Why Speed Limiters Are NOT About Safety, But More About Control

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.

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2 Responses to “Why Speed Limiters Are NOT About Safety, But More About Control”

  1. Terry Hudson says:

    Yes, the old redundant communist secret police, the Stasi, seemed to have got jobs in the European Union.
    Their expertise and skill on total surveillance, mind control and censorship, was not wasted on the European Parliament.
    ‘Land of the free’ you claim, but from over here in England, to me it looks like your just free to do as your told!
    I see no problem that so called road-safety ‘experts’ will demand this sort of surveillance imposed on American citizens.
    Do not worry about enemies of freedom in the middle-east, they are much closer to home!
    It is coming your way, protests now, its your future!

  2. Bruce says:

    Guaranteed a speed limiter will never be on my car. I just got a new 2016 Cadillac ATS Premium 3.5L V6

    (non turbo) and in my life, will probably not need to buy another car. And if I should and it has that idiotic

    feature, I am sure some company will find a way to bypass or deactivate it. Either in the computer coding

    or by removing a wire or sensor connection. Just like on a lot of cars, you can easily disable the engine

    Auto Stop / Start system (my Cadillac has a factory switch you press after you start the car to keep it disabled)

    As for speeds causing accidents, in most cases it is the driver going way too slow or failing to keep right that

    causes the most trouble. Only exception is when winter rolls around and the roads are icy or snowy or when

    there is bad fog and drivers do not slow down to a speed appropriate for the road conditions. The result is

    cars off the road, in the ditch or into a tree or a chain reaction crash event.