Thursday, March 08, 2012

Speed kills, but states keep raising speed limits

Enforcement of speeding violations has lagged over the last decade. Speed-related deaths have risen 7 percent since 2000; in 2010, 10,530 people died in speed-related crashes, Larry Copeland of USA Today reports. Nevertheless, states continue to raise speed limits. This is especially troubling for rural areas, where roads are more dangerous. Not much progress is being made to reduce speeding and aggressive driving, according to a survey from the Governors' Highway Safety Association.

Use of automated speed enforcement is limited, as are funds for road safety promotion and education. GHSA director Barbara Hersha said that speeding is "more of a cultural thing" that comes from the 1995 repeal of the national 55 mph speed limit. People didn't take the speed limit seriously after that, she said. The National Motorists Association says roads "have never been safer," though, and favors setting speed limits based on "sound traffic engineering principles." GHSA recommends states address speeding with aggressive driving crackdowns, Copeland reports. (Read more)

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