Just Cool Your Wheels

I’ve been accused, and once reminded, that I needed to slow down when behind the wheel. It only took one warning from a nice, young police officer several years ago for me to change my ways. I was driving east down Wheeling Hill, not paying much attention to the speedometer when blue lights flashed behind me. I remember it was one of the first warm, spring days and I had the windows down, tooling along without a care in the world. Wrong.

It seems I failed to realize the speed limit is 35 mph on National Road, and I sort of slid past that number by seven or eight miles per hour.

I was mortified.

But the officer checked my driving record and realized I had never been a speeding scofflaw in all the years (since I was 16) of driving. No citations, warning, etc. So I got off with a warning and a vow to the officer and myself to heed the speed limit.

But here’s my dilemma. My husband and I drive north on Interstate 79 toward Pittsburgh pretty often. The speed limit is posted at 55 mph. In my opinion, that is fake news. No one, and I mean no one, drives 55 mph on that stretch of highway. If you do not drive at least eight or nine miles over the speed limit, you are not keeping up with the flow of traffic. You will be tailgated, cursed at and given the middle finger if you drive less than 64 mph.

It’s ridiculous to be driving 70 mph in West Virginia, then 65 mph in Washington County, Pennsylvania and then have to slow to 55 mph on I-79 toward Pittsburgh. It’s crazy because in all those posted speed areas, motorists push the limit well beyond those official posted speed limits.

Since my brush with the law, I am nervous to drive more than a few miles over the posted speed limit. I’m not sure why the postings are the way they are but it is scary at times. There is nothing worse than having one of those huge tractor trailers pull up behind you, then quickly swerve to pass you.

Law enforcement does its best to catch the offenders. They just can’t be everywhere all the time.

I have to give a shout-out to an off-duty Wheeling cop and an Ohio County Sheriff’s deputy.

Last week, the off-duty officer spotted a driver speeding along Interstate 70 in the county. Apparently the driver also was moving in and out of traffic in a dangerous manner. The officer notified the sheriff’s office and the deputy soon spotted the driver speeding excessively on the highway.

A traffic stop resulted after the deputy clocked the driver traveling 96 mph in a 65 mph zone. The unhappy driver was cited.

What he failed to realize is that the deputy most likely saved his life or the lives of others.

Thank you from all of us who have learned to ease up on the pedal because it’s the law.

Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at hziegler@theintelligencer.net.

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