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Christmas is right around the corner… finally! I have needed 2020 to speed up since like March! So I am going against tradition here, and instead of a Christmas-themed article, I wanted to share some fun facts about speeding.
Not always being able to keep one’s speed in check has been a challenge for drivers since 1652 when the first speed limit (for non-motorized vehicles) was implemented. The colony of New Amsterdam (now New York) issued the proclamation: No wagons, carts, or sleighs shall be run, rode, or driven at a gallop at the risk of incurring a fine starting at two pounds Flemish.
The first known arrest for speeding in a motorized vehicle occurred in New York City on May 20, 1899. It seems as though a cabbie, Jacob German, was arrested and jailed for driving an electric taxi at what the New York Times call “so reckless a rate” of 12 mph. Gasp! He was exceeding the speed limit of 8 mph between streets and 4 mph around corners. But wait! Mr. German was chased down, pulled over, and arrested by a patrol office who was on a bicycle!
Each day in America, police officers hand out 34 million speeding tickets. That’s 93,000 a day; 3,875 per hour; 65 per minute!
In 2003, a man in Texas broke the record for the fasted speeding ticket issued. The speed registered at 242 mph in a 75 mph zone. The most expensive speeding ticket was issued in Switzerland for a whooping price of 299,000 Swiss Francs (or just under $290,000). The gentleman was traveling through a small village at 85 mph in a 50 mph zone. Now, why such a hefty price? In Switzerland, as in most European countries, higher speeding penalties are fined according to your income.
Random speed facts: your tongue is the fastest healing part of your body; bulls can run faster uphill than downhill; a hippopotamus can run faster than a man; flies can react to an object it sees and change direction in less than 30 milliseconds; if you could drive to the sun at a speed of 55 mph, it would take around 193 years.
In the Village of Bertrand, the maximum speed limit for any residential area (including alleys) is 25 mph and 20 mph in business districts.
With all of the craziness in the world right now, and even though we might want to speed through the rest of this year, please take the time to slow down a bit. Enjoy this holiday season and take it for what it is worth. Please protect those you love and those around you by following the speed limits.
Wishing everyone a wonderful and safe holiday season!
-Lori Vinzant, Village Clerk