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Carol Perkins: Driving fast

She was doing 80, just keeping up with the traffic on I-65 - but she learned a lesson about the perils of going with the flow.
Next previous Carol Perkins column: Back to school

By Carol Perkins

Driving fast has never been an issue for me. As a matter of fact, when it was cool to drive fast, I wasn't cool. I drove with a grandmother.

Now that I am one, I have put the pedal to the metal and caught myself zooming down the interstate, keeping up with the semi-trucks and motorcycles. What has happened to me?

When I am driving the speed limit, I feel as if I'm creeping and other cars are leaving me behind. Without intending to break the law, I chase after them and the next thing I know, I am going 80 MPH. I NEVER drive that fast.

Not long ago I was cruising down I-65 from Bowling Green, headed home, when I noticed a Kentucky State Police car sitting where the rest area used to be. I didn't look at my speed; never thought a thing about it, until he fell behind me with his blue lights flashing. For the first time in my driving career, I was pulled over. My mother said, "What's the matter?" Then the trooper came to her window.

"Ma'am, did you realize how fast you were going?" What is a woman to say? "Well, no, not really. How fast was I going?"

"I clocked you at 80 and when you saw me it was like you speeded up." He shook his head in disbelief. He likely thought he had a real winner pulled over on the emergency lane.

"Really? To tell you the truth, we were talking and I just wasn't paying attention to my speed. I should have been more careful. This is the first time I've ever been stopped, officer." - I am sure he has heard that before - in my not so subtle pleading voice.

I went through the process of showing my license and car registration, and then I was given a very strong warning. Never one time did I try to get out of the ticket because I knew he was doing his job and I appreciate what he does. (My brother was a trooper.) He could have hurt my feelings with a ticket, but I was grateful he did not.

From that point, I slowed down and have tried to stay within the speed limit. However, one day last week I had to make a rushed business trip and be back home at a certain time. When I left the other town, I had only twenty minutes to get back to Edmonton to meet someone. I looked into my mirror rearview mirror and didn't see a car, so I stuck my foot on the accelerator and took her up to 78 MPH or maybe a little more. This time I was on the Cumberland Parkway coming from Columbia. I felt secure until out of nowhere a car came around me with lights on top. "I've had it this time," I said to myself.

Sure enough, it was a police car but it wasn't after me. The driver was hitting 90, at least, with a sheriff's car on his tail. They were after someone or in a terribly big hurry to get somewhere. They flicked me off like a flea, but I slowed down.

Driving fast is irresponsible and immature, and I know that. Even with my years of driving experience, I don't need to be going so fast that I couldn't control my vehicle, especially with so many deer and bad drivers on the highway. Mainly, I don't want to be a statistic. What's the hurry anyway? No where THAT important to be. - Carol Perkins

This story was posted on 2011-08-14 11:25:28
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