Responses to "70 on Interstates"

The point:

On the issue of speed limits I believe all interstates should have a speed limit of at LEAST 70mph. Yes, even on the most congested and dangerous interstates like the Capital Beltway (495). Why? Because thats about the speed everyone is going -- doing 55 IS MORE DANGEROUS than doing 65 because you are going against the flow of traffic.

The responses:

From: John Garcia <>
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 1995 22:09:48 -0400

RIGHT ON!  This would eliminate the dangerous "speed differential"
that safety experts are always harping on.  Having nearly been killed
thanks to the antics of a moron driving 35 down an interstate, I know of
what I speak.  Furthermore, most interstates were designed for speed
limits of 70-80 MPH, with SUBSTANTIAL tolerances included --- all for
cars with suspension and tire technology of the 1960's... 70 or higher
sounds good to me!

From: Johann Schubert <>
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 14:11:16 -0400
I disagree with the overall application of "all interstates should have a
speed limit of at LEAST 70mph". Control should definately be returned to
the states as they are closer to the issue (and the highways in 
question ;-) Each highway should be evaulated and the same rules used
for other roads should be applied without an artificial limit such as
55, 65, 70 or whatever... The 85th percentile rule used for most streets
is monitored on the freeways in California, but not used to set the limit
because of the "55". The last statistics I saw reported the 85th 
percentile on Calif. freeways to be 68 MPH. That would mean the speed
limit would be set to either 65 or 70. (I would round off, but who knows
what the buearocrats do...)

I also feel that some interstates should be unlimited. Such as I5 through
central California and probably many interstates in Nevada, Kansas, Texas
and other state with a  lot of open space.

However to go along with my views, I think major reform is needed in
related areas:
   1. Driver Education: people should be TAUGHT how to drive in the real 
      world. Not just around the block and parallel parking! Everyone 
      should be required to take a defensive driving and/or performance 
      driving school similar to what Bonderant and other such schools 
   2. SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT needs to be taught and enforced. (it's
      on the books, why don't the police enforce it???) Stiff penalties
      should be inposed on LLB's AND for passing on the right.
   3. REAL lighting systems...  see my other posted comments on Euro-code

From: Brad Jones <>
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 1995 13:15:33 -0400

I disagree that there should be _any_ arbitrary number specified.
Barring special safety concerns (such as school zones, etc.), speed
limits should be set to the prevailing speed of free-flowing traffic --
the speed people would drive at were there no speed limits at all.

If that is not 70 miles per hour, then there is no need for the speed
limit to be that high; obviously, drivers feel that speed is unsafe for
that stretch of road, else they would drive that fast.

Editors note: I basically agree with you.  After writing to the
Maryland Department of Transportation I found out that the 85th
percentile speed of the Washington Beltway was 65mph while it was 70
on most of the other Maryland interstates (Excluding the Baltimore
beltway which I didn't ask for).  I plan on changing my viewpoint

From: Sean Morrison
Date: Wed, 4 Oct 1995 16:49:15 -0400

Speed limits are not set for the safety of drivers, that is no longer
their point.  The double- nickel exists because it is a cash cow for
the insurance companies.
Have you ever seen one of those 1950s films about the "superhighways
of tomorow"?  They all said that the speed limit (then 70-80mph in
most states, none in Nevada's case) would be raised when modern
automotive technology hits the market.  That time has come and gone.

Limits remain low because of the insurance lobby in Washington.
Without speeding tickets to give them an excuse to boost insurance
rates, they wouldn't be making half the money that they do today.
Case in point:me.  21 years of age, with a Porsche.  No accidents, no
tickets, no claims, completely clean reccord.  $3,000 a year in
insurance.  2 speeding tickets later (69 in a 55 and 82 in a 65) and
they dropped me, then offered me "probationary coverage" at $10,000 a
year.  I had to accept.

If the limit were raised, they would be loosing $7,000 each year in
pure profit.  It makes total sense.

By the way, in Canada, where my insurance companywill never find out
about any violations, I generally cruise at 160 kph (98mph) and I
generally have a train of cars following me for miles.  Evidently
everyone elsefeels that this speed is perfecly safe as well.  I would
like to drive even faster, as this seems just as safe, but I am afraid
of going to jail if caught.  I guess I am a criminal.

From: Michael Bain <>
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 1995

I guess I misunderstand the concept of speed *limit*.  If you can
drive *faster* than the limit it's not a very useful signpost.  I
suggest *artificial* limits aren't particularly helpful and can be and
usually are *misleading*.  For example, no *standards* exist for
dangerous curves and hairpin turns on rural highways; it seems that
25mph, 35mph, 40mph, 45mph are used interchangeably in different
municipalities for equivalent turns in the road.  This presents a true
danger to the driver unfamiliar with the terrain.  If you want to
establish a limit I suggest getting a dozen or so professional racecar
drivers together with state-of-the-art vehicles -- get the top speed
and then add 10mph.

I think what is needed is not a limit but a speed *guideline* with a
predictable and reasonable relationship to the road conditions.
Police should then target those who they were originally supposed to
target, those who drive recklessly and endanger others.

Editors note:  That is the religious definition of "Speed Limits".
What me, many others, and the NMA want is something similar to speed
guidelines, with speed limits equaling speed guidelines.

From: <>
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 01:40:12 GMT

70 to hell with 70! let's be reasonable here. What happens on the
Autobahn in Germany? There are speed limits where they are necessary
ie interchanges and congested areas. How can they do this? Simple They
drive better, they have strict lane discipline(revalation to all those
people who don't know what the mirrors are for, they're for seeing the
cars approaching you from behind) A recent Road and Track article
touched on the cost in time and money that it takes to get a driver's
license in Germany. No wonder, they know how to drive. We don't need
speed limits, we need smart drivers. If everyone really knew how to
drive, the inter- state highways would be a much nicer place, and we
would all get where we want to go much faster. I propose stricter
requirments for obtaining a drivers license.

Until then I have to a agree with a previous statement in the
responses to this article, insurance premiums should be based on some
type of performance evaluation, that way anyone who has gone through
say Skip Barber's advanced driving course would have lower rates than
someone who thinks that the left lane is for him and the right lane is
for people slower than him. I hate those guys. I've actually had a guy
try to run me off the road because I wanted to pass him on the left
instead of on the right! Which to my knowledge is illegal in every
state. [Note: The only state that I know of to have this law is NJ]

My proposition to make the requirments for obtaining a license more
strict has some interesting pluss for other people as well. There
would not be as many driver's, those who don't have the skills, and
there are many, would not get the priveledge. The priveledge should
only be extended to those who take the time to learn the rules of the
road and who have the necessary car control skills. The funny benefits
would be less traffic congestion, more use of public trasportation
systems that the goverment loves to spend so much money on, less
pollution becuase there are fewer cars on the road at a given time,
and how far down do think the accident rate will drop? Pretty far in
my opinion. It is a known fact that most accidents are caused by
driver error, with teaching many of the fatal mistakes that people
make can be eliminated. not all of them of course, but a good
number. The seat belt law could be repealled, have you aver seen a
good driver without a seat belt? Well maybe not, some people still
think they are invincable.

Wow save the environment, help they public transportation system, make
the roads safer, reduce traffic congestion, and let all of us smart
driver's drive at comfortable speeds. All this from a driving test.
incredible! Oh yeah I almost forgot, I will be able to afford the
insurance on my Porsche and be able to eat.Wow! Wouldn't that be
great!  I geuss for now I just won't eat.

Please keep in mind that anyone who uses neighborhood or shool zones
as dragstrips or top speed venues should be prosecuted. That is just
plain stupid, besides who wants to run over an elementary shool
student. I know I'd feel crappy even if he jumped out of a plane and
landed in front of my car and there really wasnt' anything I could do
about it. But for the rest of the country, let's just bag the speed
limit, it really is a nuisance.

From: Todd G. Westlie <>
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 1995 15:23:16 GMT

On well-maintained, wide open roads like we have here in Montana, I find
speed limits to be mostly irrelevant. Fortunately for me, so do most of
the cops! We have the wonderful "$5" ticket--no points, no insurance
b.s., pay it on the spot and continue on your merry way! Hell, they
don't even stop you unless you're around "the ton", and even then you
might skate during the day. Be careful at night, though. They get tough
and so does the wildlife. A deer can ruin your whole evening! This is a
wonderful place to own an M5!! One more thing--those who wish to drive
slow may do so, just have the courtesy to stay to the right and out of 
my way. It's the "passing" lane not the "dawdling" lane! Lastly but not
leastly, those with hi-performance toys--go to Bondurant, Barber, or
whatever and really learn to use that sucker!! You'll thank yourself.

From: <>
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 01:41:09 GMT

I feel that even 70 is too slow. I come from Ma. and except for rush hour,
the flow of the traffic is 70 IN THE SLOW LANE.  Traffic is usually
75-above in the other lanes.  In southern NH, the flow of the traffic 
on I-93 during rush hour is between 75 and 85 mph; heavy trucks included.
I think that the speed limit should be set to whatever the flow of the
trafic is at a given time.  I also drive the highways late at night
(midnight to 3 am) frequently.  During this time there is hardly another
car on the road, but many speed traps(I have been lucky, and have not
been caught yet, knock on wood).  Speed traps at these hours should be a
form of entrapment, because if I am cruising along at a comfortable speed
with nobody around me for miles, there is no reason to pull me over, 
unless the officer needs to meet his/her monthly quota.

I say to hell with the speed limits on the highways!  Drive according to
the conditions and the flow of the traffic (or lack of traffic) and put
an end to the debate on speed limits.

From: Felix Bartl <>
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 1995 23:16:22 GMT

Maybe it's good for a start, but, in my view, any pre-set speed
limit is a mistake. Road, weather and traffic conditions will always
vary, and there will always be stretches safe for 130+ mph, just as those
where 55 is appropriate. In urban areas, at least on interstates,
speed should be posted on electronic displays, so it can be changed
as circumstances dictate. In rural areas, speed should only be limited
on dangerous stretches of road, or when the highway passes thru small
towns, etc. This is the only way to get truly fair and useful speed
regulation. Should this ever be implemented, no enforcement would be too
strict. For if the speed limits are truly fair, they MUST be obeyed.

From: Ken Loyless <>
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 1995 22:19:39 -0400

I have, since the inception of the 55, maintained that a contributing
factor of highway accidents is a lack of courtesy among
motorists. Courtesy includes letting the faster traffic pass to left
of you. When the "55" came along we polarized motorist's by taking
away an important aspect of highway courtesy, common sense.  Not all
drivers are created equal. Some of us drive "55" becuase it is the
law. Sometimes we drive "55" because we feel it is safer. Most of us
do not obey the "55" because we are intelligent enough to realize that
road conditions combined with an overwhelming consensus among drivers
that "55" is too slow. There lies the problem with speed conflicts. It
frustrates drivers and the "55" gives some folks the "ammo" they need
to block the "majority". Driving is a job and like any job to be done
well a proper attitude and feeling of progress must be made.
 Frustration combined with other factors such as poor judgment
etc..cause accidents. Not speed.  I wonder if anyone has ever done a
study on how many accidents occured when "frustration" was a factor.
I consider myself an excellant driver. I have been driving in the
Houston area for 25 years and not one nick in the paint but I have had
a few close calls and the reason for some of those close calls was my
frustration built to a level that allowed poor judgment. Like passing
that 35 mph pickup on a rural highway when I did not have enough
room. I had to drive into a field to prevent a head on. (I learned a
BIG lesson from that one...I was 18)

One thing all of us have against this "toll booth mentality" towards
traffic safety is to FIGHT THOSE TICKETS.  Jam the courts. Drag those
officers into court and off the streets and they will get the message
eventually.  If 75% of us fight every ticket and only a third win we
have sent Law Enforcement a strong message.

We did not vote for this.
We do not need this.
We do not want this.
Make it go away.

From: Matthew Hammar
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 1995 18:20:31 GMT

I agree because if speed limits stay at 55, people will drive 70.  If
it is raised to 60 or 65, people will still be driving 70 mph.  So I
believe that whatever the speed on a highway is, a lot of drivers
-myself included- are going to be driving 70 mph.  The bottom line is
that a lot of drivers are comfortable driving 70 mph.  It is the
people that are driving the speed limit that are a traffic hazard.  I
believe the reason that we don't have a higher speed limit is because
if our speed limits were to increase, all the insurance companies
would not have a chance to raise every individuals insurance premium.

From: Mark Domby <>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 1995 00:23:14 -0400

I totally agree with raising the speed limit. I am 18 years old, love 
fast cars, and love to drive fast. I am not the type of person who will 
cut you off or put you in danger because of my driving. But 70 seems like
a high jump. I was once gung-ho for kickin' the limit way up. But studies
have proven that this could be a shock to some drivers (ie older drivers,
and many younger drivers) who don't have the capacitiy to go "that fast."
But I totally support the pending laws, because I agree with you, and 
half of America, when we see how the government is choking us drivers to

From: Anonymous
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 01:54:07 -0400

For the stretch of Hwy. 401 between Windsor and London, Ontario, speed
frequently reaches 140 km/h (87.5 mph) on the left land and 120 km/h
on the right lane.  The posted speed limit is 100 km/h.  The same
holds true on the same highway around Kingston, Ontario where a few
years ago, speed frequently reached 170 km/h.  Honestly, if there were
no speed limit, I would tend to drive even faster than those top
speeds if the condition is right.  On the other hand, I do agree we
should slow down on heavy traffic or in bad weather.  So how about
electronic signs which can allow the authority to change the speed
limits according to the specific conditions like those on the

From: Greg Dunbar <>
Date: Sat, 02 Sep 95 21:14:04 -0700

If everyone drove like you and me and most others on the road, that
would be great.  But not everyone can handle going 70+.  Inexperienced
drivers, elderly drivers, or maybe their car isn't fit to be going that
fast.  Possibly some compromise could be put into effect, such as
varying speed by what lane you're in or the speed sign could change as
traffic flow changes.  A great idea would be special highways for long
distances or trips between cities that had no speed limits.  But just
changing the speed limit for all people on all highways to over 70
would not be a safe thing to do.

Editors note: Just because the limit is 70+ it doesn't mean everyone has
to go that speed.

From: Richard Rogers <>
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 1995 14:11:05 -0400

There ARE places where raising the limit too much could prove dangerous--
for instance, here in Durham I-85 is kinda twisty with a lot of truck
traffic and 65 seems fairly reasonable (which is why most people don't
exceed 65--of course, the limit's 55...)  But if you go ten miles
north of town on the way to Richmond, I get passed at 80.  Going to
Raleigh last month I was going 95 and got passed (and it didn't feel
fast either).  Near cities, OK, set the limit around 70, but out in the
more rural areas, it's a case where either you don't bother, or set it
around 80-85, at least on the East Coast.  Why set one at all?  Trucks.
I don't know about you, but I don't relish the idea of flying down
I-85 at 110 only to come up on an armada of tractor-trailers going 75
and blocking both lanes.  I'd be willing to go a little slower to avoid
the risk of having to slam on my brakes.  But 65?  Forget it.

In response to the guy who said that everyone will automatically go
10-15 over, I really doubt that.  I think most people drive at whatever
speed they find comfortable.  I know some (very few) people who actually
*like* 55 and don't even do 65 when it's allowed, and I knew one guy
who did *45* in a 55 zone.  I know a lot of people who do 70-75 on
almost *any* interstate because it feels safe.  You've gotta remember,
the idea of a speed *limit* is that you don't *have* to go that fast
if you don't want to, but you do need to leave the left lanes clear
for those of us who want to go the limit (or beyond--the right to choose
to violate the law is an important right too).

From: Richard Rogers <>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 1995 13:47:52 GMT

I think I may have to change my general position on East Coast limits.
Yesterday (11-26) coming back from Thanksgiving I was doing the speed
of traffic, which worked out to 85 to 90 mph.  It was beautiful!  Makes
me wonder how the road would have been had it been clear.  I think I
really have to go with that 85th percentile rule now, except maybe in
certain situations where road conditions might make that unreasonable
(say, I-68 through Cumberland, MD--the road is twisty and while most
cars can go somewhat fast, most bigger vehicles cannot).  However, along
with such a high limit, I would support a mandate that cars have tires
rated for higher speeds, just to be on the safe side.  I won't go much
above 90 for an extended period because I'm not sure exactly what my
tires are rated for, but I bet a lot of people neither know nor care
about such things.  Blowouts at 110 must suck.

So perhaps the thing to do is to follow somebody else's suggestion and
have changeable signs, like on the Jersey Turnpike.  This lends itself
to abuse by local law enforcement, though--like on the Dukes of Hazzard.
I dunno...I no longer think that 70-75 is as appropriate as I did before,
but I still don't think that universal scrapping of limits is best 

From: Everette Lemons <>
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 1995 00:09:29 -0400

I respect your opinion and agree with it, but only to a certain
extent.  It is dangerous for those of us who choose to drive 55
because everyone else it seems is going 10 to 30 mph faster.  However,
it should be obvious that the reason for this is irresponsible
driving.  If the majority is driving at 70, 75 and 80 now, imagine
what they will do when you raise the limit a mere 10 mph.  Where are
we now, at 80, 85 and 90?  So what do we do then raise it another 10,
then another?  There are cars being made now that will easily go 130
and 140 mph, do we wait until everyone is driving that fast?  Speeding
is one of the number one killers on our nation's highways, and as a
Mathematician it is easy to see when I look at the concepts of Mass,
Velocity, and Momentum, and the fact that the faster you go the more
force you will have to deal with in any collision or accident.  It is
just too dangerous.  Actually the limit should be decreased, that way
all of the speedracers will go 60, 65, and 70, and maybe it wouldn't
be so dangerous.

Editors Note: Fact, if the limit goes up traffic will not
automaticly go 10-20 mph over it.  A federal study proves just that.
Most people do not speed becuase they are being irresponsible, they speed
to keep up with traffic and/or stay alert. Americans will drive at a speed
that is reasonable and prudent for conditions.

From: Stephen Kohl <>
Date: Sun, 24 Sep 1995 18:29:08 -0400

I also think that speed of the traffic should determine the speed limit.
However, I also think that the congestion should play a role too.  In 
a large city the speed should be posted electronically to control speed
during rush hour traffic.  This would prevent the dreaded 65 - 0 slowdown
that we have all encountered on the interstates during a traffic jam.
During a traffic jam the speed may be set at 35 mph..... but a 3 a.m.
when there are six open lanes and no traffic the speed could be set at 90.

I would like make note that for all the safety equipment installed on
new cars the accident rate is at least higher than it was.  This is
from people being too confident with the new technology.  Drivers
tailgating too close and stopping to late.  There is a general lack of
knowledge about driving.

I read in Road & Track lately about everyting a German driver must go
through to get a license.  They must study for and pass three test and
pay hundreds in fees.  No wonder they can drive faster and better than

From: Matt Dial <>
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 1995 21:35:59 GMT

I feel that -- yes, it should be raised. But you also have to caution
that there will always be people who ABUSE the posted "limit".
Personally, I feel that people will drive the speed that is
comfortable to them and will drive at a rate that is not impeding or
creating some kind of nuisance to fellow drivers. I also think that it
should be called a speed guideline, not a limit.

Personally, I feel comfortable driving 65-70 on the interstates in my
city Indianapolis -- DURING AVERAGE CONDITIONS --. Driving is a
responsibility and what comes with that is knowing when your going too
fast or too slow.  Of course, when I am traveling to school in Muncie,
I tend to drive 80 or more depending on traffic.

Yes, I feel a victim to unfair Insurance practices and trapped in law
tangles. But sometimes I have to think, if we DID have a posted 70,
would I want my grandmother driving 70? I am sure that she would too
because no matter what age, people either drive too fast or too slow.

I favor the idea of "performance" testing. I have seen or rode with
people that I thought "this guy/girl should NOT be driving".. Can you
imagine someone like that doing 80 and weaving in and out of traffic?
I like the idea of performance testing where it would benefit you by
reducing insurance costs (HA!), and reducing accidents (non speed
related). There is no good way to justify who can drive more or less
as of now, but performance testing/training would be able to set some
guidelines possibly leading to making a society where speed really
wasn't much of an issue.

The bottom line is you should drive whatever speed is comfortable,
safe, and appropriate for that time. Not to mention to mesh with
traffic, because it is the variance of speed that causes problems.

From: Scott A Johnson <>
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 1995

70 mph is a good place to start at for raising the speed limits on
interstates here in the US.  But the cops should be given a tool to
keep undesirables off, or at least slow them down.  If Officer Bob
Speed comes up behind a clapped-out Pinto on bald tires, he should be
able to pull them over, issue them a citation saying what needs to be
fixed, and a date upon which a fine will be issued if a state
inspection shows that the items have not been taken care of. The
individual would be escorted to the nearest exit and be told to find a
rural route to his destination.

Stephen Kohl has the right idea when it comes to changing speed limits
on urban freeways in accordance to the time of day and congestion.
Living in Kansas City, I know the feeling of the 75mph to 0mph dead
stop.  It seems to me a large majority of congestion is caused by:

	1)Poorly maintained vehicles.
	2)Inattentive (and poor) drivers
	3)Inconsiderate drivers

If we can get these rolling wrecks off the highways, and institute
REAL driver education so that everyone out there doesn't have their
head up their A$$, traffic is going to move a lot faster. A moving
driver is a happy driver, and a considerate one.

I as well as any else who has ever read Patrick Bedard in Car and
Driver knows that automotive insurance companies aren't worried about
your financial security (which is what insurance is for right?), but
see speed limits as a means to get you to fork over ridiculous amounts
for insurance.  A couple a speeding tickets and they assume the next
thing you'll do is get commode-hugging drunk, take the family Buick
out for a high speed run, and top off the evening by T-Boning a bus
load of social workers.  It should illegal to raise auto rates for a
sppeding ticket, since surveys show that the faster drivers are the
ones paying the most attention, and hence, the safest.

Keep the faith brothers.

From: Anonymous
Date: Sat, 9 Dec 1995 20:25:39 GMT

The speed limits should be set according to the location and speed of 
traffic, and it should be done so by hwy engineers, not politicians.
It would be so nice to do 75 and not worry about checking your mirrors
for flashing lights - maybe even concentrate on paying attention to 
what is going on the road. Some places could use even faster speed limits
I-70 through Kansas, I-15 through Utah, I-80 through Nebraska, to name 
just few places where you could go 100mph comfortably.
The main problem in this country are not speed limits, it is the drivers
and the state of their cars.

Europe is the place after which USA could model it's laws.
In most of the european countries (even supposedly backward eastern
european countries) the following two things are requirements before
you can drive:

1) Your car has to pass annual technical inspection (and you still can
   get pulled over for bald tires) before being registered.

2) You have to complete driver's ed course (usually 1-2 months) and
   pass stringent test. Also, drivers have to undergo physical exams
   every 2 to 5 years, and more often after age of 60.

Finally, there is this "obscure" driver courteousy factor - people are
actually polite to each other when driving - they will move out of the
left lane when you try to pass them, even if it means they will have to
slow down to get into right lane. And police will enforce left lane as
passing lane when somebody does stay in left lane for too long and 
slows down traffic.

From: John Gong <>
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 1995 18:26:14 -0400

There is no doubt that increasing speed limit to 70 won't cause
additional danger if everyone is doing below 70. The major attack
people use is that drivers will this time do 80. Well, I have a
cue. Anybody does more that 70 goes to jail for a week or pays a fine
of $10,000. The problem of the current system is not that the police
care about driving speed, but they care about fine revenue. There is a
perception in every one's mind that 10 miles above the limit is Ok,
and the perception is being taken advantage by the police and small
town sheriffs. They catch people selectively, but not every time,
fostering the belief that I might be lucky this time. It will scare
them to death if the Congress passes a bill of my idea, and we put up
an ad in New York Times.

Editors note: A very scary thought with some serious flaws. 

From: Michael Rohr <>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 1995 00:34:19 -0400

Have you ever driven between Kansas City and Denver.  There is nothing but
roling plains and strait blacktop.  I believe that the speed limits along
stretches of road like this should be 85 mph just because many cars are
equiped with speedometers that only go that far.  If all speedos went to
110, hell, make the limit 110.

From: Jeff Kuhn <>
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 1995 17:14:47 -0400

I agree with you completly.  Before I describe a recent example of 
why I agree with you, I also think that if the speed limit was 
raised to something of 70mph or higher, the minimum speed limit
must be raised.  45mph is not a safe minimum on any highway anywhere.
The minimum should be 55 or 60mph, but that's a different story.

Anyway, as for as the speed limit being 70+, I agree.  Recently,
(end of August 1995) I was coming home from vacation in New England
and I had to stop off in Providece, Rhode Island.  I live on Long
Island, New York.  Without traffic, Providence to Syosset (Long Island)
takes approx. 3 and a half hours assuming "avg" speed of aroudn 63mph
or so.  Anyway, to make a long story short, I cut the trip down
to 2hrs and 50 minutes, and that was averaging somewhere around 75.
Doing 65 at parts, doing 80 most of the time, and doing 90 sometimes.
The point is when I was around 80, I had people passing me on I95
southbound.  80mph.  Why do we still have a 55mph speed limit when 
people are doing 30mph faster than it.  It's dangerous, and it makes
no sense.

From: David N. Parry <>
Date: Wed, 27 Sep 1995 19:11:12 -0400

I disagree that ALL interstates should have a speed limit higher than the
current 55 mph.  However, these areas should be limited to the most
congested parts of heavily urbanised areas.  I currently live in
Jacksonville, Florida and there are too many people on the road at rush
hour to make going faster than 55 practical or safe.  However, my parents
live in Tallahassee, Florida and there is no reason why we should not be
able to drive 70, 80 or even 100 mph in areas that are out in BFE.  Ever
been to South Dakota, western Texas, or Arizona?  There's NOTHING there!! 
Drivers are more apt to fall asleep at the wheel and die than hit someone
else out there.  I have been in numerous arguments with my parents and
peers that fatigued drivers are a far greater hazard on the interstates
than fast drivers.  I am aware that not all drivers have the ability or
desire to drive at triple digit speeds, but I agree with Mr. Atkinson that
just because the speed limit is 80 mph that you MUST drive that fast.  For
those that can't, stay in the right lane (and out of my way).

From: David Rea
Date: Tue, 22 Aug 1995 01:05:00 -0400

In Spokane, MANY times, I will follow a State Trooper, city, or county
officer going 65 or 70 mph in the 55mph section of I-90. It seems to me
that this is the ultimate example of how even the people who are supposed
to enforce the law ignore it. I make it a point to get their licence #
and report them to thier peers. Most of the time the officer I call has
a, "ya right sure whatever" attitude about the situation. I have even
flaged down a city cop and asked him why he was doing 50mph in a 35mph
zone... I had paced him for 3-5 miles. He was shocked I had the gall to
do that. I was probably lucky he didn't ticket me... I belive we should
all report police who speed, and demand to see the disiplinary actions
taken. If its suposed to be good for us, it should be good for them also.

By the way NONE of these officers were runing any lights or sirens. And
everyone I was able to verify were not on any calls acording to thier
supervisors and the dispatch units...

From: Steven Gannon <sgannon51&>
Date: Thu, 28 Sep 1995 17:27:18 -0400

I constantly speed on the interstates at 80 mph, on a slow day.  In my
state the speed limit on the interstates is 65 but no one obeys the law and
the state troopers don't enforce it unless it is late at night or if you
are going more than 15 over.  The state troopers themselves go at least
80-85, they deny it but I've seen them do it constantly.  So if there not
going to enforce the laws anyway, why obey them.

From: Jon Persky <>
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 1995 13:32:02 -0400

My indication is that the slowpokes will still exist. People who
drive 35 on the interstate will not drive 50 if the speed limit
goes up by 15 mph. Traffic won't affect it. The only effect that
any speed limit will have is on people who fear getting pulled
over. I try not to do more than 10 over the limit because I can't
afford to get a ticket; so if the speed limit where I live in CT
was raised from 55 to 70 I'd probably do 80 where appropriate.

From:  <fz990@kanga.INS.CWRU.Edu>
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 1995 18:00:38 GMT

I live in Fort Wayne, IN.  My parents are divorced and my dad lives in
Grand Rapids, MI.  Needless to say, i travel a lot. Although i'll be
turning 17 next Saturday(12/16/95), i have had a lot of experience
driving on I-69 and I-96.  The limit is 65 all the way except right
around both cities. In the 65 zone most people drive 70 to 80.  The
55 zone doesn't slow anyone down even though it is heavily patroled.
I know where most of the cops are and since my dad is in the car i 
try to stay within 5 miles of the posted limit.  I agree that we need
smarter drivers!
So heres my idea of 'what should be done'
Daytime/Sunny Speed Limit 75, Trucks 65

With some good laws for people who dont slow down when dangerous
conditions snow, rain, darkness, heavy traffic, etc.
Notice the truck speed is lower! This is because 
  Momentum(what will kill you) = Speed * Mass

From: C. Wayne Allen <>
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 1995 10:46:52 -0400

I'm an engineer.  I think that the speed limits of all roads and
streets should be look at and review.  Not just the Interstates.  I do
not belief that the speed limits have kept up with the technology of
the cars and roads.  Also, those who say raise the Interstates to 70
are correct about the fact that this is what traffic is doing.  I just
made two trips this summer of about 2000 miles each.  During the trips
I set my cruise on 72 mph.  Let me tell you, I wasn't passing anyone.

Fell free to add your own response as long as it is Constructive! It can be anonymous if you want.

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