I drive a lot. And see a lot of things. And having a dedicated run, I see mostly the same things every day. Every week, month, and year, I’m looking at the same scene that I’ve seen many times before. But, this past week I saw something I hadn’t seen in years. Since 1974 in fact.
What did I see? A 70 mph speed limit sign in Oregon!
I know, for some of you—a lot of you, actually—this is no big deal. Most states raised their speed limits to 70 mph and higher long ago. But not Oregon. Oregon has been stuck at 65 mph (55 mph for trucks) for what seems like forever.
Back in 1974, when the national speed limit was set at 55 mph due to the supposed gas shortage—we still haven’t run out, by the way, and we’re driving more vehicles a lot more miles—Oregon took down all the 70 mph signs. And disposed of them, I’m sure. They should have kept them because here we are a “short” 42 years later, and the signs, or rather, new signs, are going back up. And the truck speed limit has been raised to 65 mph! That’s the first change for trucks since 1974!
You’d think that being a truck driver, and driving 700 miles a day, this would perhaps save me some time. But it doesn’t. My truck is governed at 62 mph just like it was before. Unlike old governors, which could be bumped, the computerized version actually limits the vehicle speed. The only way to make the truck go any faster is to let it roll down the hills. I do this of course, but it only works when I’m loaded. And for exactly half of my day I’m empty.
There is another reason the new posted speed doesn’t save any time. And that is, typical of a government venture, the new speed limit doesn’t apply in all of the state, only the eastern portion. The dividing line is about the half way point of my run. And of course, most of the hills are in the western part of my drive!
So, this past week, I’ve been getting passed a lot. Cars, pickups, and other trucks go zooming by. I even thought a bicycle was going to overtake me the other day! We were already known as the slow guys. Wonder what they’ll start calling us now? Oh well, I really don’t need to save time I guess. After all, what’s 13 hours out of my day? And what could I possibly do with an extra hour or two? Well, it’s just a thought but maybe have time to go see something I haven’t seen before? ~
Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords. Amazon Profile – www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.