Should we let traffic go with the flow?

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

When driving fast is outlawed, only outlaws will drive fast.

That twist on the old gun slogan seems to have some merit, according to the Insurify car insurance comparison site.

Nebraskans rank high in the list of “outlaw” states, No. 5 in the top 10, but there’s more to it than simply exceeding the posted speed limit.

Factors such as how high the speed limit actually is, the number of officers per capita and the amount of fines also figure in

In Nebraska, 20.8 percent of drivers report speeding violations. There are 2 full-time sworn officers per 1,000 residents, and fines range from $10 for speeding less than 5 mph over the speed limit, to $600 for doing 35 mph or more over the limit in a construction zone. And don’t forget court costs, which are hefty by themselves.

The rural speed interstate speed limit in Nebraska is 75 mph most places, but there is a proposal to raise it to 80 statewide.

Iowa was No. 1 on the list, with 23.2 percent speeders and 1.7 officers per 1,000 residents, but the interstate speed limit is only 70 mph.

Proponents of raising Nebraska’s interstate speed limit point to studies that show it’s safer to set the speed limit closer to the speed traffic is already traveling than to arbitrarily set it at a lower speed.

Some trucking firms, which have speed limiters on their trucks in the interest in economy and safety, are opposed to raising the limit, as are other safety groups.

Slower speeds are definitely safer when it comes to bad weather, or when deer or livestock may be on the roadway, but traffic that is significantly slower than the prevailing speed is a definite hazard.

What do you think?

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