LETTER: Lowering speeds will save lives, conserve fuel

One letter writer said that raised speed limits are the cause of accidents.

Yesterday, I left Agassiz to go to Chilliwack at 1:00pm.  After 1 hour of activity in Chilliwack I drove home and arrived at 5:30pm.  A total of 3½ hours of travel which usually takes less than 1 hour.  The reason: accidents on Highway 1 – twice in the same afternoon.

ICBC reports increase in accidents and accident costs.  Two people killed in Vancouver yesterday.  What do all these have in common?  They are the result of Minister Stone’s rash decision to increase speed limit on our highways due to pressure from speed nuts.

Why doesn’t he look at history?  Just a few years ago, the State Congress of Minnesota had to call a special summertime session to reverse their decision earlier in the year to increase speed limits.  There were so many people being killed that the police and emergency personnel couldn’t keep up.

In 1974, due to the OPEC oil embargo, North America reduced speed limits on all highways to 55 mph (90 kph).  This saved gas.  However, the significant result was a reduction of 18 per cent in accidents and over 50 per cent reduction in deaths.  Fuel consumption increases by 20 per cent between 90 and 100 kph and rises exponentially beyond that.

So, if we reduce speed limits, we reduce accident and medical costs and we can use that money to fund more traffic enforcement on our roads.  And we reduce pollution.  Let’s start thinking and stop just reacting.  Speed kills

 

Terence Blaker,

Agassiz