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Speed Limits 
6th-May-2010 11:26 am
back to the future
The post I made about unmarked police cars being used to catch speeders has led me to thinking about another question.

Poll #1561023 Speed Limits

If a majority of people drive faster than the posted speed limit, should the speed limit be changed?

I know you might want a box that says "in some cases" -- but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. You can say "in some cases" in the comments if you wish. : )
(Deleted comment)
6th-May-2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
I don't *think* the majority of people visit prostitutes, but I think it should be legalized...just for different reasons than "everybody is doing it." I digress. :P
(Deleted comment)
6th-May-2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
No way, I think it would be crazy to change the speed limit - that would only make it even more dangerous.

6th-May-2010 06:39 pm (UTC)
Well, that was awful. It was more awful than that one Coldplay video.
(Deleted comment)
6th-May-2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
So, it goes from 65 to 75 because everyone is driving 75 anyway.... so then everyone drives 85! Where does it end? Should we all just have every highway be like the autoban?

(just playing devil's advocate here)
(Deleted comment)
6th-May-2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
The speed limit should be whatever is safest for the place it is set. For instance, in a city where people could be crossing a road, it should be slow enough to be able to brake quickly in an emergency and not run someone over! If the majority of people drive faster than the limit - maybe they need to re-take their driving test?
6th-May-2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
Do you find that where you live, people generally follow the limitations?

We have some areas where there IS no speed limit. Just drive whatever you think is safe. OR FASTER! :P
6th-May-2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
Wow, how many Bad Ideas could we enact with pure majority rule establishing rule of law?

I seem to recall some sort of study that ran to the extent that people's actual driving habits tend towards speeding a little - i.e. people tend to drive 60 in 55 zones and 40 in 35 zones.

It might be bad data, but let's assume that it's not. As such, it's the speed limit itself that more or less determines to what extent people are speeding. There are functional extremes, of course, but it's relevant to note because it suggests there's not a "natural" speed on any given stretch of road. People tend towards speeding. As such, you can't really win by changing the speed limit.
6th-May-2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
Just in my own experience, I would say that the study sounds about right. If only we could use some reverse psychology and make all the speed limits 5-10 miles LESS than what people will go anyway. And then we could ticket above that. YES, MELISSA FOR PRESIDENT!
6th-May-2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
They've actually done studies, and discovered that people who drive 5-10 miles over the speed limit are saner, healthier, and better drivers than people who drive at or below the speed limit, or more than 10 miles over the speed limit.

I'm not sure what that says about me; I generally do 70 on 55 MPH roads when it's late at night. During the daytime I stay closer to the speed limit, because there's more people around. I'm a fan of the "variable speed limit" concept.

Speed limits, to me, are awesome suggestions; if a road seems clear and the speed limit is low, I think, "Oh, there must be some kind of road hazard. I should be careful."
6th-May-2010 06:19 pm (UTC)
That's interesting findings. It's easier to know what you feel comfortable with as being "safe" when you're on familiar roads, but I think it's even more important to follow the speed limit when you're in unfamiliar territory -- and you don't know when there's a big curve ahead or a stop sign coming up, etc.
6th-May-2010 06:48 pm (UTC)
I think people will go faster than the speed limit no matter what it is, unless it's the Autobahn, so there's no point.
6th-May-2010 07:31 pm (UTC)
I hate douchebags who think the rules do not apply to them. Even though sometimes I hate myself. ;)
6th-May-2010 10:16 pm (UTC)
I say it depends; ergo, I can't vote "yes" or "no."

The reason is because many factors come into play: the current speed limit, obstacles in the area, schools or hospitals, etc., in the vicinity, the terrain, and so on.

If the speed limit is already, say 35 mph in a hilly residential zone, then I'd say no. But if it's a long stretch of flat, straight country road with few buildings around, I'd say that the 35 mph limit could be bumped up a notch (barring other possible reasons for such a low speed limit). ;)
7th-May-2010 02:33 am (UTC)
Just because they do it doesn't mean it's safe. Not only that, but I suspect speed limits are intended to have the idea in mind that people are going to go over that limit. Bringing the speed limit up to match people's speeds on said road would see people going faster still, which could be dangerous.
7th-May-2010 03:05 am (UTC)
No because then they will just go even faster!
7th-May-2010 04:09 am (UTC)
My answer is maybe, but not necessarily because most people drive faster than the speed limit.

There is a highway near here that has a speed limit of 55, but nearly everyone drives 65 - 70 or even much faster. I'm not sure why, but it's always been that way since I've lived here (7 + years). That road is congested, though, with lots of merging and other things going on--left exits, major highways splitting off, etc. There are lots of accidents on that road. I think the speed limit should be enforced, but it usually isn't.

OTOH, there is another highway that goes into a more rural area. There are exits and entrance ramps, but even when there is heavier traffic there, it's not that bad and there are not a lot of merging and roads splitting off and so on. Most of the time, the traffic on this road is very light--especially compared to other highways in this area.

When you get up closer to the city, the speed limit on this road is 60. Further into the rural area where there is much less traffic and fewer exits? It's 55. Everyone drives 60 - 65 unless there is a cop right there stopping people. I think the speed limit should be increased at least to 60 since there's no real reason for it to be 55.

I don't necessarily think the speed limit should be increased just because everyone drives too fast, but more that it makes logical sense for this area.

Also, there are tons and tons and tons of cops on the more rural road, but in all the time I've lived here, I've mostly only seen cops at accidents on the congested road. They just don't enforce the speed limit there, but yet, where it would actually be safer to drive faster, they enforce it quite strictly.

I think it's weird. I do wish they'd increase the speed limit on the more rural road. Even though it runs through a rural area, it is still a major, divided highway. No pedestrian traffic or farm equipment or anything like that is allowed.

Edited at 2010-05-07 04:11 am (UTC)
7th-May-2010 08:51 am (UTC)
That majority of people should be tied up behind their own speeding cars and dragged along the road.

It may seem harsh in words, but I just got home and had so many a-hole drivers on the road that it doesn't seem harsh enough to me right now.
7th-May-2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
Just because there are people who go 50 km/h in a 30 zone does not mean that the 30 zone should be abolished. 30 km/h zones mostly exists to protect pedestrians living in that area especially children.

We do have Motorways without speed limits though, and infaqct there is even a recommended speed . (for example on the A7 not far from here the recommended speed is 130 km/h .
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