There are basically two reactions that people have after getting a minor ticket for speeding.
The first reaction is to admit that you're a bad driver and that you deserved the ticket.
The second reaction is to claim that you didn't deserve it and that there was some reason why you were singled out.
The truth is that both types of people deserve their tickets.
If you asked the people in the first group whether or not they thought they were driving dangerously, they would probably say no. Because no one intentionally drives in a way that makes them feel unsafe – even race car drivers. It just wouldn't make any sense.
The people in this first group deserve their tickets because they rolled over and took all the blame for something that may not have actually been their fault.
The second group of people (who claim they didn't deserve a ticket) will also agree that they weren't driving dangerously. They'll point out that they were just going with the flow of traffic and that the speed limit sign was misplaced or that the police car was hiding in the bushes or that the speed limit on that road was set way too low.
They deserve their tickets too, but for a different reason. They deserve their tickets because they let the authorities get away those things every other day of their lives.
But this group of "complainers" is also this country's only hope for reasonable traffic laws and enforcement.
Most reasonable people drive over the speed limit everyday. You can try to deny it, but ask a traffic engineer and he or she will back that up. On some roads, literally 100% of drivers are travelling above the speed limit.
Do we just have a nation full of dangerous criminals who drive like maniacs? No. You could take that same group of drivers and put them on a different road and you might find that only 10% of them are exceeding the speed limit.
The problem is with the speed limit, not the drivers. They don't magically switch between being crazy, dangerous drivers and safe, reasonable drivers. It all comes down to whether or not the speed limit on the road they're on has been properly set.
Setting the correct speed limit is not magic, it's not an art, and it's not subjective. There's an objective, clear, proven formula for setting speed limits (hint: type "85th percentile speed" into a search engine if you're interested in specifics). It takes into account how fast an average driver is comfortable going on a given stretch of road and sets the speed limit based on that information.
It's simple. It's easy to put in place. It reduces the amount of accidents. It improves the flow of traffic and would help calm road rage. About the only thing this speed limit formula doesn't do is make money for local governments.
And that's why most local and state officials refuse to follow it.
They'll tell you that raising the speed limit will increase accidents – even though the opposite has proven true again and again – because they know they can get away with that lie. It's a lie that protects a valuable source of income for them.
Some drivers will even shout that lie from the rooftops on behalf of these officials. Probably because they don't want to believe that they've been duped all these years. Who can blame them for that? It's just human nature.
It's the people in that second group, the "complainers", who really should know better. They know the truth and yet they refuse to do anything about it until it personally affects them. And even then, they do very little.
Why are so many speed limits set at the wrong number? Why are so many tickets given out every day?
It's not because the government is greedy, it's because smart, rational, safe drivers don't care. That's the message you send every time you see a ridiculously low speed limit or a speed trap and you say and do nothing.
It may be natural to get interested only when things affect you personally (like when you get a ticket), but that's no excuse. It's time to take responsibility for your own actions.
It's time to stop complaining and start gathering together to make a real difference.
The authorities want you to think that it would be hard, but in reality it's very simple. It won't take thousands of people to get rid of unreasonable speed limits. It will only take a few people with passion.
Our organization, the National Motorists Association, was founded in 1982 to put an end to the 55 mph national speed limit. It was a great start but that was only the beginning of the fight.
We need more members like you and that's why we're directly asking you to join today. Not tomorrow. Not next month. Not someday. Today.
You don't have to commit to attend any rallies, you don't have show up at your legislator's front door, and you don't have to promise to make it your life's work.
All we're asking is that you join our organization, filled with other drivers like you, and listen.
Simply staying informed is enough to put you miles ahead of most other drivers who continue to bury their heads in the sand and hope the problem goes away on its own.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
– Margaret Mead, American Cultural Anthropologist
And who knows, you may even surprise yourself and become one of those few passionate people that this nation's roads really need.
To join the National Motorists Association, please click on the big red button below.
This is what will happen after you click the join button above:
- You'll be taken to a page where you can enter your name, address, and contact information. We only use this information to provide you with relevant information about driving issues. We don't share it with anyone and we would never even consider selling it to anyone.
- After you finalize your membership by submitting the online membership payment form, you'll receive a receipt/welcome email describing some of the resources that have just become available to you.
- You'll immediately start receiving legislative alerts about traffic laws in your area (only when it's important) and you'll get access to our email newsletter as well (sent every Sunday morning).
- In a few weeks, you'll receive a new member packet in the mail along with a member card and more information to help you get the most out of your membership.
- For as long as you're a supporting member, you'll also receive our quarterly print newsletter in the mail (4 times a year).
The sole focus of the NMA is promoting reasonable traffic laws, but we understand that it can be tempting to decide against helping out. We've found that it's all too easy for some people to justify that decision without some kind of direct, personal benefit being offered to them.
That's why we also provide several membership benefits as an incentive to join (and stick with) the organization. One of our most popular benefits is:
Immunity From Future Speeding Tickets
All supporting members of the National Motorists Association are automatically enrolled in our Traffic Justice Program. Under this program, if you get a speeding ticket while you're a member, your ticket will be paid for by us. The only requirement is that you plead not guilty and fight it in court first. To take advantage of the program you simply submit to NMA a readable copy of the original ticket, the receipt from the Clerk of Court for the amount of the ticket and court costs, and the court confirmation of a trial having been conducted with a "guilty" verdict indicated.
The following restrictions apply: this program is restricted to speeding tickets, a plea bargain voids eligibility, one ticket per member will be paid each membership year (max. payment of $300), "Trial by Declaration" does not qualify as a "court trial", and legal fees for attorneys are not eligible for payment under this program. If a lower court decision is appealed and produces a guilty verdict, payment will be made at the conclusion of the appeal.
Why Are We Willing To Offer This Benefit To Our Members?
Our system of traffic laws and enforcement is broken and one way to force change is to make it unprofitable for cities to continue on their current path. The cities are counting on people just paying them the money. They set budgets that rely on that ticket money and it's to their advantage to do everything they can to inconvenience people who want to fight their ticket in court.
The NMA realizes this and we're offering this program to encourage people to stand up for their rights, fight their tickets, and help us change the system so that it focuses on improving safety instead of generating revenue.
Your supporting membership will extend NMA benefits to you, your spouse, and any children under the age of 21 residing in your home.
Can I join over the phone?
Of course! Just call our membership department toll-free at (800) 882-2785.
Our office is open Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm (Central Time Zone). Evening and weekend inquiries will be answered the following business day and we are closed on typical holidays.