It’s the little things, like Google

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The universe

So the Ohio Senate proposed to raise the speed limit on the turnpike and rural three lane highways again this year. They just went from 65 mph to 70 a year and a half ago, and got rid of the split speed limit. This proposal would split the speed again, and leave the vehicles 8,000 lbs. and over at a 70 mph speed.

Being that a majority of the traffic on the turnpike is commercial vehicles, this won’t be much of a change. It doesn’t matter much anyway, because if the “Trucking Alliance” and the Feds have their way, none of those vehicles will be going faster than 65 anyway. (Side note: I know I’ve probably read too many science fiction novels, and might have a little bit of a vivid imagination, but anything called “The Alliance” raises red flags of Borgdom in my head. And while I’m sure there are supporters who really feel they’re doing a good thing, their name remains scary as hell to me. If it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up, it’s probably not good for me, personally.)

So my question is, do governmental agencies correspond in any way, shape or form? Do they even Google? I mean, I’m not a roadologist or anything, but if I were considering making laws pertaining to roadways that were traveled predominantly by commercial vehicles, I’d reach out to the agency that governs them for information. In my world, which is admittedly about 90 percent fantasy (see above side note), someone in Ohio would pick up a phone and have a conversation with someone in Washington.

“Hey Dick. John from Ohio over here. How’s your cousin? Awful glad to have the tax revenue from his river poisoning facility down here. Hey – I need a little information – we’re thinking about raising the speed limits on the turnpike again, got any data you’d like to share regarding safe commercial vehicle speeds?”

(Because we all know how good government agencies are about sharing data. I told you this was fantasy.)

“John! Great to hear from ya! Hey man, we’re trying to get all the trucks limited at 65. We’ve got some solid safety data, but it was based on tests performed by lab rats fed a steady diet of diesel infused rat food instead of real trucks on a highway. We also talked to a traffic engineer, but he mathed a lot and wasn’t nearly as interesting as the rats.”

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“Which one was horrendously expensive and reflected the most subjective data?”

“Well, the math guy showed us a video of what would happen if a Prius doing 75 hits the bumper of a truck doing 62. It was pretty straightforward, KABOOM, but chances are, it’s the truckers fault anyway, so we’re sticking with the theory that making them more of an obstacle in the road is safer.”

(I’d like to imagine a pregnant pause here.)

“Dick, that doesn’t make sense.”

“Yeah man, but you should see the rats. They’re phenomenal. Bashing around, all errant and crazy. It really proves our point.”

“It proves that rats go blind if you feed them diesel infused food, Dick. You have a PETA nightmare on your hands. I’m hanging up now.”

“I’ll send over the reports – they’re expensive, we’ll probably have to bill your agency for them. Want me to attach the video of the exploding Prius?”

“Don’t ever call me again, Dick.”

And while I realize this is an extremely far-fetched scenario, you’d think these people would at least attempt to get together before they impose laws governing safety that diametrically oppose one another.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand when you allow tiny things to go exponentially faster than large things, they are going to explode into stardust when they hit the large things. Reference: the entire damn universe.

Google it.