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By Jordan W. Charness

You know the feeling: there you are driving comfortably down a highway, listening to your favourite tunes and generally enjoying a beautiful sunny day with a clean, clear road ahead of you. To ease your burden you have set your cruise control for 119 km/h, which you figure should be safe enough. All of a sudden you see a police cruiser on the side of the road so you tap your brakes to slow down. You take a deep breath and hold it all the while praying that the police car will not come after you.

Suddenly the cruiser comes to life. Its lights turn on and it hits the road. Your stomach immediately begins to knot while you keep an eye on the cruiser in both your rear-view and side-view mirrors. The police siren comes on and you hold your breath even tighter all the while thinking over and over to yourself, “Please not me! Please not me!” But of course the cop was indeed after you. You pull over and wait for a police officer to come to your car. “License and registration please…”

Then you write to me, as several of you have, complaining that you got a thoroughly unjustified ticket because, after all, aren’t the police supposed to tolerate a little bit of excessive speed on the highway? Depending on who you are, you think that the police tolerance is either a) 10 per cent over the speed limit b) 120 km/h in a 100 km/h zone or c) whatever speed everyone else is driving.

Unfortunately, the real answer to this little quiz is d) none of the above. The speed limit as posted is the law on a clear road in optimal weather conditions. The police are under no obligation to ignore someone who is speeding even one km/h over the speed limit.

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