There is a bill in Albany that is proposing that we raise the maximum speed limit to 70 in New York.  Is it worth it?

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When you're on the thruway in New York, how many of you can actually say that you don't drive over 65 miles per hour?  If you can actually say that, how many of you get flipped off regularly on the thruway in New York?

Very few people actually drive the speed limit...especially on the thruway.  So why bother raising it?

Why Shouldn't New York Raise The Speed Limit

There are obviously people who would argue that it shouldn't be raised at all.

More Dangerous - They will tell you that it will make the roads more dangerous and that more people will be injured or killed in accidents.

More Expensive - They will say that it will be more expensive to drive faster.  Fuel economy decreases at higher speeds.  And with the price of gas at the pumps being what it is, it could make driving the thruway much more expensive.  Plus add to that how it might affect insurance rates if accidents go up.

There Could Be Fewer Speeding Tickets - I know...that sounds good to us, but to the state, that's money that they will be missing out on.  Will there actually be fewer though?  If they raise the speed limit to 70, will people still drive 80 or more?

Why SHOULD New York Raise The Speed Limit

It's NOT More Dangerous - According to the Reason Foundation, raising the speed limiit to the actual speed that cars are driving makes it safer.  They say, "When the majority of traffic is traveling at the same speed, traffic flow improves and there are fewer accidents."

According to a 1996 Institute of Transportation Engineers study cited by the National Motorists Association, the reason for accidents isn't a faster speed limit, it's the difference in speeds between different vehicles on that road.  "those driving 10 mph slower than the prevailing speed are six times as likely to be involved in an accident."

Better Traffic Flow - Think of a stream that's flowing quickly.  It's the same with traffic.

There Will Be Fewer Speeding Tickets - I mean...we went over this earlier.

You'll Get Where You're Going Faster - Believe it or not, it won't be A LOT faster.  Depending on how far you're going, you could shave a few minutes off your trip.

Everyone Else Is Doing It - I know, your mom always told you that's never a reason to do something but there's only one state that has a lower maximum state speed limit than New York.  It's Hawaii with a 60 mile per hour limit.  Use those states as examples.  If it's safe for them to do it, couldn't it be safe here too.


What we need to remember, is that even if the maximum speed limit does get raised, it doesn't mean you have to drive the maximum speed.  Obviously, it's safest to maintain the flow of traffic, but this would normally apply to roads like the thruway.  They aren't going to raise your 35-mile-per-hour speed limit through town to 70.


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