Speed still kills

Published: Friday, January 6, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 5, 2006 at 10:20 p.m.
It was sad to see that the state set a record for highway deaths in 2005. The speed limit on the major highways in Florida is 70 mph. When one drives on I-75, I-95 or the Turnpike at a speed of 72 mph, one is often passed by at least 50 percent of the cars.
Is the speed limit really 70 mph or is it 80 mph? Many drivers realize that if they drive at 75 to 80 they most probably won't get a ticket. But it is a fact that as speeds go up three things take place.
First, tires wear out faster. Second, gas consumption increases. Third, more lives are lost.
Back in the 1970s, when we had a gasoline shortage, the national speed limit was lowered to 55 mph. This saved gasoline, tires and lives. A logical and brave thing to do would be to again lower the national or state speed limit.
A speed limit of 60 mph seems like a reasonable number. At 60 mph most people would probably drive at 70 mph And hopefully at 71 mph the Highway Patrol would give them a ticket.
It would be exciting if Jeb Bush would be brave and set the statewide maximum speed limit at 60 mph. In one year our traffic death toll would go down significantly. Florida could set an example for the whole country.
Larry Schwandes, Gainesville

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