A recent California report shows that
traffic deaths are at an all time low, which is indicative of a national
trend. This is due to high seat belt compliance, tougher D.U.I. laws and
enforcement and safer vehicles!
SPEED IS UP, FATALITIES ARE DOWN
Although more people are exceeding posted speeds the rates of fatalities in accidents are on the decline, according to a story in The Detroit News.
The national crash fatality rate, determined by the number of fatalities for every 100 million vehicle miles driven, has fallen by 11 percent since the United States lifted the national 55 mph speed limit in 1995.
Statistics from the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration dating from 1966 to 1998 show that Americans are driving more but fewer motorists are dying in accidents.
In 1966, American motorists drove 926 billion miles, tallied 50,894 fatalities and established a fatality rate (the number of deaths divided by the number of miles driven) of 5.6. By 1998, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the figures had changed to 2,619 trillion miles driven, 41,471 deaths and a fatality rate of just 1.6 percent.
The News said that Michigan mirrored national figures that saw the average speed on state roadways rising by only 1 percent after the speed limit was raised from 55 mph.
"It means that people were always driving 70 mph," said Gary Naeyaert, director of communications for the Michigan Department of Transportation, told The News.
"The reality is that speed does not kill," Naeyaert said. "Both nationally and in Michigan, travel by car is safer than ever. Statistically, your likelihood of being killed in an accident continue to decline."
Experts interviewed by The News attributed the reduced rate of fatalities to better engineered roadways and better and safer cars. Additional reasons for the falling fatality rate include a crackdown on drunk driving; educational programs for reckless drivers; and better emergency medical service
THIS is what MOST people are doing! Way too many motorists are NOT observing the new higher speed limits. Everyone believes that there is some magic 10 miles per hour bump that the police will allow before you get pulled over. BULLDINKY! I am getting PLENTY of people in my traffic violator school classes who got nailed at 70 in a 65 zone. All the self-serving positions by the associations that fought for higher speed limits said that if raised to the higher limit...EVEN THE 85th PERCENTILE, people would respect them, to which I replied at the time...BULLDINKY. Well....I was right. All you have to do is have eyes.....you don't even have to be Mr. Traffic. When you are doing 65, is not everyone zooming past you?? Maybe not on ALL roads you travel, but the numbers are there. So much for respect for the law. In Florida, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, the troopers are enforcing HEAVILY with $$$fines. This may account for some accident drop in those states. If it was up to moi, I would impose HEAVY penalties for anyone going more than 10 over.....that would do the trick.....or would it? The penalty for using the carpool lanes here in California with not enough people in the vehicle is around $300. Does that deter people? Hell no. I say....do the speed limit and you will get anywhere you need to go in plenty of time. Going 5-10 miles faster will just get you to the bottom of the off-ramp 5 minutes sooner on MOST trips, or to the next red light faster on the city streets. Ain't worth it. Until we have better license testing in this country that REQUIRES drivers to be safe and responsible (as they do in Germany), then we MUST enforce the laws.
I am reminded of a line from "STAR TREK: THE WRATH OF KAHN"..."the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few...or the one..." and that's why we drive the way we drive...as if the needs of the ONE outweigh the needs of the many!! YOUR need to get somewhere faster outweighs the needs of others to get there safely!
IT HAPPENS TO BE ILLEGAL TO BLOCK THE PASSING LANE (what YOU call The Fast Lane and the cops call THE SUCKER LANE) EVEN IF YOU ARE GOING THE SPEED LIMIT! THIS IS THE #1 CAUSE OF ROAD RAGE!
HERE TO SEE
THE SPEED LIMITS IN AMERICA