Re: Repeal of the National Speed Limit Law

>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

The National Motorists Association sounds like a vested interest to me. 
Nice contradiction, but I won't hold that against you. 

Just to clear a few things up since some people (mostly NMA members by
chance) have been wildly misinterpriting my statements.

1) Thank you for posting the reference to the study about speed vs.
accidents and that it was a published article as opposed to something
found lying about on the net. We need more references and less opinion. On
that note I have found myself lacking a few references and will make up
for them now. 

Sources for speed causing accidents:
"The New Grolier Electronic Encyclopedia"
"Information Please Alminac" from the National Safety Council
Comptons Encyclopedia
The California Highway Patrol

  The Most Common Causes of Accidents
The Most Common Causes of Accidents

   Almost 18 million traffic accidents are reported in the United States
annually, and more than 450,000 are reported in Canada each year. Human
error is responsible for about 90 percent of these accidents.
   The most frequent traffic violations committed by poor drivers are: (1)
speeding--the principal contributing factor in fatal and nonfatal traffic
accidents; (2) failing to yield the right-of-way--ranks second in nonfatal
and third in fatal accidents; and (3) driving under the influence of
alcohol--a factor in at least half of the fatal accidents." Comptons

In addition:
The Gallup Organization conducted a survey in which drivers rated their
own ability compaired to others on the road. 70% of the respondants
claimed to have better driving ability than other drivers on the road,
with nearly half stating their driving aptitude as 'excellent'. Only 36%
of people reported that they usually drive above the speed limit. (The
Gallup Organization)

Psycologists state time and time again that speeding is a direct response
to the 'challenge' of being passed by another driver. As a driver gets
passed he (most speeders are men) feels the need to regain his position
and the race is on. (Orange County Register)

The California Department of Motor Vehicals conducted a study to determine
the effects of suspending the licenses of habitual speeders. They stopped
the suspension of licenses to a control group of people, while continued
the enforcement with the rest of the habitual speeders for a number of
months. The study was discontinued after public outrage that the
non-suspended speeders were shown to be killing themselves and innocent
people (motorists, passengers and pedestrians) at a greater than normal
rate. (Orange County Register)

A published journal article showed that owners of radar detectors were
MORE likely to get speeding tickets than non-owners. This is primarily due
to the effect of radar detector owners are a self selected group of people
who habitually speed.

That should give you some quick items to disprove as opinions of bored

I haven't mentioned this before but will now. I am not oppsed to a raised
speed limit being passed by the govt. In fact I am slightly for it.
However, I'm also pretty sure that many states won't change their speed
limits even if they were given control of them. If they did, only in
select (probably rural) areas.

One of my points about a higher speed limit creating more deaths and
serious accidents DOES  in fact take into account some of the points that
NMA members have brought up. Primarily the one about people will drive at
whatever speed they want no matter what the posted limit. I see it a
slightly different way. I see it as a percentage over the posted limit.
Raise the speed limit, all traffic speeds increase. Those who drove
habitually over the speed limit will still drive over the new speed limit.
However with greater speeds comes shortened reaction times and all the
other fun stuff discussed as of late. Still with me? OK now we see that we
are just moving everyone up in speed (momentum) and roughly the same
percentage of people who would have had accidents above the speed limit
will still have accidents above the speed limit, only with a higher
percentage of fatalities due to the increase in energy of impact and the
resulting greater structural damage to the vehical(s).

Assuming that all traffic will stay at the same average speed even with an
increase in posted speed limit and without adjusting to the newer speed
over time is unsound logic and psychology. History has taught us that. No
matter how good we have it we always want more. The first prison in
america had its first riot over the food the inmates were served. What
detestable food were they made to consume? Lobster. Raise the speed limits
now and in a few years they will be too slow again. That's just they way
things go.

By the way, sorry for any odd posting problems. In the past week two of my
Usenet links have gone down and I am being forced to use what is available
on AOL. They don't even list the newsgroups properly. I tried to send my
original posting to ca.driving, but it also got into rec.autos.driving
without me knowing it right off. That's why I have so many CA references -
CVC = California Vehical Code.

And yes, I do have a few speeding tickets. But as an EMT I have also
pulled a few too many people out of auto accidents. Many of them caused by
speeds above the flow of traffic.