Georgia's Autobahn

Somewhere south of Macon, Georgia there is a stretch of highway called SR-16. This dual carriage way goes all the way to I-95 and the Florida state line, and as far I can work out, it has no functional speed limit to speak of. I drove down this highway expecting to settle into a quiet part of my 5 hour journey from Atlanta to Amelia Island. In past experiences, this road was filled with travelers going a gentle 55 miles per hour in the slow lane while the fast lane was occupied by drivers going about 70, with the usual moron in a muscle car going 80. You can imagine my surprise when doing 75 in the right lane, cars ranging from hatchbacks to a soccer mom in minivan going by me at 95 miles per hour. If I’m not mistaken, the speed limit is 70 down in these parts, but it doesn’t seem to be enforced or followed. It might as well be the German autobahn (the small part that’s not restricted).

Nigh a cop could be found on the side of the road, just mile after mile of woods. I hazard to guess that the reason for everyone having the need for speed is the ABSOLUTE BOREDOM of the highway itself. It’s as featureless as three-day old grits, passing by almost nothing of consequence, aside from some odd railway gates on the exits. I even started playing an episode of Top Gear on my IPod just to quell the meandering (I wasn’t actively watching it, I’m not that crazy). I was tempted to pull over to the left lane and drop the hammer, pushing my Mercedes without worrying about police hunting me down; I didn’t though. It was three in the afternoon, and my concern was only getting to the destination. I stayed in the right lane doing 70-ish for the remainder the trip down the lonely highway. When I drive back down this Southern Autobahn later this week, my focus will not be the surroundings, but the road itself. Will it be another haven for speed, or will the local highway patrol watch the road like hawks?


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