Bending rules

Everyone knows that posted speed limits are the law, but everyone in the world (with the possible exception of Singapore) treats them as "guidelines", not to be taken too seriously. (And here I ignore Quebec and most of the Third World where limits are either taken as challenges or total irrelevancies. Germany ignores the issue on its Autobahn by abolishing limits altogether.)

This issue of speed limits has me wondering how does an adult respond to ,a child who asks why the parent is ignoring a posted law? Does one say that it does not matter as it is not rigidly enforced? Or that the police give some latitude for excess before interfering?

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If such an obvious restriction is ignored, are there not others that don't always apply? Is it all right to shoplift if the stolen object is worth less than five dollars? May one beat one's spouse or child as long as blood is not drawn? After all, they are prohibited by "only laws."

As with other laws, speed restrictions are supposedly drawn by experts (or politicians, may the gods help us) with our collective order and safety considered. Is it up to us to choose which laws and rules to follow?

When we choose to ignore the laws of the land, what are we telling our children?

James Loughery

Prince George

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