Monday, March 21, 2016
Wyo. raising some highways to 70 mph; bill sponsor says people more comfortable driving that speed
Republican state Sen. Leland Christensen, who said he sponsored the bill because he felt it would be more cost-effective to pass the bill than to continue studying it, said 70 mph is a safe speed because data shows that the average person drives 71 to 72 mph, Hancock writes. He told her, “People tend to drive where they’re comfortable. That’s what we found out when we raised the speeds on the freeways.” He also said he studied when speed limits were raised from 75 to 80, finding "there was more variation between the speeds of the fastest and slowest vehicles," which he said increases accident risks.
Cathy Chase of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a Washington-based nonprofit public health, safety and consumer group, disagrees that raising speed limits can be safer, Hancock writes. She said "people are more likely to be killed or permanently injured at high speeds than lower speeds," stating that one-third of all crashes are speeding-related. She also "pointed to federal data showing that in a six-state region that includes Wyoming, fatalities were up in the first nine months of 2015 compared with the same time in 2014." (Read more)