To whom it may concern,
I’m writing you today to ask for some changes to the way speed limits are enforced in [state]. I understand that some of these changes are not within your scope of influence, but I’m asking at the very least that you consider any changes you can implement to help fix the problem in our state. Also, I’m asking for your support politically for any public officials who have the courage to stand up for enforcement of laws governing speed and safe driving.
My sister was involved in a vehicle-pedestrian collision a number of years ago. The driver was speeding (going 35mph in a 25mph zone) and failed to notice my sister walking on the shoulder of road quickly enough as he rounded a corner. The driver’s truck struck my sister and threw her into a ditch. She barely survived and ended up getting over 10 feet of her intestines removed after several surgeries. She’s now 25 years old suffering from arthritis and many digestive problems. If the driver was going the speed limit, a) he may have been able to react quickly enough to avoid the collision or b) the damage would have been less severe (possibly far less).
In my own experience as a cyclist on public roads, I see dozens of drivers exceeding the speed limit every day. If one were to collide with me, every 5mph above the speed limit increases the possibility of my death by 100%.
Other pieces of information I’ve been able to gather from government publications on speeding:
• Speeding is the #1 violation in fatal motor vehicle crashes (exceeding even drunken driving)
• A driver is 6 times more likely to have an accident at 25% above the speed limit (ex. Going 44mph in a 35mph zone)
• Speeding increases the occurrences of road rage
• The risk of death is approximately four times higher when a pedestrian is hit at 40mph than at 30mph
Most motorists do not view exceeding the posted speed limit as a danger to themselves, their passengers, or others. This is severe problem in our society. I would like to ask you to implement, encourage, or support measures like the following:
• Reduced speed limits in residential areas and highways (cars are designed with safety measures effective up to 40mph; pedestrians obviously do not have these safety measures).
• Increased use of “automated speeding cameras.”
• Significantly increased financial penalties for speeding (speeding ticket fines are too minimal to deter the crime)
• More liberal use of driver’s license suspension for speeding violations (starting on 2nd occurrence)
• Increased police presence on public roads to catch speeding and unsafe driving.
• Immediate towing and seizure of vehicle for people caught going in excess of 20mph over the posted limit.
• Speed governors (or limiters , or caps) installed on vehicles to not allow any public vehicle to exceed speeds over the maximum highway speed.
I could continue to list ideas, but I’m sure you get the point. There are no justifiable reasons for most people on the road to travel in excess of the speed limit. The average commute is roughly 16 miles (or 26 minutes) nationwide. That makes the average speed 37mph. If someone goes 10mph over that speed, they save 6 minutes on their commute, which is unjustifiable given the increased danger they are putting everyone on the road in.
I appreciate the time you’ve spent reading this letter. I am also sending this to several other public officials and encouraging people across the state/country to do the same. A response would be appreciated.
I question several of your assertions...
I suspect that slow drivers fuel far more road rage than speeding does (at least it is the slow drivers who make me angry).
I highly doubt that you are 6 times more likely to have an accident for each 25% over the speed limit you are going. And, if this were true it would be an argument for raising rather than lowering the speed limit.
One of my pet peeves is that in many places the speed limit is way too low for the road conditions. I might support increased enforcement if the speed limits were raised to a reasonable level. Lowering speed limits while increasing enforcement would be too much.
The increased use of automated speeding camera is an awfully hard sell.
In that case, it's not the person going 55 and obeying the law that's causing the problem, is the speeders.
If an accident occurs at those speeds the likelihood of severe injury is very high. Saving less than 5 minutes on your commute is not appropriate justification for the increased danger you pose on yourself and others.
Quote:If an accident occurs at those speeds the likelihood of severe injury is very high. Saving less than 5 minutes on your commute is not appropriate justification for the increased danger you pose on yourself and others.
We could set the maximum speed limit at 35 MPH nationwide and assuming anyone obey it we would likely save 25,000 or so lives every year.
There are always trade offs even trade offs that involved human life and if the vast majority of the drivers are not obeying the speed limit on a highway the odds are very high that the limit is set too low.
Understood, but I think the likely reason people are not obeying the speed limit is that it is rarely enforced (especially during peak hours).
And do you want to put your life in to the hands of a 16 year old or a drunk driver to make the same decisions.
I suspect you made up the 6 times statistic. If you have real research, then I would love to see it.
There is research that the biggest cause of accident is difference in speed.
If 98% of people are going 75, the one or two idiots going 55 are the ones who are going to cause the accident.
Here is a link to research from the NHTSA (the federal agency responsible for highway safety) to back up my claim, I would love to see what you use to back up your claims.
Quote:And do you want to put your life in to the hands of a 16 year old or a drunk driver to make the same decisions.
We was talking about when the average speed of drivers on a highway being over the set speed limit on that highway and that have nothing to do with a drunk 16 years old as far as I can see.
By setting the speed limits very low just to be on the safe side will results in the majority of drivers disobeying those limits and more enforcement might benefit the state by randomly picking out victims for a few hundreds dollars fine but will have little impact on safety and product more angry and contempt toward the state.by the citizens.
Right. My proposal is to dramitically increase the fine. Make it thousands of dollars for certain speeds or excess of speed limits, like a DUI.
You can not set a speed limit by the standards of the worst possible driver.