Increased speed limits raise questions

Tanessa Dillard, Sports Editor

On the road, there are rules that drivers learn to follow. For example, the four lanes of the freeway fall into categories: very slow, slow, fast and very fast. The speed limit simply serves as a medium for drivers of every kind.

That is not the law, but it is the norm. Regardless of any actual laws, there will always be those people who drive above the speed limit and those who drive below it—no matter what the speed limit is. That is just the way it works, and it is a pretty good system. After all, that is the system that motorists follow everyday.]

It is about time that a bill came along lifting the 55 mph federal speed limit that has kept motorists in the slow lane for so long. Now in California, they will be able to legally drive as fast as 70 mph without the fear of being pulled over by the Highway Patrol.

It just does not make sense for motorists to drive at low speeds when they can drive just as safely at higher ones.

People may assume that traffic accidents occur because of fast drivers, but these accidents cannot be blamed on speeding alone. Accidents do not happen because people drive fast, they happen because people drive recklessly. It may be true that some reckless drivers drive fast, but others, who are just as dangerous, if not more so, are the ones who drive slow, often below the speed limit. They cannot keep up with the other drivers. This, too, is reckless driving. They are the ones causing most of the trouble.

They are the cars that everyone swerves from lane to lane to get around. They are the cars that slam on the brakes for no apparent reason, causing chain reactions among the other motorists, who cannot always react to the unexpected jerking motion of the vehicle ahead.

Reckless driving is a crime that ought to remain a crime. Speeding, on the other hand, should not be seen as such a big deal, especially when motorists practice safe speeding. Safe speeders should not be punished by the law.

If you cannot take the heat, get off the freeway. Take a side street. Just do not get in the way of drivers who know what they are doing and where they are going.

Starting in January, in California lucky motorists will reap the benefits of a speed limit that allows them to drive 70 mph on interstates and 65 mph on many other highways that were previously posted with the outdated and much too slow “55 mph” speed limit signs.

This breakthrough will save motorists a great deal of time. They will be able to arrive to their destinations more promptly, no longer putting forth effort into slowing down to the speed limit or trying to sneak a few miles per hour over the limit to arrive to their destinations just a little more quickly than the law allows.

Truck drivers, as well, will be able to speed up, increasing their pay, which is generally based on how many miles per hour they drive.

Increased speed limits are said to affect the economy in other positive ways. Gas marketers may see more sales of premium grade gasoline. Not only that, but it is speculated that more motorists will take to the highways for road trips, spending money on recreation, food and lodging.

Most likely, the new speed limits will help more than they will hurt. After all, the limits are only being raised by a few miles per hour, not by 20 or 30. Motorists currently drive at 65 and 70 mph, anyway. In many cases, the police are driving right along beside them. Now it will be legal for everyone to drive faster. As a result, motorists will spend less time on the road.

Instead of worrying about accidents and other problems the new speed limits might cause, people should buckle up and get ready to drive fast.

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