Vita Rara: A Life Uncommon

The Verdict Is In: Speed Doesn't Kill


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A great piece appeared on The Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal website today dealing with speed limits. Go read it.

I find myself heartily agreeing with their sentiments and conclusions. I think the 55 mph speed limits imposed on the states by the federal government in the 70's were both a failure and badly mistaken.

Compliance with the 55 mph speed limit had fallen so low that it made a law breaker out of 95% of the American population if the numbers are to be believed. I believe that this led to contempt in general for stupid laws, and contempt for law enforcement in general. Make people obey rules that they know are stupid and they will resent you for it.

In the end the 55 mph speed limit became a source of revenue, and an excuse to pull people over and search cars. The statistics now prove that all the cries of safety were nothing but empty wishes of a nanny state bureaucrats.

Having spent time out west travelling the highways of this nation I can tell you that 55 must have felt like time spent in purgatory. I never had to deal with it. My first trip out there was in 2003, after the repeal of 55.

I've felt that our highways were getting safer, and I'm happy now that we have the statistics to tell the nannies where to go if they ever try to impose their will on us again.