Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Score One For Common Sense

As I got in last night, I caught an interesting little segment on my local news. It seems that during the last year since speed limits on parts of I-10 and I-20 in west Texas were raised to 80 mph, the fatality rate on that section of interstate has actually dropped 25%. Which isn't really saying much since the drop was from 4 the year prior to the increase, to 3 in the last year, but it is still a drop.

Back when the raise was announced, you heard all the usual gloom and doomer safe us from ourselves types preaching sure chaos and spikes in the death rates and got quotes like this:

"That's not good news for safety," says Richard Retting, senior transportation engineer at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an industry group. "When states raise speed limits, they're trading lives for faster travel times."

and this

"This will result in more deaths. The research is pretty clear about that," said Russ Rader, spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "You get someplace faster but at what cost?"
I have a feeling these guys won't be looking to get their names in the paper this go around.

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