There are many drivers who treat posted speed limits as just suggestions instead of an actual cap on an acceptable rate of speed, but speed limits for various roads are determined and posted for a reason.
The most obvious reason, perhaps, is to prevent horrific high-speed car accidents and to keep everyone traveling on the roads in one piece so they can return home safe.
That fundamental message was the crux of a Facebook post on Dec. 16 by the North Ridgeville Police Department in Ohio that has since then gone viral.
The “note” was addressed to “the 18 year old kid I stopped on SR 10” — who according to the picture of the traffic ticket included in the post had been clocked at 100 mph in a 65 mph zone — and began by suggesting that the traffic stop may very well have prevented a terrible “Christmas tragedy” for the young driver’s family or the family of some unlucky other driver who could’ve been killed in a catastrophic wreck.
“You said you didn’t realize how fast you were going. That’s a lie,” the noted read. “You may not realize when you’re doing 45 in a 35 but you are fully aware of every mile per hour at 100.”
“You realize it with every bump you hit. You realize it as you pass cars so fast the wind moves your car. You realize it every time you drift over the line and when you move the wheel the car reacts a lot quicker than you’re used to. You absolutely realized it,” the note continued.
The officer noted that the young driver had been scared and shaking and breathing heavily when pulled over, but the officer said the driver — who no doubt believed he was “invincible” — should have been more scared about the potential tragedy that had been averted instead of the expensive ticket he was about to receive.
“I can tell you dozens of stories of dead and broken 18 year old bodies that I’ve pulled from cars. Broken bodies that I’ve found in front yards after crashes. Unrecognizable bodies. They thought they were invincible too. They weren’t,” the note declared.
“They were gone so they missed the part where I had to tell their parents that they were dead. Part of your soul disappears every time you have to tell parents that their kid is dead,” wrote the officer.
The officer suggested that even though he didn’t personally know the young driver’s parents, he nevertheless “knew them” enough to know that they had likely warned the young driver to “Be careful. Drive safe” when he had left home that day, which was more than just cautionary advice and was instead a heartfelt plea to not do anything dangerous or stupid that could result in the death of himself or someone else.
The officer also noted that the driver’s parents didn’t want to receive a knock at their door informing them their son had died in a terrible high-speed car accident, and wrote, “When you leave the house they know that, far and away, the best chance you have of dying that day is in that car. Sometimes you’re the innocent person hit by someone with no regard for anyone else and sometimes you’re the one with no regard for anyone else. Today you were the latter.”
“You seemed like a really nice kid who made a bad decision,” wrote the officer. “I don’t feel bad about this ticket at all. In fact, I’m proud of it. I hope you’re paying it off for months and with every payment you think about how it wasn’t worth it. I hope you slow down.”
“I hope that when your mom tells you to ‘drive safe’ you make a promise to her, and yourself, that you will. I hope you can envision me sitting in your kitchen telling your screaming mother that you have been killed,” the officer added. “Slow down. Please. You are not invincible. I promise.”
This incredible post warning about the dangers of speeding definitely hit home with a lot of people and garnered quite a bit of attention, as it collected more than 111,000 “likes” or other reactions, and was shared by users more than 185,000 times.
Unfortunately, there are far too many drivers who ignore speed limits and drive as fast as they want.
While that may not be seem like a very big issue if the driver is only going about 10 mph faster than the posted limit, it most certainly becomes a major issue if the driver is going 40 mph faster or more than everybody else, placing at risk the lives and property of the driver, the police and everybody else on the road.
Hopefully, the rather pertinent message in this viral post from the North Ridgeville Police Department in Ohio will continue to be broadly shared on social media, as it is a message that every driver needs to see and take to heart, lest they be the ones in the position of risking death for themselves or others in order to shave a moment or two off their drive time.
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