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Thursday, February 25th, 2016
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Driving in Montana

Montana is a pretty big state, and a lot of it is undeveloped. I live ~300 miles from the nearest city in the state (Billings); so it's a bit of a drive.

Some of the drive can be done on four-lane; and over that section, the speed limit has been increased to 80 miles per hour for lightweight (non-truck) vehicles.

After quite a bit of time with no daytime speed limit at all, but instead a "reasonable and prudent" metric, Montana highway accidents and fatalities dropped to their lowest number ever. Authoritarians in congress, however, didn't like the idea, and informed the Montana legislature that if they didn't put a speed limit back in place, the state would lose federal highway funding. Our legislature folded, and we went back to 70 mph limits on the 4 lanes.

A few years later, the limits were set to 75 mph, which is beginning to be reasonable.

On our last trip in February of 2016, we encountered the 80 mph limit which actually does feel... reasonable.

We saved some time, the drive was more stimulating, and there was less chance of fatigue developing. All in all, a notable, enjoyable and safety-enhancing change.

As an aside, I have occasion to drive to the east coast from time to time. As one drives east from Montana, the speed limits drop... and drop... and drop... until by the time I hit Pennsylvania, it feels like I'm trying to push the vehicle through treacle.

As you might imagine, I try to avoid the trip. Much more fun to stay out here in the midwest, where sanity tends to supersede authoritarian hucksterism. At least on the highways.

#travel

EXIF:

Width: 2048
Height: 1366
Company:  Canon
Camera:  Canon EOS 6D
Shot On:  2016:02:25 10:26:42
Lens Model:  EF24mm ƒ/1.4L II USM
Aperture:  ƒ/16.0
Focal Length:  24.0mm
Metering Mode:  Spot
Exposure Mode:  Auto
Flash:  Did Not Fire
Exposure Time:  1/80th second
Exposure Program:  Aperture Priority
ISO:  100

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