Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dumbing up the speed limit in San Antonio

Who'd a thunk it? Certain stretches of interstate highways in San Antonio are going to have a higher speed limit, because faster is apparently...safer!
City officials recently asked the Texas Department of Transportation to consider raising speed limits on several freeways. TxDOT studied the matter and agreed, saying that allowing higher speeds will be safer.

"They asked us to raise the speeds because of enforcement problems," TxDOT spokeswoman Laura Lopez said.
First, I must say--make up your minds, is it because it is safer or because of enforcement problems? My vote is for the latter.
"To set speed limits, engineers determine the speed that 85 percent of motorists don't exceed, round it off to the nearest 5 or 0 and decide whether road widths, curves and crash histories warrant dropping it, or increasing it by up to 10 mph.

'It's trying to capture the speed that most people will feel comfortable with,' Jacobson said.

Speeds higher than the average comfort zone are considered unreasonable. Speed limits are meant to corral wayward speeders--as well as slowpokes--into moving with the pack, which is much safer."
I will admit that I ignore the current speed limits on most of those areas. However, everyone feels comfortable until something unexpected happens and they suddenly have to stop. Then it very abruptly becomes very uncomfortable.

This seems to me to reek of some kind of bizarre example of setting speed limits by political correctness, instead of by what is actually safe.

And all those people who drive 10 mph over the speed limit because they never get stopped at that speed anyway will now still be driving 10 mph over the speed limit, so now we can expect plenty of morons to be doing 80 mph through San Antonio.

And that part of driving with the pack being safer is complete bull$#@!. It is always safer to allow the pack to pass you up so that you can maintain as much empty space as possible around your vehicle.

Higher speed equals less reaction time, unless someone recently changed the laws of physics.