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Archive for Monday, October 6, 2008

Public opinion largely against lower speed limits

October 6, 2008

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On the street

Are you in favor of reducing the speed limit to lower greenhouse gas emissions?

I would be in favor of that. I think it’s a small thing to do to make a big difference. What’s the hurry, anyway?

More responses

Comment deadline

The public comment period runs through Friday. Comments can be mailed to Kansas Energy Council Executive Director Liz Brosius at the Kansas Energy Council, 1500 SW Arrowhead Road, Topeka, KS 66604-4027, or e-mailed to l.brosius@kcc.ks.gov.

— Kansans appear ready to put the brakes on a proposal to lower the state speed limit from 70 mph to 65 mph.

By more than a 5-to-1 margin, Kansas residents oppose the move, according to the dozens of comments received so far by the Kansas Energy Council.

Lawrence's Stanley Rasmussen's reasoning against the proposal is typical of many.

"If a person desires to save gas by driving a lower speed, it should be up to the individual driver to make the decision for himself or herself rather than the government artificially imposing such restrictions," Rasmussen said.

The state Energy Council proposed a speed limit reduction and increased fines for speeding as a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The recommendations are part of a larger package that are open to public comment through Friday.

The Energy Council will have a few more meetings to fine-tune its final recommendations, which will then be forwarded to state leaders for consideration.

So far, reducing the speed limit hasn't caught on.

Many rural Kansans who drive long distances to work say the lower limit would add to their commute time.

Richard Nott, of Wichita, said maybe the state should impose a "tiered" system of speed limits that correspond to a vehicle's fuel use.

"Keep the 70 mile per hour speed limit for the most fuel-efficient vehicles, and drop the speed limit to 55 miles per hour for the highest fuel-consumption vehicles," Nott said.

He said that would encourage people "to get out of their gas guzzlers and into more fuel-efficient vehicles."

James Wimmer, of Newton, said the last time the speed limit was reduced - during the oil crisis of the 1970s - "was about as effective as Prohibition." He said the real traffic danger now is slow drivers talking on their cell phones.

But some Kansans supported lowering the speed limit, saying it would reduce pollution and save lives by reducing traffic accidents and the severity of accidents.

And others said driving slower was a reasonable sacrifice for the common good.

"It's time to ask everyone to do something to help our economy, from less speed to supporting renewable energy," said Dolores Carr, of Wellington.

Comments

notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says: "No, what I said was..."No, what you said was, "the government must impose rules for the good of the electorate." That's not representative, gcc. And it sure isn't democracy. "Representative" means the people we send to Washington are there to represent our will. And since not everyone worships at the church of AlGore, not everyone believes lowering the speed limit is worth the costs."Nooo, I can't drive in a reasonable and measured fashion to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, reduce pollution, and make the roads safer..."1) Why is it that the automobile drivers are the ones that have to make sacrifices to cut dependence on foreign oil, gcc? How come the beach dwellers in Florida, soaking up skin cancer by the pound, don't have to sacrifice by having a few oil rigs barely (if at all) visible out at the horizon? Why don't the folks who have never been, and never will go, to Alaska have to sacrifice a moose they'll never even see?2) Banning all city driving (including those carbon-spewing buses) would make a bigger dent in air pollution than cars breezing along the highway. How about we leave the speed limit and close off the border of Larryville to ground transport, just for you?3) Safer? The roads were designed for speeds at or above 70 mph, gcc. If you don't feel safe driving that fast, do the rest of us a favor and stay off the highway.

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gccs14r 5 years, 6 months ago

"No wonder elitist snobs get elected to Washington - because there really are sheep like you that send them there, knowingly and willingly. I guess we can surmise from your statement, gcc, that you heartily approve of the war in Iraq and the Wall Street bailout?"No, what I said was, "We are supposed to send to Washington those among us who are enlightened leaders and skilled negotiators with a larger sense of what is necessary to maintain the health of our nation and its people." We don't do that. We send a bunch of "me first, me next, me always" types who play to the baser instincts of the electorate. Look at the comments here: "Nooo, I can't drive in a reasonable and measured fashion to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, reduce pollution, and make the roads safer, and don't you dare make me." Then the goverment rolls over and things never get better. It's a good thing our parents thought more of the world than we do, or the Civil Rights act, the Clean Air Act, and all the other good that came from the Great Society would never have happened.

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notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says: "We are supposed to send to Washington those among us who are enlightened leaders and skilled negotiators with a larger sense of what is necessary to maintain the health of our nation and its people. It's not all about Kansas, or any other state, but about all of us, collectively."Again, spoken like a true socialist.My gawd, gcc - you're serious, aren't you? No wonder elitist snobs get elected to Washington - because there really are sheep like you that send them there, knowingly and willingly. I guess we can surmise from your statement, gcc, that you heartily approve of the war in Iraq and the Wall Street bailout?It's sheep who buy into the liberal/Democrat dogma and the pabalum the media feeds them that they know better than we do what's best for us that are the problem, gcc. Whatever you do, don't annoy those smart folks in Washington with a letter or an e-mail or a phone call and let them know what you want them to do. As a matter of fact, gcc, if this is truly your belief on what a democracy is supposed to be, I suggest you stop voting - there are a lot of more 'enlightened' people in the electorate that are much better qualified to make the decisions for you.

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gccs14r 5 years, 6 months ago

"Spoken like a true socialist. Your analogy would only be valid if the 3-year-olds elected the parents. See, gcc, in this country, the government is there to serve the will of the people, not the other way around."No, because if responding to the will of the people were the goal, we would have direct democracy rather than representative democracy (and would have been long-since extinct as a nation). We are supposed to send to Washington those among us who are enlightened leaders and skilled negotiators with a larger sense of what is necessary to maintain the health of our nation and its people. It's not all about Kansas, or any other state, but about all of us, collectively.

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notajayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

preebo (Anonymous) says: "I believe the idea is noble, but I also believe that it could be as effective to institute a state-wide campaign on the benefits of slower driving rather than mandating a change in speed limit."Typical liberal elitism ... anyone who doesn't agree with your side must not know the facts. Believe it or not, some of us actually understand the 'benefits' of slower driving. Some of us are even smart enough to do a cost benefit analysis and come up with a result that favors faster driving.****mikeisthename (Anonymous) says: "Driving is not part of the Bill of Rights created by the early Americans."Gee, I wonder why that is?(Hint: Speed limits and energy - particularly gasoline - conservation weren't part of the early Americans' concerns, either.)***ksdivakat (Anonymous) says: "Do you really get to your destination faster at 80 than you do 55?"Well, um...Yes.****gccs14r (Anonymous) says: "Asking drivers about lowering the speed limit is like asking 3-year-olds about giving up candy. Just as parents must impose rules for the good of the children, the government must impose rules for the good of the electorate."Spoken like a true socialist. Your analogy would only be valid if the 3-year-olds elected the parents. See, gcc, in this country, the government is there to serve the will of the people, not the other way around.

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Pilgrim 5 years, 6 months ago

gccs14r (Anonymous) says:Asking drivers about lowering the speed limit is like asking 3-year-olds about giving up candy. Just as parents must impose rules for the good of the children, the government must impose rules for the good of the electorate.******I haven't said, "Yes, mommy," in decades, and I'll be damned if I'm going to start saying it to you.

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gccs14r 5 years, 6 months ago

Asking drivers about lowering the speed limit is like asking 3-year-olds about giving up candy. Just as parents must impose rules for the good of the children, the government must impose rules for the good of the electorate. Yes, people violated the 55 mph speed limit, but generally by no more than 7 mph, because that was the fudge factor the highway patrol built in so that union truck drivers would have time for a lunch break on their company-mandated ten hour, 550 mile runs. That was still only 62 mph (100 km/h), which is a lot slower than the 85 mph (137 km/h) people frequently run now. Crashes at 62 are much less severe and a lot more survivable than they are at 85, too.

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Pilgrim 5 years, 6 months ago

merrill (Anonymous) says:Driving fast and reckless is personal freedom? Really now.Driving fast and reckless infringes on others personal freedom and safety thus putting their lives at risk.*****Uh, Richard, here's a news flash for you. "Fast" and "reckless" are not synonymous, nor are they cause and effect. You can be reckless at 45 mph. And I'll bet I can drive all day at 80 mph and be a much safer driver than you are. (Probably even safer than you behind the wheel of your mower.)

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none2 5 years, 6 months ago

ksdivakat (Anonymous) says:"none2::I still dont get it, I know that there is a big world out there, I get that, and I have been to a few places, but my question is: Why does everyone have to be in such a big hurry?? Do you really get to your destination faster at 80 than you do 55? At 80, chances are your going to be detained for a fatality accident, caused by an idiot flying at 80-90 MPH, so why the big rush?? Why do people want to go so fast?? Thats my question::::::..Where is the fire???"----------------------------------------------------Are you also opposed to airlines? People could always drive across the country or take the buss or take Amtrak. As to overseas destinations, they could always take a ship. The reason they don't is usually about time.Think about all the things that take time. Do you like standing in long lines? Do like being on hold for long periods of time when you call some company's customer help line? Do you like waiting for weeks for your tax returns? Have you ever been behind someone on the road who is only going the speed limit while they talk on the phone? I find that most of the people going the speed limit are senior citizens and people talking on the phone. Think of all the people that are upset with the mobile phones being used inadvertently as a driver calming device. Most people RESENT that even if the talker isn't being inattentive.In the case with cars, why would someone want to go slower? Unless you are looking for photo ops, the journey is about the destination, not the journey itself. Plus, employers do not give you unlimited time to be out of the office on vacation. If anybody doesn't think time is important, go without clocks for a week or two. Wake up when you wake up. Go to work when you are done with your morning ritual. Get your kids to school or the bus stop when you get around to it...You'd find that most people couldn't deal with that because you get in trouble when you are LATE to work, LATE for an appointment, LATE for a date, , LATE for class, LATE for church, LATE for a live performance, LATE for anything.

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Lynn731 5 years, 6 months ago

P.S. I usually drive 65 mph to save fuel, but I want the ability to drive faster if I have to. I recall vividly when the speed limit was lowered to 55 mph. It was a joke, the man said it was like prohibition and that is the truth. State, local and county coffers swelled with traffic fine money, nobody drove the speed limit, and everyone was pissed. It accomplished absolutely nothing except raise money due to traffic fines. Wake up. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. The Kansas Energy Council is a waste of taxpayer money and should be disbanded. Thank you, Lynn

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Lynn731 5 years, 6 months ago

Mr. Nott, not only is that suggestion stupid. How on earth do you think it could be enforced? Leave the speed limits alone. Thank you, Lynn

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blue73harley 5 years, 6 months ago

Merrill is always in the slow lane. Less lanes = more congestion = unsafe conditions. Merrill is all about "traffic calming". That he leaps to include this on the interstates is bizarre.Driving fast does not necessarily mean being reckless. Speed doesn't kill. Modern cars can run 80mph safely all day long on the interstates.Inattention is a bigger problem. Put the cell phone, comb, make-up, and breakfast burritto down.

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Richard Heckler 5 years, 6 months ago

How to make drivers slow and drive the speed limit? Double the fined ASAP and hire more traffic enforcement State Troopers. Building more lanes encourages faster driving thus making traffic enforcement ever more difficult. Driving fast and reckless is personal freedom? Really now.Driving fast and reckless infringes on others personal freedom and safety thus putting their lives at risk. Driving fast and consuming more gas also endangers the supply of clean air which affects the health of many with respiratory problems = higher health care costs. Serious injury from accidents also increases healthcare costs There are many states on I-70 with reduced speed limits such as 55-60mph for 18 wheelers and 60-65 for all other vehicles. These speed limits are obviously enforced which is indicated by 18 wheelers staying in the right hand lanes. Enforcement works. We travel to the east frequently. These speed limits have been reality for several years. Instead of more highway lanes for faster driving I say increase the number of state troopers as traffic enforcement only to issue tickets for tailgating and violating speed limits. Building more lanes encourages faster driving thus making traffic enforcement ever more difficult. Spend the money on enforcement. Speed and tailgating kill no matter how many lanes

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Boston_Corbett 5 years, 6 months ago

"Public opinion largely against lower speed limits"I hope they didn't spend any money to figure that one out.

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Ken Lassman 5 years, 6 months ago

Frankly, I think that the Kansas Energy Council has made a huge strategic blunder on this one. If we want to save energy in our state, there are a lot of more palatable ways to save even more energy by doing things other than slowing folks down. Lowering the speed limits just pisses folks off who might otherwise be willing to curtail their energy use.To get an idea of how inefficient our state is in terms of energy consumption and possible things we could do to reduce per capita energy use, check out the report put out by the ACEEE, just released today:http://aceee.org/pubs/e086.pdf?CFID=1133021&CFTOKEN=21013039It shows how woefully inadequate Kansas has been in responding to the energy issue compared to other states, and points to much more effective areas we could concentrate to get more bang for the buck. Read it over, THEN contact the Kansas Energy Council and give them an earfull about what they should be doing instead of lowering the speed limit--there's so much more we could be doing, like other states are already doing. After all, it's the patriotic thing to do, isn't it?

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ksdivakat 5 years, 6 months ago

none2......I still dont get it, I know that there is a big world out there, I get that, and I have been to a few places, but my question is: Why does everyone have to be in such a big hurry?? Do you really get to your destination faster at 80 than you do 55? At 80, chances are your going to be detained for a fatality accident, caused by an idiot flying at 80-90 MPH, so why the big rush?? Why do people want to go so fast?? Thats my question....................Where is the fire???

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Confrontation 5 years, 6 months ago

If you're old or scared, and you can't handle 70mph, then drive your 45mph in the right lane. If you're afraid to pass people and want to stay in the fast lane, then you should have your driver's license taken away for good.

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spiderman 5 years, 6 months ago

reduce the speed limit for trucks to 65mph.

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Ragingbear 5 years, 6 months ago

This study brought to you by the N.S. Sherlock research Institute, in conjunction with Rick Romero polling.

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bad_dog 5 years, 6 months ago

"Keep the 70 mile per hour speed limit for the most fuel-efficient vehicles, and drop the speed limit to 55 miles per hour for the highest fuel-consumption vehicles," Nott said.I would hate to be the trooper, officer or deputy charged with determining whether to stop a given vehicle on the basis it was or was not at a certain level of fuel efficiency. It's not always that obvious. Let's see now, was that GMC Denali a hybrid or non-hybrid? Does that pickup have a 4 or 6 cylinder engine? Is that car burning gasoline, or biodiesel? Does the vehicle have an on-board computer that shuts down certain cylinders at highway speeds?License, registration, proof of insurance and EPA mileage rating, please.Law enforcement doesn't need an ambiguous issue to determine on the fly. They have enough problems enforcing the current laws. In addition, they could also use this as the basis to stop someone they might otherwise have no reason to question.The market already motivated me to both purchase an even more fuel efficient vehicle and to slow down to maximize its potential efficiency. I also keep the vehicle properly maintained and check tire inflation regularly. I realize that not everyone can purchase a new vehicle, but I'm still amazed by the number of SUVs and other non-fuel efficient vehicles flying by at 85 + mph on K-10 and I-70.

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mikeisthename 5 years, 6 months ago

Someone told me once that driving is not a right, but a privilege. We as Americans are lucky to have so many of us driving. We start as young as 16 and possibly stop around 80. I think at 16 driving is a rite of passage (not a right to drive). Driving is not part of the Bill of Rights created by the early Americans. Another thing I thought is that we tend to be short sighted and want instant gratification. We want to drive to, say Denver, and we want to be there now. The hell with speed limits! Speed limits are there for safety reasons. Okay so you're driving across western KS heading for Denver. The speed limits are posted but you don't want to see any (if possible) sights along the way. You drive faster than the speed limit, then you get car trouble possibly a blowout or worse an accident. Where are you? In the middle of nowhere out of cell phone range. I am not saying this could happen, but less chance of happening if going the posted speed limit.Lastly, going the posted speed limit saves fuel and money. For those of us who are not able to pay for new fuel efficient cars and drive beaters, saving on both of these is essential.Here's a link to check out. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/driveHabits.shtmlThank you.

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BABBOY 5 years, 6 months ago

Reality Check:Man, that is almost cute. Philosophy 101 argument? That only works if your premises are accurate and based on solid fact. Your analysis has no factual premises and just states three opinion conclusions. I would have to give you a D- in your attempt to uses premises to form conclusions because you let your own bias work its way into the analysis.

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none2 5 years, 6 months ago

ksdivakat (Anonymous) says:"...Why would people be so against a lower speed rate? Is it really necessary that you fly at 70-80 MPH?"----------------------------------------You like Reality check, need to get out more. The world is much larger than Lawrence, Kansas. Try driving to the west coast. Unless you are unemployed, or out of school, or have an employer that gives you weeks of vacation, this is a BIG country if you are traveling it. I recently had to travel to the northwest coast. Some of the Rocky Mountain states have interstate speeds of 75 or 80 miles an hour. Kansas is the 14th largest state, some of those states are LARGER. If you still have a problem with the speed of cars, do you also have problems with the speed of planes? Did you know that in about 19 or so minutes a plane uses the same amount of fuel as a car does for an ENTIRE year? If we only went to using hot air balloons we could definitely cut back energy use, of course it would require much longer transportation times.

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blue73harley 5 years, 6 months ago

Make sure to contact the KEC to let them know how you feel. It wouldn't hurt to drop the Gov a line, too.

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none2 5 years, 6 months ago

Reality_Check (Anonymous) says: "...Why do Kansans hate America?"-----------------------------------------------You really need to get out more and travel. Sure it would most likely take petroleum based energy to do so. (Unless you plan on doing something like walking the country.) However, at least that way you would see that no two Kansas think identically. Likewise, by seeing other states, you'll see that energy concerns are on the minds of residence in other states too. They have the same debates.I suppose you probably consider the northeast the bastion of politically correct though since they tend to be liberal politically. Keep in mind that the overwhelming way they heat their homes is with heating oil (Petroleum derived Kerosene). Plus not everybody in the northeast ride mass transit. So I guess even the most liberal part of the country must hate America by your definition.

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jayhawklawrence 5 years, 6 months ago

I don't understand the recent push to lower speed limits.I strongly believe that those who push this agenda spend very little time on the highways compared to those of us who have to travel often to earn a living. The trucking industry association that recommended this is also a mystery to me. Why? They aren't supposed to be going as fast as a lot of them do anyway.We should leave the limits the way they are and try to find a way to make our highways safer by emphasizing driver safety. The problem is not the speed limit, it is the speeders and creepy crawlers who do not follow the stated limits. There are a lot of drivers out there who think they belong in NASCAR and who follow way too close for no reason. I think there should be a law against driving in a manner that puts other drivers at risk. We should give law enforcement more latitude to stop and warn drivers and give them a good talking to about driver safety rather than creating a situation where they are always looking to give the heaviest possible traffic fines to increase their revenue. That is the public impression with some of these huge traffic fines we are seeing. But that is another story.

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SMe 5 years, 6 months ago

Reality_CheckI think you need one.

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none2 5 years, 6 months ago

share3141 (Anonymous) says:"Why do people insist on putting up signs in the expectation that people will modify their behavior? Lowering and enforcing a lower speed limit will not work..."--------------------------------They don't want you to change your behavior, but rather be able to give out more speeding tickets. Think of the revenue the government gets when you get a ticket.-------------------------------------------------------------------------- "...If you want to reduce accidents and lower emissions try approaches that modify consumer behavior. Raise taxes on gas sales and use the money to fund mass transit. Sure it's regressive - but it will reduce consumption and create new methods of affordable transportation..."------------------------------------Think about the US. It is a BIG country with many places with sparse population. Mass transportation assumes a "mass" number of people. We used to have trains that went through all the little towns. We totally got rid of that decades ago. All that remains is the pathetic Amtrak. Amtrak only goes through a handful of Kansas towns for example. There is also the bus, Greyhound. It too only goes through a fraction of Kansas towns. Unless there was a massive move back to rail transportation, we will always need affordable gasoline to get around this large country. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------"...Or pass a law that tells automobile manufacturers they can no longer make cars that can go 150 mph. Why create the ability to drive excessively fast in the first place?..."----------------------------------------They don't really want manufacturers to do that. Think of all the lost traffic violation revenue that the government gets. For a long time they could have required the car companies to do so, they never have. Plus what about the fact that we make a big sport out of car racing. Just another thing to encourage speeding.

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gr 5 years, 6 months ago

"The state Energy Council proposed a speed limit reduction and increased fines for speeding as a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions."Rather than having the main point being saving fuel which some think we are running out of, reducing fuel costs, reducing pollution, and reducing dependence on foreign oil, they make the main reason for lowering the speed limit to support some bogus idea.""Everyone should have to suffer but me."RC, I fail to see how anyone is suffering from allowing people to choose to how fast to drive. And what you are promoting is that everyone should suffer for some bogus idea which is not based upon sound scientific evidence?If you don't support drilling for oil in Alaska and offshore so we can be energy independent, "you support Middle East terrorists. If you support terrorists, you hate America."Speaking of bogus things......T.Boone Pickens seems to know everything about anything and he is so rich and has such great ideas of alternative energy. Since someone of such resources and promoting such "good" (quote, unqoute), he must not mind paying 3 to 6 times the current energy costs. Therefore, one would assume he would of course have his house(s) completely off the grid running alternative solar or wind, and ALL his businesses doing the same.Could someone show me some links referencing how he is completely energy independent in his own personal and business life and not depending upon the electric grid nor unleaded gasoline?

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ksdivakat 5 years, 6 months ago

""If a person desires to save gas by driving a lower speed, it should be up to the individual driver to make the decision for himself or herself rather than the government artificially imposing such restrictions," Rasmussen said."************Why is there a speed limit at all then? Isnt the government "artifically imposing" a speed limit?And whats the big deal? Why would people be so against a lower speed rate? Is it really necessary that you fly at 70-80 MPH?

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Reality_Check 5 years, 6 months ago

Yes, we Kansans won't want to have to contribute one iota to the public good...no higher taxes during a time of war, no reducing oil consumption so that we don't have to fight the dang wars in the first place. Nuttin. It's the New American Way: "Everyone should have to suffer but me. Oh, and if my employers start to suffer, the gubmint should bail them out."If you support continuing to live like we do (including driving at whatever speed we feel like), with no change in our habits, you support Middle East terrorists. If you support terrorists, you hate America. Why do Kansans hate America?

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preebo 5 years, 6 months ago

I believe the idea is noble, but I also believe that it could be as effective to institute a state-wide campaign on the benefits of slower driving rather than mandating a change in speed limit. It would probably be cheaper to run a few 30 second spots on the beneficial effects of driving 65 MPH and putting up a few hundred signs along I-70 and I-35 doing the same. Thereby informing the public while not instituting more laws over the people.

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share3141 5 years, 6 months ago

Why do people insist on putting up signs in the expectation that people will modify their behavior? Lowering and enforcing a lower speed limit will not work. If you want to reduce accidents and lower emissions try approaches that modify consumer behavior. Raise taxes on gas sales and use the money to fund mass transit. Sure it's regressive - but it will reduce consumption and create new methods of affordable transportation. Enact a fee on automobiles entering a large city such as New York. London did and it seems to have reduced taxes. Or pass a law that tells automobile manufacturers they can no longer make cars that can go 150 mph. Why create the ability to drive excessively fast in the first place? Passing a law that prohibits people from doing something is ignoring how human beings really work.

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