By Florida Member Stephen Donaldson
Life Member, Stephen Donaldson has held various volunteer positions (including Florida State Activist) with the National Motorists Association. He currently serves as a member of the NMA Foundation Board. He wrote a version of this post as a letter-to-the-editor.
Say NO to speed limiters!
The speed limiters that will soon be on all new EU vehicles by 2022 are NOT about safety one bit. If this starts in Europe, you know that new car speed limiters will soon find their way here. And these limiters are no more to safety than adhering to a number sign without question.
Anyone who lived through the 55 mph speed limit era can attest to that. During that time, limits were set on politics NOT safety. After repeal, the overall traffic death rates WENT DOWN, despite claims of doom and gloom, which was manufactured reports by the auto insurance industry.
The prevailing one-third of crashes are “caused” by “speeding” claim is very misleading. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA counts three different things for “speeding” crashes: street racing, driving too fast for conditions (below the speed limit), and driving above the speed limit regardless of cause.
According to this 2017 TheNewspaper.com post entitled, Federal Stats Overstate Role Of Speeding In Fatal Crashes:
“The US Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) describes the actions of 48,613 drivers who were involved in 32,166 fatal crashes in 2015. NHTSA took the database and used the broadest possible definition of “speeding” to arrive at the 27 percent figure.
NHTSA considers a crash to be speeding-related if any driver in the crash was charged with a speeding-related offense or if a police officer indicated that racing, driving too fast for conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit was a contributing factor in the crash,” the report explains.”
Of course, all of this is a judgment call from the investigating officer at the scene of the crash. According to the detailed information from the 2015 FARS database and not the detailed report, traffic accident statistics looked much differently according to TheNewspaper.com:
- Eighty-two individuals were identified as racing before the fatal accident which accounted for 0.2 percent of incidents.
- Only 102 speeding tickets were issued to drivers, compared to 6864 tickets for non-speeding offenses.
- Only seven percent or 3469 drivers were actually found to exceed the posted speed limit.
Check out the information chart HERE.
Most “speeding” has more to do with underset limits. Many posted limits are posted based on politics NOT safety. This is happening more and more often in cities and states across our country.
When you have most cars breaking a limit safely (the 85th percentile rule), then the posted speed limit is likely too low. The vast majority of drivers, however, are not driving “unsafe.” The mandatory 55 mph speed limit back in the 1970s and 1980s showed the nonsense of basing “safety” on a number sign without any question.
Car speed limiters are not only an excess of fantasy control by so-called “safety” advocates, they are also just downright dangerous because there are times a driver needs to use judgment to deal with emergencies or avoid crashes. DRIVERS NEED TO BE IN CONTROL, not unelected employees of government agencies.
There is more to “safety” than a number sign or impact speed. We don’t even saddle aviation with this nonsense. This “car limiter” needs to be tossed in the trash can of bad ideas.