Driving 55 on the perimeter

This has been circling the internets for a bit, and I thought this was appropriate for our beloved traffic-hating readers.

Some kids decided to really show Atlanta what driving the speed limit on I-285 (55 mph in case you didn’t catch that) would be like. So they coordinated their efforts and filmed the entire thing. It’s quite a spectacle.

21 Comments so far

  1. Daniel (unregistered) on February 28th, 2006 @ 9:35 am

    That guy Kit is in my department.

  2. Daniel (unregistered) on February 28th, 2006 @ 9:36 am

    Was this done for the GaTech moviefest maybe?

  3. Lori (unregistered) on February 28th, 2006 @ 9:40 am

    No idea.

  4. Stevo (unregistered) on February 28th, 2006 @ 10:10 am

    It was done for GSU’s campus movie fest.

  5. dj (unregistered) on February 28th, 2006 @ 1:12 pm

    does anyone know what the song is they use as the fade out at the end of the video? please let me know!

  6. Jordan (unregistered) on February 28th, 2006 @ 5:49 pm

    plush by gurufish. it’s a local atlanta band.

  7. Andisheh Nouraee (unregistered) on March 1st, 2006 @ 2:05 am

    One of the writers at CL would love to talk to one (or some) of the filmmakers/participants — so if one of you reads this, drop me a note.

  8. dj (unregistered) on March 1st, 2006 @ 7:57 pm

    thanks, jordan. i’ve seen gurufish a bunch of times – great band. i guess next time i need to pick up their CD!

  9. Kel aka Daddyo (unregistered) on March 1st, 2006 @ 8:41 pm

    This is simply brilliant! I linked you!

  10. Peter (unregistered) on March 1st, 2006 @ 9:48 pm

    Was that the East Ponce bridge (exit 42)? While that was great to see, I’m sure as hell glad that I wasn’t stuck behind you guys. Hopefully you did it on a weekend…

  11. Dinky (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2006 @ 1:55 am

    You’re PROUD of your passive-agressiveness? That’s a new low in human pathology. despicable. If you get off on preventing people from going about their business, you have some SERIOUS mental health issues. FOAD.

  12. driver (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2006 @ 3:29 am

    If you were to try that on any expressway around Chicago, you would all four have been killed.

    There are speed restrictions near the Loop down to 45 mph, and the speed limit is never above 65, and yet if you’re not doing 85 in the passing lanes the entire time, you’ll cause major damage. There aren’t even shoulders, unlike out in the pine-covered hills of Georgia.

    I think that the point you made is interesting, but the fact remains that the law includes keeping up with the flow of traffic. You’re lucky to live in Atlanta, where this kind of stunt is “maybe dangerous”. I’m not kidding, in Chicago, it would be group suicide and probably mass murder.

    One more note, look at Germany’s Autobahn for a better solution to this “problem” of speed restrictions. They enforce a rule that requires drivers to only use the left lanes for higher speeds, and stick to the right-most lane if traveling slower. In other words, you’d have been arrested in Germany for what you did, yet you could have all driven 55 very peacefully in the right hand lane for miles and miles.

    Having the problem solved before you addressed it is a bitch, ain’t it?

  13. jcburns (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2006 @ 10:58 am

    “the law includes keeping up with the flow of traffic.”

    NOT if keeping up with the flow of traffic involves exceeding the posted speed limit. Notice those “minimum speed 40” signs? That’s what it’s about. You can rationalize all you want, but the idea is that you go faster than 40, and slower than the maximum–in this case, 55.

    The fact that so many think “except for me” or “it’s OK if I keep up with traffic” is why there’s 80 mph traffic to keep up with. The system feeds itself.

    And I think (one) point of the filmmakers is…did the maximum get set sensibly on 285? No, it didn’t.

    And I’ve been on the Tri-State tollway around Chicago when one or two state patrol cars drove the speed limit…amazingly, the same effect! And no mass suicide or murder, relax.

  14. Kat (unregistered) on March 2nd, 2006 @ 7:56 pm

    You guys are awesome. I’m glad you did it. Do it again but for a longer stretch of road this time!!!!!

  15. bfd (unregistered) on March 3rd, 2006 @ 9:07 am

    How stupid…. Knowing some complex dynamics that what they caused has nothing to do with the speed limit. They were just idiots…

  16. Chris (unregistered) on March 4th, 2006 @ 12:06 pm

    A couple Georgia state traffic laws that may or may not apply to this situation:

    (a) The limits specified in this Code section or established as authorized in this article shall be the maximum lawful vehicle speeds, except when a special hazard exists that requires a lower speed for compliance with Code Section 40-6-180.
    (b) Consistent with the provision of engineering and traffic investigations regarding maximum speed limits as provided in Code Section 40-6-182, no person shall drive a vehicle at a speed in excess of the following maximum limits:
    (1) Thirty miles per hour in any urban or residential district;
    (1.1) Thirty-five miles per hour on an unpaved county road unless designated otherwise by appropriate signs;
    (2) Seventy miles per hour on a highway on the federal interstate system and on physically divided highways with full control of access which are outside of an urbanized area of 50,000 population or more, provided that such speed limit is designated by appropriate signs;
    (3) Sixty-five miles per hour on a highway on the federal interstate system which is inside of an urbanized area of 50,000 population or more, provided that such speed limit is designated by appropriate signs;
    (4) Sixty-five miles per hour on those sections of physically divided highways without full access control on the state highway system, provided that such speed limit is designated by appropriate signs; and
    (5) Fifty-five miles per hour in other locations.
    (c) The maximum speed limits set forth in this Code section may be altered as authorized in Code Sections 40-6-182, 40-6-183, and 40-6-188.

    Whenever the commissioner of public safety or the commissioner of transportation shall determine upon the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that any maximum speed set forth in this article is greater or less than is reasonable or safe under the conditions found to exist at any intersection or other place or upon any part of the state highway system, they may jointly determine and declare a reasonable and safe maximum speed limit at such place, which shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected. Such a maximum speed limit may be declared to be effective at all times as are indicated upon such signs; and differing limits may be established for different times of day, different varying weather conditions, and other factors bearing on safe speeds, which shall be effective when posted upon appropriate fixed or variable signs. In no case shall the maximum speed limit for any highway be established at higher than the maximum speed limits set forth in Code Section 40-6-181 for that type of highway.

    (c) Upon any roadway having four or more lanes for moving traffic and providing for two-way movement of traffic, no vehicle shall be driven to the left of the center of the roadway except when authorized by official traffic-control devices designating certain lanes to the left of the center of the roadway for use by traffic not otherwise permitted to use such lanes or except as permitted under paragraph (2) of subsection (a) of this Code section. However, this subsection shall not be construed as prohibiting the crossing of the center of the roadway in making a left turn into or from an alley, private road, or driveway.

    (d) No two vehicles shall impede the normal flow of traffic by traveling side by side at the same time while in adjacent lanes, provided that this Code section shall not be construed to prevent vehicles traveling side by side in adjacent lanes because of congested traffic conditions.

    So, in fact, they were potentially breaking some laws.

  17. Miss Fire (unregistered) on March 5th, 2006 @ 6:19 pm

    Yeah, there would have been a mass murder down here in Tampa. The cars behind the lead ones would have just hit the lead ones and gone on…..

  18. Cheeba (unregistered) on March 5th, 2006 @ 8:45 pm

    Fuck driving 55 MPH. There is no city loop where that should be the speed limit. It is too slow to keep up with the flow of traffic and nobody does it anyway, so why should we get ticketed for it? Even the police don’t obey their own limits. Fuck 55 and kudos to these guys for showing how assinine and archaic that particular speed limit is. Now if only someone would take notice…

  19. Local Resident (unregistered) on March 7th, 2006 @ 12:31 am

    To those who honestly believe that if this happened in “their cities” there would be a mass murder on the streets, fucking get over yourselves! I’ve lived in Chicago, NYC, DC, Miami, and my hometown is Atlanta! I promise that your little condescending doomsday scenario would play out exactly as it did here in Atl… a bunch of people were pissed off, but for a few miles, there wasn’t a damn thing they could do about it. It IS a ridiculous limit, and one to which NO ONE adheres. While these guys were certainly breaking a law which is currently on the books, the point is made. I applaud these students!! However, I hope that if they are serious about their work, the gripes won’t stop with an on-line blog. This is an issue which has plagued Atlanta for years, and as more and more people relocate to our city (AND our… how was it put? pine- covered hills?), the necessity for reform increases! Although my daily commute is sickening, another attempt during a higher traffic period might be in order. (but next time, try to form a diagonal line- same effect, but there’s your loophole to the law that was cited.)
    WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Gee_ty (unregistered) on March 7th, 2006 @ 4:59 am

    What they did was stupid and dangerous, but that girl Nidhi is hot, so I can forgive her.

  21. gina (unregistered) on March 9th, 2006 @ 10:18 am

    I think that this was an excellent experiment, capturing on film not only how ridiculous the speed limit is on the perimeter, but how people around here are so used to breaking that particular law that they make very dangerous manouvers to get beyond the pack. I was almost pulled over last night for doing 70 in the left most lane on I-20, as the cop simply wanted to get past me (I was passing cars on my right). Even the cops around here ignore the speed limits! Now, if I get a traffic ticket, this is coming to court with me. Damn antiquated traffic laws!

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