“Don’t Drive Angry”–Bill Murray To The Hog In “Groundhog Day”

How does a parent discuss speeding with a child who is a newly-minted young driver?

1) Threaten punishment for being caught by authorities?
2) Tell a story about “my younger days” when I drove recklessly?
3) Explain how angry Mom will be if you screw around?

Omaha has a stretch of highway (The West Dodge Expressway) where occasionally motorists (particularly motorcyclists) are clocked at excessive speeds–I’ve read about readings in the 130-150 mph range and seen a wolfpack of speeders once, which appeared to be a race of sorts without the NASCAR label (or track, approved vehicles, pit crews, corporate sponsors, or hot chicks kissing the winners–although I think that last part last occurred in 1978 or so).

I once drove a rental car 118 mph on a stretch of I-64 east of Lexington, Kentucky for no great reason.  I recall just wanting to see how 100 mph felt and seeing 118 on the speedometer. I also recall reclining another rental car’s seat all the way back and sitting on the headrest with my head in the back window while steering with my foot, speed control set at 75 mph. But that was OK. It was 10:30 at night on a barren stretch of I-75 south of Lima, Ohio.

So I’m no behavioral model in the silly driving category.

I opine that talking about driving habits with children should be an upfront, emotionless, “business” conversation. You get caught speeding and this or that happens–no questions asked.  Get caught going double the posted speed limit?  You’re grounded until you graduate from college or your first child gets his or her driver’s license.  (Impractical?  Probably.)

But I don’t have real children–just my observations. I’m imagine it’s not quite so simple with actual human beings involved.

Just tell your kids not to do this. Or on second thought, don’t show them this and implant ideas.


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