Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Slow traffic

Rail above road bridge, SH1, Seddon.
A replacement bridge is being built to the right so the nervous excitement of the possibility
of a train driving over the top of you is going to come to an end.

As I puttered through the Lyttelton road tunnel this morning at a sedate 45km behind an obviously nervous driver, I was thinking about the speed I normally drive. I have been making a concerted effort to obey the speed limits and its not difficult in my daily commute. I just cruise along, listening to music, thinking my thoughts and I rarely get over 105km. I travel at the speed I wish to, not because I'm being held up by traffic.

But around town its a completely different story. I really struggle to stay anywhere near 50km, particularly on some roads, for example, Port Hills Rd where everyone does a minimum of 60km. When I travel at 50km on these roads I feel like I'm a real fuddy-duddy, the traffic builds up behind me and I feel pressured to travel more quickly.

Traveling at the speed limit can be very relaxing, particularly on the open road. You virtually never catch up with anyone and the speed hounds scream past and disappear off into the distance leaving you with the open road again. In town I just find it harder to keep my speed down and to keep my cool. Its a very interesting experiment and I think it goes to show how quickly I used to drive and equally, how lucky I am to have never received a speeding ticket. (I'm not counting on the one speed camera fine I got 4 years ago!)

The last time we drove to the Sounds towing the trailer we noticed the phenomenon of always driving on an open road. Towing, we have to drive at 90km which is an easy speed for people to pass you at. Cars pass, disappear off and you're left with this wide open space to drive into (this could be a metaphor for something) without the stress of fast drivers being aggravated by you holding them up.

I guess I'm thinking about speed limits a bit because this weekend I'm away with friends for a long weekend covering a fair amount of the South Island. Some of the roads we'll be on just call out to be driven on fast - I wonder if I'll be able to resist?



Post a Comment

<< Home