October 26, 2006 at 6:41 PM #7783FormerOwnerParticipant
I was recently on vacation in Maryland and Virginia Beach and noticed that the driving was MUCH less stressful. The speed limits on most of the freeways I was on was 55 and very few people went over 60. 65 mph was rare. There was also a much greater police presence patrolling the roads.
I came back home and encountered numerous crazy agressive drivers going 80-100 mph and slaloming back and forth across lanes almost as soon as I got onto the 163. VERY few people get pulled over here when you stop and think of how many lawbreakers there are. Why doesn’t the CHP enfore the rules of the road? Wouldn’t the fines pay for the salaries of the extra cops?
I sometimes exceed the speed limit myself but I think we’ve all got to be more responsible and it’s fitting for the government to intervene when people are endangering other people’s lives on such a regular basis. What can be done about this? I’ve even been thinking of moving to a more public-transit/walking freindly area to avoid so much time in the car. Maybe all just split out of here and let all the idoits crash into each other. Anyone feel that something needs to be done?October 26, 2006 at 9:00 PM #38528L_Thek_onomicsParticipant
You can ask a few politicians to pass a legislation to lower the speed limit to 25, so most of the drivers will drive only between 55 and 65. The other solution is to move to Maryland.
L ThekOctober 26, 2006 at 10:02 PM #38540poorgradstudentParticipant
In my experience SoCal has some of the worst drivers in the country. I grew up in Minnesota, where the roads are slippery with rain or snow at least 33% of the time, if not more. Even in good weather, drivers tend to be much more cautious, and frankly, more courteous. Sure, there are some jerks everywhere, but only in Southern california have I had the experience of turing on my blinker and having the car in the lane I want to go into speed up, so that I won’t be in front of htem and slow them down by 2 seconds.
I also call the classic move where someone drifts slowly from one lane to another without signaling the “SoCal Lane Change”.
I think part of the problem is a lot of the freeways don’t have good shoulder that cops could safely pull people over onto. But a lot of it is just culture.October 26, 2006 at 10:49 PM #38544bubble_contagionParticipant
CHP? What CHP? San Diego County has the least density of cops per population of all U.S. cities. With the huge debt the city has, there is no budget to hire more. In addition, many experienced cops have left the county citing the high housing and living expenses.
When there is no traffic on the freeways, I drive at 80 mph constantly; on surface streets, at 10-15 mph above the speed limit. Have been doing it for years and never get tickets.
You are right about the fact that San Diego is aquiring that big city feel, lots of traffic; everybody is angry and in a rush; noise and air polution.October 27, 2006 at 4:10 AM #38547lostkittyParticipant
San Diego used to be calm on the freeways. When I would drive back and forth north to LA in college, I would instantly ‘feel’ the difference on the roads as I encountered more reckless speeeders and crazy lane changers. I hated that stressed-out feeling. It always started right around what was the southern-most In-n-Out at that time (my geographical marker as an 18 year old), Avery Pkwy in Mission Viejo.
As the years went on, I slowly noticed that recklessness spreading south. First to Oceanside, then further. Now that I’ve moved away and come home only in the summers, it is even more palpable… the anger and frustration, and the pressure.. that the residents are living with and take out on each other on the roads. I am not saying everyone is this way, but those of us who normally drive 65-70 on freeways are forced to go 75-85 just to stay with the flow…
I often wonder why I never see CHP anymore either. They used to be everywhere.
The trash too… it is all over what was once clean freeways. Even furniture.
What’s the deal?!October 27, 2006 at 7:47 AM #38552WileyParticipant
I am constantly talking about this issue. Believe me it is the same in OC and LA. I travel a lot and also notice that people are much more cold in So Cal. My theory (based on nothing) is people are much more stressed about their life here. May have to do with cost of living, etc.
Many studies of the great depression showed people were actually relieved the depression came because the values reverted back to people helping each other. Many people were living beyond their means in the 20’s and values were all about money. Seems prescient to me.October 27, 2006 at 8:31 AM #38553BikeRiderParticipant
I live in Virginia. In the rural areas we are just not in that big a hurry and I think care more for our neighbors. Just my opinion of course. I take back roads to work (25 mile ride), never going faster than 50mph. I sure as heck would rather get where I’m going ten minutes late, rather than kill someone on the highway (or be killed). I do see that in the bigger cities things are getting worse. I live in the country and when I drive to Washington DC (rarely), the people are driving much faster and more aggressive. They are starting to see real congestion on the roads in DC and I guess the frustration levels are rising. Think about it really, people are normally just worried about themselves and their own family. That is their focal point. It is rare when someone actually thinks about another. I make a point to try and be curtious when driving, but so many times I get cut off and pulled in front of.
A friend of mine was almost T-boned recently. He and his wife were having an argument, which caused him to delay a few seconds before pulling away at a light (his wife still claims she saved their lives!). So, he is late pulling off, but not the van beside him. The lady pulls out and this car runs a red light, zooms past my friends bumper and T-bones the van. The driver of the van is hurt bad, as are some children. The driver of the car running the light… some young lady with a child…. gets her child out of the car and goes to the side of the road, NEVER looking at the car she hit. Never asking if anyone was hurt. You know all she is worried about is her insurance and that they are now late for soccer practice.October 27, 2006 at 9:47 AM #38568CarlsbadlivingParticipant
I’ve heard that the CHP is too busy responding to accidents to do any ticketing for speeding. Seems to me that cracking down on speeding may help prevent some of those accidents.
I’m just amazed at how bold people are now days. They feel so protected in their cars and SUVs. They don’t think twice about cutting you off at 80mph.October 27, 2006 at 11:17 AM #38587AnonymousGuest
I could not agree more strongly. I grew up and lived most of my adult life in Virginia (both Northern (suburban) and South-Eastern (more rural)). It’s pretty much as you describe.
I was shocked (and still am to some degree) when I moved out here two years ago. I drive and ride a motorcycle. I always like to keep a 4 second following distance (especially above 60 mph), and people are constantly tail-gating me and pulling in front of me. Evidently the concept of a safe following distance just doesn’t enter into the collective wisdom out here.
Speed. Wow. I admit that I typically drive about 85 when there is light traffic, and I routinely exceed 100 on the 5 and other freeways. The fascinating thing to me is that I don’t feel comfortable going more than about 10mph in excess of other cars around me, and I can still reach these speeds routinely.
Lack of signaling and no courtesy wave for letting people in. What’s up with that? What happened to courtesy? Does the guy I just let change lanes in front of me think a space just magically opened up for him? Or does he just not give a f*ck? Oh well, I now make sure to always give the courtesy wave to other drivers whenever warranted.
Only caveat to all of the above: commercial truckers. They are great, and typically the best, most courteous drivers out there. Watch out for them, they watch out for you.October 27, 2006 at 11:55 AM #38595lostkittyParticipant
When they raised the speed limit from 55 to 65 was the reall turning point for San Diego. Everyone went nuts on the roads, and it has stayed that way. Seems like they should have changeable speedlimit signs along the road based on congestion. Obviously if it is 4am and no one is out, going 65 or 70 is safe. When the raods are FULL and people are still driving that speed and trying to go even faster… not safe!
I read somewhere that the number of serious accidents went up significantly after they raised the speed limit too… Anyone know if that is true?
It has to be a big waste of oil/gas resources when everyone drives that much faster as well. Seems stupid in times like these… Why dont they just lower it back down to 55 except in the boonies?October 28, 2006 at 10:15 PM #38701powaysellerParticipant
The proper speed limit is 80 – 85 mph on the freeway, my preferred speed. Am I crazed?October 28, 2006 at 10:55 PM #38702L_Thek_onomicsParticipant
Yes, a kind of… How can you trust the drivers around you?
L ThekOctober 28, 2006 at 11:16 PM #38704Dougie944Participant
I think everyone would get along a lot better if the left lane were used to pass vehicles…not to just cruise in. People have to swerve in and out to get around these drivers.
If you are in the left lane and a car is behind you going faster…pull over. It doesn’t matter about your speed. If everyone followed that rule, the roads would be way better.
I think CHP needs to start ticketing left hand lane cruisers.
DougOctober 28, 2006 at 11:29 PM #38703FormerOwnerParticipant
Powayseller, perhaps you are crazed; if you’re zig zagging across the freeway to maintain that 80-85.
Doug, I agree 100% – People that go 50 in the fast lane and never move over are are HUGE problem and they need to be fined and educated on the rules of the road.
There has to be some sense of order and observance of shared standards of conduct when you’re talking about people independently piloting 3000-4000 lb. vehicles at freeway speeds in close proximity to each other.October 29, 2006 at 12:09 AM #38705greekfireParticipant
The problems associated with driving conditions here in SoCal are far too numerous to mention in just one post (or thread for that matter). Needless to say, I have driven across the United States and Italy and personally think that there is nothing that unordinary about SoCal drivers. This is coming from a person who was born and raised in Maine for 23 some-odd years where the highway speed limit is 55. I am just about 33 now, and I still think that 55 is WAY too slow. It took driving from Rome to Florence to realize that in most instances it is actually better if you drive FASTER rather than slower. Drivers in Italy are well known to be some of the craziest drivers there are (drivers in India will have something to say about that).
I personally feel that all the slower drivers are the ones that create most of the traffic problems in SoCal. It may sound counter-intuitive, but you all know what I am talking about. It's the elderly person in the fast lane, semi truck driver, illegal immigrant carrying far too much cargo on his F-150, numbnut on a cell phone, or accident looky-loo that drives too slow and creates problems for the rest of us.
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