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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Lab

On my way into work today I was in the right lane, driving about 60 in a 55, maybe two lengths behind a green compact. There are three reasons I wasn’t passing the green compact:

  1. I had to exit in a few hundred yards.
  2. This is the spot I was pulled over for speeding last summer.
  3. There was a truck next to the compact, in the left lane.

The truck was one of those pickups with the modified bed that can hold more cargo, and this one was carrying a bundle of about two dozen aluminum tubes (which, as we all know, are indicators that the driver is pursuing a nuclear weapons program). And as it turns out the truck was going to ORNL too, because he suddenly hit the brakes (I could tell because of his one working brake light), nose-diving from about 65 to 40, and cut between me and the compact. I missed getting sideswiped by something like a meter, mostly due to my reflexes, and he swerved onto the exit ramp, where he passed what I can only assume was the same motorcycle cop who wrote me my speeding ticket, sitting there and clocking traffic.

So, after probably the most dangerous thing I’ve seen someone do on the road in years happened literally twenty meters from him, did the cop take any action? Of course not. He had speeding tickets to write.

Is it wrong of me to envision a system in which victimless crimes have lesser consequences than actual dangerous acts?

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