they were going?

If the DPS or MCSO would post a unit beside that stretch of U.S.

93 some night, I would bet the officer could dispose of an entire ticket book in 3-4 hours.

I had intended to write about this recurring problem right after our trip to Las Vegas.

But I forgot about it until last Tuesday when another speeder reminded me.

There is another driver I find even more annoying than the speeder.

That's the "creeper."

Have you ever been doing 45 mph in a 45 zone and come up on a driver doing 25? I most often find the creeper to be an elderly driver, who certainly is being careful.

But that driver is impeding traffic flow and there soon is a procession of cars behind him or her with everyone wanting the creeper to speed up or pull over and let others pass.

The creeper will do neither and just keeps plugging along at 20 mph under the limit.

If you are following in a no-passing zone it gets exasperating.

Well, you now know how I feel about those who drive too fast or too slow.

Merry Christmas.

Terry Organ is the Miner's education, health and weather reporter.