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Speed limit legislation not beneficial to drivers

Published: Thursday, November 14, 2013

Updated: Thursday, November 14, 2013 01:11

 

Interstate speed limits might be seeing an increase, but the bill is nothing more than a people pleaser. 

Florida Senators Jeff Brandes (R—St. Petersburg) and Jeff Clemens (R—Lake Worth) plan to propose a bill that would increase the state’s maximum speed limit from 70 to 75 mph. 

The idea to increase the speed limit on highways and interstates where it is safe would be very ideal for drivers traveling through the long stretches of very rural areas, but increasing the speed limit by 5 mph does not seem significant enough to make a difference. 

If the bill does pass, the Florida Department of Transportation will determine where it is safe, meaning the construction areas where the low speed is the most
irritating are not likely to see a change.   

According to a press release issued Tuesday, Brandes’ motivation behind the legislation is to set speed limits more in line with actual driving behavior. However, increasing the speed limit is only commending bad-driving
behavior.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, people often drive faster than the speed limit, and if the limit is raised, they will still drive faster. It also claims research shows when speed limits go up, deaths on those roads go up too.

Florida ranked third as a state in 2012 for the nation’s worst drivers, according to an Allstate study on the auto-insurance claims frequency of the 200 largest U.S. cities. Pushing to increase the speed limit is only going to make those numbers worse. 

It wouldn’t be a smart
decision to give a state known for its bad driving one of the fastest speed limits in the nation, just under Texas and Utah at 85 and 80 mph respectively. An increase in speed limit, even as small as 5 mph, increases the impact in a car accident and crashes are more likely because it takes longer for cars to stop.

Pushing legislation to increase the speed limit by 5 mph is a waste of time and effort because it will likely result in a negative impact on Florida drivers. The senators pushing for the
legislation should be
focusing on more serious issues such as the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida or the Affordable Care Act. 

Spending time on
legislation to increase the speed limit may get the senators more votes at election time, but it is not truly
beneficial to the citizens.    

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