Should Speeding Tickets Be Illegal?


I share a life lesson every day–something I have learned and applied (or am trying to apply)–not something I heard or read and am repeating. Then I share each day’s lesson with you because… well, why not?


On my way home from work, traffic was unusually backed up (and this is Tampa… an hour and twenty minutes to drive 31 miles is “usual” for me). After 20 minutes of inching my way along the freeway, I saw what the hold up was.

Someone was pulled over and being issued a ticket. Now, to be fair, I am not certain what the ticket was for, but unless it was for reckless driving, drunk driving, or unbearable cuteness, I can not think of a more useless and reprehensible thing for a police officer to do during rush hour.

(Don’t get me wrong. I have great respect for law enforcement officials and what they do. I just hate speeding tickets.)

I do not like that speeding tickets are part of our culture. Their very existence offends me. I would even say they are blatantly evil. Reckless driving, I understand. Driving under the influence of a controlled substance–okay. Not wearing a safety belt? Not really anybody’s business but at least I can accept it is for some loosely defined “greater good”. But speeding? No. The very idea that, as a society, we choose to punish people for being in a hurry is ludicrous.

We create cars that can travel nearly 200 miles per hour but we are forced to never take them over 70 mph on the freeway.  That is like giving somebody a million dollars but telling them they have to live on $5 a day. It is nonsensical. It is inherently stupid. And it is doubly so when cars are backed up for miles, inconveniencing hundreds, if not thousands, of people trying to get home. It is bad enough that we all must suffer through poorly managed traffic systems and wait at red lights even when there is no other traffic in sight. Punishing people for hurrying only adds insult to injury.

Speeding tickets are dumb.

As always, this is a lesson that can be applied in other places. What are the speeding tickets your organization delivers to your top performers? What are the ways you impede the flow of traffic in your relationships for no practical reason?

Remove the rules that are bad. Keep the ones that are good. And if it is rush hour do not pull anyone over unless you have an inarguable, rational reason to do so.