Cory's Red Bug

Cory's Red Bug: Don't ride that clutch!

I just learned I've been breaking the law... and the South Dakota State Legislature wants to legalize my bad behavior.

In the past year, I have derived great pleasure from getting back into manual transmission in my little red Beetle. I've experimented with hypermiling by dropping the car into neutral and coasting down hills and into speed zones. I haven't pinned down major mileage differences: if there has been any advantage, it's been totally outweighed by temperature differences (like me, the Bug runs better in the heat!) and speed (keep it under 60!).

But surprise! SDCL 32-34-2 says coasting downhill is reckless and unsafe driving. Popular Mechanics agrees... and says coasting doesn't save gasoline, either!

So what does our Legislature do? Repeal SDCL 32-34-2. The full Senate yesterday joined the House in unanimously passing HB 1202, which repeals this statute. Heaven forbid the nanny state tell us what to do with our clutches.