Thursday, November 23, 2006

This Thanksgiving, what I'm thankful for is this speeding ticket

I left for my parent's house in Myrtle Beach right after work, and made it all the way to Souf Carolina before Johnny Law caught up with me.

Most of my trip through SC is spent on US-501, and speed limits vary from 45MPH to 60MPH. Anytime the speed limit drops, it will go from 60MPH to 55MPH before dropping to 45MPH. That's exactly what happens as you enter the town of Aynor, where Officer Peavy pulled me over and wrote me a ticket. He claims that he clocked me at 67 in a 45 which is impossible.

I always engine break in the WRX, especially when slowing down but still moving. If you haven't driven a WRX, it has a lot of horsepower (227HP@6000rpm) and a lot of torque (217 ft lbs@4000rpm). If you're in too high a gear, the car barely moves; in too low a gear the car will physically buck back and forth.

My WRX is a five speed. If I am at 60MPH or below, I have to be in 4th gear, if I'm between 35 and 50 I'm in 3rd gear. I was probably going 67MPH in that 60MPH zone, and as soon as I saw the sign for 55MPH I downshifted to 4th, and when I saw the sign for 45MPH I downshifted to 3rd.

Officer Peavy, of course, sees no break lights and pulls me over. He told me he clocked me at 67MPH but no mention of how fast he was pacing me. If I had been going 67MPH and I was in 3rd gear, he would have watched my car buck back and forth from all the excess torque (since I'd be around 5500rpms).

Office Peavy was kind enough to only write me for 55 in a 45, though he noted the "actual" speed next to it in case I decided to come from out of town to contest the ticket. I actually thought about going down there to fight the ticket, and then I found some interesting facts about Aynor on Wikipedia:

As of the census of 2000, there were 587 people, 228 households, and 158 families residing in the town.

Something tells me that if I go to court in a town with 587 people, I'm going to end up in jail instead of getting my ticket reduced to parking on the pavement.

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