Assembly Speaker Robin Vos would support raising Wis. speed limits from 65 mph to 70 mph

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: August 17, 2013 - 3:25 PM

RACINE, Wis. — Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said this week he'll back a proposed bill that would raise state speed limits from 65 mph to 70 mph, one of several measures he expects will be brought up when legislators return for the fall session in mid-September.

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herby2013Aug. 17, 1312:03 PM

FACT: The higher the speed limit, the more people that die in accidents. Every year, thousands of families get the heartbreaking news that their loved one was killed in a preventable accident. More deaths, more injuries just to save a few minutes of time...is it worth it?

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Steve DonerAug. 18, 13 3:15 PM

First a reply to Herby. The item noted as a FACT is not a fact. Sure, higher speeds increase crash severity, but only 2% of fatalities occur on rural interstates in Wisconsin. Got that 98% of deaths happen on secondary roads. That is direct from NHTSA and I will provide the links to various other studies in another post. The other key point is that speed LIMITS have very little effect on how fast people actually drive. Numerous studies have shown that underposted speed limits actually make the roads less safe.

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Steve DonerAug. 18, 13 3:17 PM

Here is a summary version of my case for higher interstate speed limits. Please feel free to share. 1. Nearly 90% of fatalities occur on secondary roads. Only about 6% of fatalities occur on rural interstates plus another 7% on urban interstates nationwide. Increased speed limits would not apply to the roads where 87% to 94% of fatalities occur (depending on whether urban interstates are included). 2. Higher speed limits on interstates helps draw traffic away from secondary highways which are more dangerous, thus increasing overall road safety. 3. For decades, traffic engineers have promoted establishment of speed limits based on 85th percentile speeds – the maximum speed at which 85% of motorists travel when unencumbered by traffic or enforcement. Well informed state police and transportation departments also advocate this approach. 4. Speed limits have very little impact on the pace of faster traffic – most drivers, including the police, ignore under-posted limits. 5. Higher interstate speed limits improve safety by reducing speed variance, road rage and weaving. 6. Under-posted speed limits breed disrespect for all laws, especially traffic laws. This leads to speeding in construction zones and on secondary roads. 7. Under-posted speed limits leave drivers bored, unengaged and distracted. Since driving does not demand their full attention, drivers talk on the phone and even text while driving…because they can. Do you think drivers text on the German autobahn? Not likely. 8. With a very few exceptions, even with increased speed limits our interstates are still posted at or below the limits which were in place in 1970 (pre-55). Since then the handling capability and safety equipment on vehicles has improved dramatically such that limits of 80 to 85 should be the norm (as they are in many other parts of the industrialized world). 9. The so-called safety advocates (insurers and others who make money from ticketing) tend to cite studies which count the raw number of fatalities rather than looking at the actual rate per mile driven. The raw number of fatalities fell under the 55 mph speed limit fell primarily because people were driving less (because of gas prices). The actual fatality rate has fallen steadily for nearly 100 years during times of both rising and falling speed limits. 10. Higher limits reduce congestion and may actually save fuel by allowing drivers to keep a steadier pace. Steve Doner Former Illinois State Chapter Coordinator National Motorists Association

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Steve DonerAug. 18, 13 3:18 PM

Charts Supporting Higher Speed Limits: The first chart is to establish context on the speed limit debate. Nearly 90% of all traffic fatalities occur on non-interstates. Rural and urban interstate fatalities are each only about 6% of the total for 2011. Data shown is for 2011 but the proportions have been similar for each of the past 5 years. The 2nd chart illustrates that traffic flowing below the average pace of traffic is at the greatest risk. Too-low limits drive law abiding citizens into the highest risk group. The 3rd chart shows that despite claims to the contrary, fatalities have dropped over time regardless of rising and falling speed limits. The 4th chart goes to the extreme and shows that even in Germany, where there is no speed limit, fatalities have fallen as average speeds have gone up over time. The common fear of higher speed limits is much like the fear of flying that many people feel. This is another example where the common intuitive feeling that higher speeds increase danger is simply not supported by the facts. http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh605/DonerDesigns/USAFatalitiesChart_zpsed7668bc.jpg http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh605/DonerDesigns/SpdVar_zps908853c2.jpg http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh605/DonerDesigns/FtltyTrnd_zps382f03a8.jpg http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh605/DonerDesigns/german_zpsa5570dc0.png Steve Doner Former Illinois State Chapter Coordinator National Motorists Association

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Steve DonerAug. 18, 13 3:18 PM

Here are some links which overwhelmingly support higher limits: http://www.news-gazette.com/opinion/guest-commentary/2013-05-26/increased-speed-limit-not-threat-public-safety.html http://blog.motorists.org/reduce-road-rage-realistic-speed-limits/ http://www.motorists.org/speed-limits/ http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa346.pdf http://www.ibiblio.org/rdu/sl-irrel.html http://www.hwysafety.com/hwy_montana.htm http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx http://www.donerdesigns.org/other-causes Steve Doner Former Illinois State Chapter Coordinator National Motorists Association

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Steve DonerAug. 18, 13 3:19 PM

Previously published letters to editors supporting higher limits http://napervillesun.suntimes.com/people/voices/letters-NAP-07122013:article http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130710/discuss/707109950 http://www.sj-r.com/opinions/x1806121194/Letter-Too-low-speed-limits-are-dangerous http://www.bcrnews.com/2013/07/25/lowerhigher-speed-limits/ae5fuki/?page=1 Steve Doner Former Illinois State Chapter Coordinator National Motorists Association

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