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My most recent contribution to PJ Media concerns Oriana Farrell, that mom in the mini-van who landed herself in a New Mexico calaboose after what started out as a routine traffic stop for speeding. In the piece, I take issue with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, who, in his commentary on the matter, assigned all the blame to the police, ignoring the fact that if Farrell had but signed the speeding ticket she had earned, none of the unpleasantness that followed would have occurred. O’Donnell opined that the initial stop, for going 71 miles an hour in a 55 mph zone, was unwarranted. Farrell was stopped near Taos, O’Donnell said, “on a road where, like all roads in New Mexico, no one drives 55 miles an hour.”
Which may be true, but it ignores the point. Even if most drivers do go faster than 55 on a given stretch of road, few of them are going faster than 70 — and anyone who does and gets caught can expect to be pulled over and ticketed. And if he drives off from the traffic stop, he can expect to be arrested (but probably not shot at, as happened to Farrell).
So, how fast is too fast? A rule of thumb I’ve always employed, one shared by most of my colleagues, is that under ordinary conditions drivers are given a 10-mph buffer over the posted speed limit. Anything faster than that that will likely get you stopped. And if you’re 15 over the speed limit, spare me your sad stories – your goose is cooked and you can tell it to the judge.
Buckle up and drive safely. And stay off your damned phone.