Things I Will Miss About the Desert

Relative Speed Limits

One strange result of living in the new “Old West” is that lawlessness is still relatively common, especially in terms of what the “law” considers, you know, important.

Add to this the influx of Evil Knievel-like California drivers and you’ve got the automobile equivalent of a cattle stampede.

The general (unofficial) rules look like this:

In the city: speed limit + 10 mph
In the city at night: speed limit + 15 mph is ok unless it is between 11 pm and 3 am

On the freeway: speed limit + 15 mph
On the freeway in the desert: speed limit + 20 mph
On the freeway in the desert at night: speed limit + Autobahn (see also “driving to Tucson”)

I learned the hard way to never:
> Drive in the carpool lane without pooling (and seriously, I was in it for five seconds, people)
> Drive in the “gore zone” when exiting the freeway, something I learned not to do when I went to traffic school for the previous item.

Otherwise, I’ve never heard of anyone getting a speeding ticket (or any other kind of ticket) in Arizona except for these other non-speeding laws.

Of course, when it takes over an hour to drive from corner to corner of the city, 75 mph doesn’t always cut it, right?

Goodbye, “suggested” speed limits!

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