Yep, you read that right. A movement was recently put forth to remove speed limits completely from sections of local freeways. Yikes!
After years of seeing posted highway speeds creep up around the country, a California legislator proposed this: no speed limits at all! Needless to say, this is a ridiculous proposition.
State Senator John Moorlach seems to disagree. His bill would add 4 lanes to two highways, the 5 and State Route 99, where drivers have no limits to how fast they can drive at any time that they want. Moorlach does not think that safety is an issue associated with his plan, and is basing this solely on the success of high speed roads in other countries. We beg to differ on this point.
Speeding kills. In Los Angeles alone, roughly 260 people die each year in crashes where the primary factor is speeding. Another 1,000 per year suffer life-altering injuries, like amputations, brain damage and paralysis in speed related crashes. This is not okay, but like distracted driving, speeding has somehow become normalized within American culture and among California drivers.
Higher speeds not only increase the frequency of crashes, but the severity as well since vehicles smash into each other at higher combined speeds. In fact, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the lives of 33,000 motorists and their passengers would have been saved if there had been no speed increases between 1993 (when states posted limits at either 55mph or 65mph) and 2013.
The fact is: speeding seems to be one of the forgotten issues, like distracted driving, in traffic safety. There is no social stigma to it because so many people just do it with no thought to the lives they put at risk. And this bill will not help change this attitude at all.
This bill is set to come before the Senate Transportation Committee this month. SAFE has some plans to stop this... stay tuned....