I Can’t Drive 55

Via Leiter Reports, a video of five cars creating a 55 mph rolling barrier on an Atlanta freeway. The blog post where I found the link was interested in implications for ethics, but I am more interested in the effect on traffic viewed as a fluid flow problem. Anyway, the students in the video are trying to make a point about how strict observance of speed limit laws would have undesirable consequences, but I’m pretty sure that in most states creating these kinds of barriers is itself illegal. (Not sure about Georgia in particular, so their claims that they are following the law may indeed be valid.)

6 thoughts on “I Can’t Drive 55

  1. Chris L-S

    Laura and I just watched that video – it is AWESOME!!!! Personally, I find it interesting that someone was so intent on overcoming their barrier that he actually knocked his own mirror off. Personally, I find this more of a statement about human nature than a problem with the speed limit.
    Laura feels it was the funniest thing she has seen in a while.

  2. Jordan

    Here’s something front the Atlanta Journal Constitution concerning the legality:
    “David Spear, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said if the students weren’t blocking emergency vehicles and were going the speed limit, “they didn’t do a thing wrong.” Spear added that the speed limit was lowered to 55 because it saves lives. “In Atlanta, the actual effect of it is we expect the people going 75 to move over so the people going 95 can have the right of way,” he said.”
    full article here: http://www.ajc.com/news/content/metro/atlanta/stories/0303metfilm.html

  3. Mason

    Isn’t the title of this entry the name of a song? (Maybe it was one of the ones playing in the background to the video?)
    Jordan’s comment is very apt. People often drive fast and recklessly in Atlanta, and crossing the street can be quite an adventure (basically, it’s like live-action Frogger, but without the swamp).

  4. shellock

    Interesting. In CT i think it would be illegal under the stay right except to pass law and signage.

  5. lidarose

    Great video! Thanks for bringing it up. I go Atlanta periodically, but I will never look at driving the interstates there the same way again.
    Atlanta is a truly insane place to drive… (and Charlotte is almost as bad anymore…)

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