A ticket for not going metric

If you drive between Canada and America, as I occasionally do, you have to learn to switch between the Speed sign metric system and the Imperial system. Not all signs are like the one pictured here, specifying the unit of measurement. And if you aren't careful, you might find yourself getting a speeding ticket in Canada or being passed by a combine in America.

OTTAWA — A Californian discovered the concept of exchange rate
doesn't just apply to money when Ontario Provincial Police arrested him
for speeding Monday.
"I'm from California and the sign
says 100," said the driver, who police said was clocked at 148 km/h
during a safety blitz on Highway 401 in South Stormont, 100 kilometres
southeast of Ottawa.
In miles per hour, the driver was only doing about 90. Nevertheless the driver was slapped with a speeding ticket. [Link]

Before getting the ticket, he must have been really excited. Perhaps he even called one of his friends in California. "Guess what, Larry? The speed limit here is 100. What a great country! And the best part is, most people are only going 60! They're so freakin' laidback, these Canadians. I've got a good mind to move here. But I hear that the weather sucks. One guy told me that it never gets above 35 degrees! Can you imagine?"

Photo by David Herrera

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. TJ Linville says:

    Although I’m a big proponent of going metric in this country (USA), the thought of Americans doing the very thing the dude from California did in Canada scares me. I’m sure it would only be a short time of confusion, then things would get to normal (still scary.)

  2. Wyncko Tonckens says:

    This is a very dumb and ignorant driver, if you look at the sign you,ll see that below the 100 the unit Km/h is posted and that,s not mph.
    100 Km/h is approx. 60 mph most cars have a spedometer that displays both units (metric and imperial on the speed display. The metric system makes a whole lot more sense than the ancient imperial system inposed on us by the British of whom we fought against during the colonial days. It,s about time the USA is gonna switch to metric like Canada did back in the early 1970,s.

  3. I am giving up Imperial System and going Metric, Screw the rest of America, they are so Twentieth Century.
    It does not Make any sense to continue using the antiquated American/English/Imperial System. How are Americans suppose to compete in an ‘free trade market’ when the World only uses International System and Americans are forced to use TWO MEASUREMENT SYSTEMS?
    Look what is happening within the Federal Agencies… They are turning their back on the Metric System. NASA came out a report stating it is not cost effective to continue to use both systems and so is recommending STOP USING THE METRIC SYSTEM. As of this year the Dept of Transportation has wiped clean of any references to the Metric System through out its manuals and Departments. IS THAT MOVING FORWARD???? This is an embarrassment and unbelievable for a “World Leader”, what a falsehood.
    If you do not pass a Presidential Order to DROP THE IMPERIAL SYSTEM and GO 100% METRIC, I will not vote for you or any Democratic again. For you are not forward thinking and not moving America into the Twenty-First Century.

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