Morning Metro: Q&A with Scott Drake, DeKalb School Board Suspensions, and the Benefits of Olive Oil

27 thoughts on “Morning Metro: Q&A with Scott Drake, DeKalb School Board Suspensions, and the Benefits of Olive Oil”

      1. Am I the only one that finds it odd that not only are we willing to tolerate blatant and widespread violation of the law (i.e., exceeding the posted speed limit), but that lawmakers would push for ordinances that make that law easier to violate?

        1. “at less than the maximum lawful speed limit ” It looks like if you are going 65 in a 65 and the people behind you want to go 85 (sounds like many a day on 285) then you are not breaking the law.

        2. It’s in the very best traditions of civil disobedience. Many speed limits are ridiculous, which is precisely why almost no one pays any attention to them.

          As for doing 65 in the left lane, it may be legal, but it will still result in tons of people passing you on the right.

          1. My feeling is that speed limits in the US are determined by how fast you should drive when it’s raining.
            They could most certainly be higher in most cases, with no decrease in safety.

            1. I’m not advocating for any particular speed limit but but the national fatal crash data have been clear. When speed limits went down to 55 on most interstates in the ?1980s?, crash deaths decreased in the states with the lower speed limits compared to the few that did not lower their limits. When speed limits went back up to 65-75, exact level depending on the state, fatal crashes increased again. There’s been a ton of other corroborative research but I can’t quote it all.

              You can argue whether or not those data are enough reason for lower speed limits but they strongly suggest a relationship between speed limits and fatal crashes. But policy is built upon a lot more than just data, also politics, values, Constitutional freedoms, budget, enforceability etc.

        3. QC, you are not alone. I heard this on the news last night and thought we must have better laws to pass, update, or police than this. I always say a speed limit is a limit, not a starting point.

        4. “Keep right except to pass” is a safer way to drive, regardless of the posted speed limit. Nobody is required to drive as fast the posted limit, but trying to make everybody else observe it by physically obstructing the left lane with your vehicle makes things even more unsafe for everybody. Most of those drivers have probably never been in an accident but have caused plenty.

          Not enough drivers understand the basic principles of traffic flow. It ought to be a lot more difficult than it is to keep a driver’s license. If I were in charge, DMV would pull a random sample of expiring licenses every year and require the drivers to take written and road tests in order to renew. Those who had taken tests in Georgia within the past 10 years could be exempt. Then again, maybe they don’t teach about traffic flow in driver’s ed or include anything about it on the tests. I wouldn’t know, not having taken any kind of driver’s test in nearly 40 years. (It’s OK, though. I’m an excellent driver.)

          1. “It ought to be a lot more difficult than it is to keep a driver’s license.”

            Or to get one in the first place for that matter.

          2. For the record, I neither practice nor condone left lane camping. Nor do I universally obey traffic laws. But I would prefer that we either decide we’re going to enforce the laws we have (as in speed limit = limit, as in maximum allowed), or change those laws. This wink/nudge regarding speed laws sends the wrong message about the importance of the law. Next thing you know, cyclists will start to get the impression they can proceed through stop signs without coming to a full stop when it is safe to do so.

            And I couldn’t agree more about drivers license tests. Penalties for violations should be much higher, and drivers licenses should be more difficult to obtain and keep. We’re practically giving these things away, and there are a lot of dangerous/inept people driving around out there.

            Tougher drivers license restrictions would also go a long way toward taking care of our traffic woes. Of course, it would also increase the constituency for alternative transportation, so we can rest assured the leaders of this state will not be pushing that any time soon.

  1. Please amend to have those folks that wait till the last minute to merge into a line of cars for an exit pay a 1K ticket.

    Also too, give cops the power to ticket and slash all their tires one pulled over.

    I really detest those people.

  2. Yay! More like the autobahn–such a pleasure to drive. The left lane is only for passing, and you better do it quickly!

  3. While we are talking changes in traffic laws, make sure you know about the Move Over Law- I managed to miss this change in law, and it is going to cost me a minimum of $430… The Move Over Law requires drivers to move-over one lane when possible if an emergency vehicle with flashing lights is parked on the shoulder of the highway; if traffic is too heavy to move-over safely, the law requires drivers to slow down below the posted speed limit instead AND to be prepared to stop.
    I slowed down, moved to the far side of my (right) lane, and thought I was doing the right thing. Didn’t matter/no warning, ticket issued. I now call the $400 my self-paid PR campaign fee so that more people know about the law. So far about 50-60% of the people I talk to about it have heard of it. STG’s idea of new driver’s tests every ten years might actually be beneficial for learning about these newer laws (it wasn’t in effect when I initially got my license out of state, or when I tested for my GA license).

    1. Don’t worry, most people don’t know about that law and many who know about it don’t understand it. It’s actually been in effect for 9 or 10 years now. It serves a very valid safety function but unfortunately, many jurisdictions use it simply as a revenue-raising tool.

      Depending on where you got the ticket, you may have options to plead it to something else for a lesser fine or at least keep it off your driver’s history for insurance purposes. Your options will vary greatly by jurisdiction. That said, most people decide to just pay the fine online to be done with it and then take the consequences.

    2. Speaking of a law that many people people seem to be unaware of: a rainy day in Georgia means headlights must be on.

  4. I am all for a much harder drivers test, and even testing at every 5 or 10 yrs. I also think the type / size of vehicle along with speed limits should be tied to the driving test, along with which lane you are allowed to be in. Bad driver that wants to drive the biggest SUV sold? Then you go in the right lane, 55mph tops. Top scoring driver? choose your car, lane, and speed.

    I don’t think the “speed limits were lower in xxxx year so there were less fatalities” argument holds, sure speed limits went up, but you also have poorly trained drivers thinking, “well I should go this fast now, even though I’ve never driven my car this fast, what could happen!”

    With proper training and education, you can have higher speed limits and less accidents.

    You just have to start enforcing the laws, i.e. ticketing people who are doing 40mph in the left lane and then try to move over 6 lanes at once to make their exit, threatening the lives of drivers in each lane.

    1. Simply renewing a driver’s license can be an all-day event. You really want to be subjected to the horrors of the DMV for an actual driving test every 5 years? Not me. I’d rather to continue to navigate my way around the left lane slowpokes.

      1. Hadn’t thought so much about the ramifications for me personally and my own particular convenience. Was focusing on what might enhance safety for everyone through more stringent requirements for driver skill, knowledge and awareness. Sorry, can’t imagine what came over me.

        1. I wasn’t responding to a post of yours, so I’m not sure what elicited that, but your selflessness is duly noted.

          1. I suggested re-testing in an earlier post, so naturally assumed any reference to such a thing must be about me. No, wait, I’m selfless… But at the same time, everything is about me… Shoot, now I’m just confused.

      2. I don’t think it’d be an all day event as I can only imagine how many people will fail, and as an added benefit, mass transit would start booming. Also, if drivers licenses were more expensive, that could help solve a few traffic issues too.

  5. “With proper training and education, you can have higher speed limits and less accidents..” Theoretically, yes, but not in practice. Studies show that it is much harder to change human behavior than to implement effective structural or environmental changes. We can’t even provide a decent basic K-12 education to all Georgia students, never mind educate and motivate a majority of drivers to drive skillfully, knowledgeably, considerately, and safely. For whatever reasons that they work, lower speed limits reduce fatal crashes on a population level, not to mention save fuel and reduce pollution.

    Again, not arguing for a particular speed limit. Having lived out West and put many miles on my vehicles over long distances, I have enjoyed high speed limits. But I believe the data, however you want to interpret them.

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