by Christine Baker

Recently, one cold winter day, when I left home to head into town, I guess I did what I always do, I mindlessly drove down my road towards the highway. But this day was different because a state trooper stopped me and told me I had been speeding. His radar and my dashboard were off by a few counts. But that’s not all. I had not noticed a lower speed limit had been posted closer to the highway near a church. He showed it to me in the distance. I’m sure it had been there for many years, but if you had asked me, I would have told you I’d never seen
it before. I decided not to argue with the authority in front of me, since at the moment, he had the upper hand.

Because my speed was excessive, I knew I was in for a very large price tag. I called the number on the ticket right away and was told I would have to wait. At the urging of my husband, I decided I would go to court and try and fight the ticket. In the coming weeks, I learned God had other plans for me. I guess He remembered how argumentative I can be and spared me an embarrassing court appearance. Because this was only my second ticket in my life (no, I’m not bragging), I was put into some type of first offender diversion program and my fine was reduced and would be dropped if I paid the reduced ticket outright. I quickly wrote a check and mailed it off. I wanted to be rid of this mistake and a reminder of my heavy right foot.

But something kept nagging me about this encounter. I mean I have been driving since I was fifteen years old and that’s like, well, a long time ago. I decided to take a self-evaluation of my driving habits. What I found out I didn’t like. Maybe these are your problems, too. If so, there is an easy remedy.

     (1.) I have a tendency to drive distracted, even with a hands-free phone in my SUV. My mind is often fixated on something other than on the road. The distractions are too many to list.

     (2.) I’m not always aware of the posted speed limit. There are a lot of inconsistencies in speed limit mph, which can vary as much as ten to fifteen mph in a short span.

     (3.) If one decides to drive the speed limit or stay as close to it as possible, they run the risk of being a victim of road rage. This I have found out personally in the last month or so.

So what exactly have I learned through this experience, other than that speeding is costly? I learned that driving is a privilege. It always has and always will be, a privilege that’s not to be taken lightly. When one gets behind the wheel, they are putting themselves and many others at risk when they turn the key and start the engine. Many of my friends that live in countries all around the world do not drive or have a car. They also do not have roads or bridges to drive on even if they did manage to be able to afford a vehicle.

The next thing I learned is even when I don’t always understand the laws of this land or the laws of this land don’t make sense, I am under an obligation to obey the authority that I live under. Good living means good driving and good driving means being responsible for my actions behind the wheel, even if it’s just excessive speed on a country road.

Driving is a privilege. Don’t take it for granted!

As always, Good eating! Good living! Good loving! Good driving!

Au revoir, mes amis!

Christine Baker

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