It’s not about being right, it’s about being right

19 08 2009

I need to be right.  Or so it seems.  It’s really not the need to be right though, it’s the need to perpetuate accuracy.  If someone tells me something, I’m like Mythbusters on the case and I want to know that what they told me is right before I spread the word.

Yesterday as we were coming home a police officer approached the red light at an intersection we were turning through and put on his lights and sirens.  Initially, we thought we were being pulled over.  Silly us.  Once through the red light, the officer turned his lights and sirens off and went about speeding down the road.  This prompted a discussion that finally evolved into whether or not emergency vehicles are allowed to speed – ever.  Glenn said that it was a federal law that they could not speed under any circumstances and it just didn’t seem plausible.  He had read it somewhere though.  He calls it me needing to be right when I decided to go researching the ‘law’ when I came home.

There is no federal law that I can find on this subject, but I did find state specific statutes that all seem to echo the same premise, which is:

The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle, when responding to an emergency call, or when in the pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, or when responding to, but not upon returning from, a fire alarm, may exercise the privileges set forth in this Section, but subject to the conditions herein stated.
The driver of an authorized emergency vehicle may:
(1) Park or stand, irrespective of the provisions of this Chapter;
(2)
Proceed past a red or stop signal or stop sign, but only after slowing down or stopping as may be necessary for safe operation;
(3)
Exceed the maximum speed limits so long as he does not endanger life or property;
(4)
Disregard regulations governing the direction of movement or turning in specified directions.

I could have just listened to him and the ‘facts’ he were certain were facts and later in some trivial discussion reiterated them as facts and been just as wrong as he was, unwittingly, but I just don’t act that way.  Not that it is wrong for people to do so, but just that I don’t behave that way.

I tried today to examine myself for improvements to my nature in this regard and while I can obviously see the irritation in my ways, I don’t find a flaw to improve.  I could just as easily sit by idly and make a mental note to check later and just ‘know’ that I am right, but that is where the misconception of my reason for being right comes into play.  This is not about being right, it is about making sure that others are too.  So by keeping their inaccuracies to myself, I don’t improve anyone or anything.  I have to share with them what I learned and it really isn’t meant to say you’re wrong hah hah! but that you were misinformed and now you know better.

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