Re: Repeal of the National Speed Limit Law

In article <3sn4sa$40v@newsbf02.news.aol.com>, AAPR RB <aaprrb@aol.com> wrote:
>"...and the Report "Effects of Raising And Lowering Speed Limits" proves
>it.  You can read the findings of the report at

>Hopefully this article was originally published in a scientific journal
>before being published on the net. 

If it's the study by Tignor and Warren, it was commissioned by the US
Department of Transportation.  This is a very thorough study with a lot
of information gathered from a variety of real roads, not some gedanken
experiment by academics with too much time on their hands.

>				    The scientific community has recently
>announced that they will not pre-publish articles on the net due to it's
>overall lack of credibility in the articles available therin.

The "scientific community" is not one unified body, but is made up of
individuals with rather diverse opinions.  What authority represents
your "scientific community"?  In any event, Tignor and Warren have had
other papers published in proceedings of various conferences.  These
guys aren't just blowing smoke.

>"The slogen "speed kills" is a big misconception that almost every one
>belives but the NMA and the few intelligent non-NMA members out there."

>I've said it before and I'll say it again. The only ones who find speed to
>be a non-contributing factor are those who have their own agendas like
>selling books or creating lobbying groups and are not held accountable for
>anything. They are arguing by throwing studies and political posturing in
>the face of basic physics. Increasing speed directly increases stopping
>distance and shortens reaction times. That is the bottom line.

You are confusing two different issues.  Of course physics dictates that
e=1/2mv^2.  So once a mistake is made, the higher the speed, the higher
the penalty for a sudden stop.  But study after study has shown that
accident rates are not correlated with absolute speed, but with speed
*differentials* between vehicles.  Tignor and Warren (and others before
them) show that the most dangerous drivers on the road are the
*slowest*, as they tend to collect other drivers in their accidents; in
contrast, the "speed demons" tend to fall off the roads alone, hurting
only themselves.

Tignor and Warren also show that posted speed limits do not affect the
behavior of the average driver; people drive at whatever speed they feel
comfortable and safe, and by and large the accident rates show people's
judgments are correct.  Consider that many Interstate highways have
design speeds in excess of 70 MPH -- and this for the heavy,
ill-handling, underbraked cars of the '60s!

The other issue is that safety *cannot* be the only criteria for setting
speed limits.  Sure, the roads would be safest at 0 MPH, but you'd never
get anywhere!  You often hear people say "you cannot put a price on a
human life", but as a matter of engineering and public policy, we

The facts are in.  "Speed kills" is a Big Lie.  Everyone who drives
knows it, and pretending otherwise is just hypocrisy.  So it's time for
the traffic engineers, and not the insurance industry or any other
vested interest, to set the speed limits.

 -- Chuck Fry, member, National Motorists Association
Chuck Fry  chucko@best.com  chucko@rahul.net  chucko@ptolemy.arc.nasa.gov
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