Skip to comments.At 147 mph, highway safety is just a blur
Posted on 09/17/2010 10:18:22 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Going 96 mph on a 65-mph highway is enough to land a speeder in serious legal trouble.
Thats 31 mph over the speed limit, and its the threshold between a regular speeding violation and the more egregious offense of excessive speeding, which earns violators a meeting with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation that theyll likely walk out of with a suspended license.
On Wednesday night, state police stopped a motorcyclist they said was clocked at 147 mph. Thats 82 mph over the limit.
That is probably the highest speed Ive ever seen, and Ive been at PennDOT nine years now, PennDOT spokeswoman Fritzi Schreffler said.
The motorcyclist might be one of the fastest speeders caught in the midstate. Schreffler and Trooper Tom Pinkerton, a state police spokesman, said theyve never seen reports of people caught at speeds that are even close to 147 mph.
The identity of the 24-year-old Enola man will be released after hes charged when toxicology reports come back indicating whether he was under the influence of alcohol, police said.
In 2003, a Carbon County man was caught while going 182 mph in his Lamborghini Diablo.
In Wednesdays case, an officer waiting in the construction zone on Interstate 81 northbound in Silver Spring Township just before Route 114 caught the red 2003 Honda CBR 600RR motorcycles speed on radar, according to state police. The officer pulled out, lights flashing, to signal the motorcyclist over.
Pinkerton said police wouldnt chase a vehicle going that fast because it would put other drivers in harms way. But, he said, You still have to pull out and afford the driver the opportunity to know that police are wanting him to pull over.
Police said they caught up with the motorcyclist when he slowed down to avoid a cluster of three tractor-trailers.
He should count himself lucky that the tractor-trailers were ahead, Schreffler said.
It takes a persons brain 1.5 seconds to identify an issue ahead in the road and react to it, said Greg Sullenberger of Crashteams Pennsylvania & West Virginia, an accident-investigation agency. Someone going 147 mph would travel about 322 feet in those 1.5 seconds, making it unlikely he or she would be able to avoid an accident, he said.
If someone crashes a motorcycle or even a car at 147 mph, experts agree it would take a miracle for him to come out alive.
Your internal organs just cant survive that, Sullenberger said.
Fast-moving motorcycles present a special danger for other vehicles. Because a motorcycle is a narrow object, it would slice through a car rather than just hit it, injuring or killing the driver or passengers. It will sort of cut into a car like a knife into butter, Sullenberger said.
A speeder who survives going 147 mph could face steep legal penalties.
Drivers going more than 31 mph over the speed limit have to attend a special hearing with PennDOT, Schreffler said. That can result in a range of penalties, such as retaking the driving test, mandated driving classes and a 15-day license suspension.
Theres no special class under state law for drivers going as much as 82 mph over the limit because its so unheard of, Schreffler said. So despite the extreme circumstances, PennDOT officials, as much as they might like to, cannot impose penalties outside whats specified by law, she said. But the motorcyclist in Wednesdays incident likely will see doubled fines because he was clocked in a work zone, she said.
In addition to speeding violations, someone going that fast could face charges of reckless driving or recklessly endangering another person, depending on whether there were other vehicles on the road, Pinkerton said.
My corvette easily went faster than that uphill on one occasion when I was more or less testing the replacement of all fuel injectors. I didn’t even realize I was going that fast and when I looked at the speedometer I was actually a little surprised and immediately backed off the accelerator.
That was over 15 years ago, and I know that plenty of current model motorcycles can easily reach much higher velocity.
Posters using the childishly inane term organ donor and/or similar terms following this post are utter nitwits.
Aircraft clocked (or spotted, however that works) me at 125 in Blythe California. Ticket for 90 because the officer didn’t believe my car could go any more than that.
The dashed white line in the center of the road turned into a solid white line. The telephone poles were going by faster than I could count. Tunnel vision.
All I could think was, "Oh well, if a car pulls out in front of us, it isn't going to hurt."
It was quite an adrenaline rush. Although that was 30-some years ago. I wouldn't care to do that again.
82 mph over the limit, doubled because of the construction zone. I’d hate to see the dollar amount of the fine.
Maybe if you are 90 years old. That sounds ridiculous.
...but a bit of Googling tends to confirm it...Driver Reaction Time/a>
They don’t care if you die they just want your $$$ and property before you die.The state could care less.
A lot of us have done this. He was unfortunate to get clocked.
I had a pal, Doug, who owned a ‘68 Barracuda with a 426 hemi. Four of us had been hanging around the Sunset Strip sneaking a beer or two. On the way back to Orange County Doug had the speedometer pegged at 130 mph. God must have been looking after us that night.
Lots of PC mythology in that article!
“slice like a knife”, what a crock.
Fastest bike I ever had was only good to about 130, some of my cars were significantly faster.
I have yet to own my fastest car, and I will find the top speed of every car I build.
I cannot say here what I think of nanny state jerks on a mission.
I have no problem with anyone driving as fast as they are capable, so long as the road is reasonably clear and they do not drive stupid.
This guy doing that fast in a construction zone, = STUPID!
Of course you cant use the term organ donor. At that speed everything is mush after the second bounce.
They may not be able to suspend his license for long, but man his insurance bill is going to be insane
I own a 2006 Subaru WRX Turbo - not the STI though. I gotten the car to 120 mph going through Nevada one time but being older, I am not comfortable taking it over 90 to 100. I gotten stopped three times in the car. One time doing almost 90 mph going across Missouri, 75 mph in Indiana and stopped for tinted windows in Utah on I-15. Twenty years ago I had a 1990 Mustang GT and got the car to 120 mph on US 24 between US31 and Wabash in Indiana.
The car is a nice little rocket and a blast to drive but also have to be careful to keep my license clean. The ticket in Missouri, they refused to plea bargain the ticket since that one was reported to the MO State Highway Patrol by a homeland security officer.
I remember a kid - Brandon D Raap getting stopped almost four years ago in Northwest Indiana for doing 142 in a 55 in a Sub WRX STi. I don’t know what happened at court and he also had a valid Colorado license. That same ticket here in Colorado would be 12 points - an instant letter to come in for a DMV hearing for a license suspension or red license (restricted license).
Back then the cops couldn't go over 100 and they didn't have helicopters.
Six Speed Manual.
I-5, south of Los Banos.
I’ve got a Mustang GT. I drive it like an old lady. My kids scream about it. They are not allowed to drive it.
For those of us overseas who are used to metric, this calculates to 236.57 kph. That’s pretty damn fast.