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Some might find me annoyingly literal about obeying certain laws. Take traffic.
In residential areas I drive the 25 mph speed limit. If an arterial has a 30 mph limit, that is my speed. I stop, completely, at stop signs and before turning right on a red light.
At higher posted speeds, morality gets situational. I fudge above 35 mph. During the time of Jimmy Carter’s idiotic 55 mph interstate speed limit, my protest was to go 95 along the six-mile divided stretch of I-25 north of exit 115.
Thus I was disappointed to see an argument against red-light cameras saying it was bad that the cameras caught people doing the “California stop.” Too bad, I figure. It’s “the law.”
I was appalled recently to hear a lawyer argue that no such thing as “the Law” exists. Everything about the law was technical, he claimed: the rules, the manipulation, the arguments. There was no higher moral framework.
A retired police officer friend soothed my slightly conscience-stricken speed limit behavior by saying the broader issue is public safety, and taking the posted speed limit literally is good in congested areas. Public safety fits with the bigger ideas holding society together.
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