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Letters to the Editor

Fast enough

March 2, 2011

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To the editor:

I was dumbfounded to learn of the bill and its passage in the Kansas House, promoted by state Rep. Marvin Kleeb, to raise the speed limit on various multilane roads in Kansas from 70 to 75 mph. Some drivers are already traveling at speeds of 75 to 85 as it is. What can we expect if the limit is increased?

This idea has been around for several years. An increased speed limit will entice more drivers to go through Kansas on their way to western vacation spots. They then could drive faster and have more time to spend their tourist dollars in Colorado while maybe buying a few more sandwiches or renting a few more motel rooms as they speed through Kansas. What a major contribution to the economy this would be!

Information has also been available for many years that increased speed of an automobile leads to decreased fuel efficiency. Mr. Kleeb claims that the savings is only 1 or 3 percent at lower speeds. It appears to me that even this percentage would be prudent to pursue when dealing with a dwindling and increasingly costly resource. Perhaps the Legislature could devote time to more meaningful issues.

Am I viewing the real world or a play by Samuel Beckett?

Comments

Tom Shewmon 3 years, 9 months ago

Or Jack, it could shorten and ease the torturous task of driving across 400 miles of some of the most boring scenery in the country.....I know I'll bump that cruise up to 80 mph.

Getaroom 3 years, 9 months ago

Move to Texas with your buddy Liberty_ One and you will finally be out of your personally created hell hole Tom S. Talk about boring...

John Hamm 3 years, 9 months ago

Good thing the LTE writer wasn't around in the 60s - the Turnpike limit was (oh God forbid) 80.

buffalo63 3 years, 9 months ago

And there was no center barrier. Only a small ditch between the two lanes.

barlowtl 3 years, 9 months ago

I was around in the 60's and the reason for lowering the speed limit was savings on gas. It was also found that there were fewer deaths when the speed was lowered. Also it was considered smart to have a higher mileage car. We did not consider it being a wussie but rather a smart move. You never could have made that trip in a covered wagon. Your ancestors were made of much sterner stuff. You would have all been asking "are we there yet" before you even got as far as Topeka. The oil companies just love you folks.

pace 3 years, 9 months ago

I liked the 55 mph speed limits. I am careful to rev it up to maintain the speeds, I know the dangers of being a turtle in the race. I miss the 55 mph speed limits. I wish people wouldn't tail gate, would signal lane changes and would stop on yellow and red lights. I wish people wouldn't swish from one lane to the other like yoyos, I know I am a minority and I have no hope that the highways and streets will become safer because drivers are required to drive safer. I assume more cars and roads will be safer through design.

Prairielander 3 years, 9 months ago

I could see 75 on the turnpike where there is a median barrier down the entire length, but the thought of 75 on K10 scares me to death.

RunnersHigh 3 years, 9 months ago

I would like to see the speed limit increase. Going 55mph would take another 2 hours to get across the whole state compared to 75. Furthermore, with the issue on gas mileage and increased speed. I think it wouldnt matter because some people dont think ahead and buy a vehicle that gets very good gas mileage. If everybody was like me and drove a Geo Metro with 1.0 liter, 3 cyclinder engine that gets 44 mpg going 80. I think if everyone drove a car like that we would save a lot of fuel. Also, people should maintain their vehicles. Having proper oil in the vehicle and spark plugs help your mileage. If every american driver had properly inflated tires we would save 72 billion gallons of fuel! I think having increase isnt the problem.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 9 months ago

The faster people drive the more it will cost them to own that vehicle each year. The estimated cost is $15,000 a year.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

barlowtl (anonymous) says…

"It was also found that there were fewer deaths when the speed was lowered."

That statement, as it is worded, is true. It is also very misleading. While it is true highway fatalities decreased around the time the speed limit was lowered, it was not the lower speed limit that caused that reduction.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

While you're probably not old enough to remember, let alone to have been driving at that time (I'm guessing it was quite a while before you were born), the speed limit was lowered at just about the time that more than half the cars on the road were equipped with the safety features that were mandated in 1968 (you know, like padded dashboards and safety glass windshields). Using the highway and traffic administration's own figures for the reduction in fatalities due to each of those features, they more than accounted for the lower fatality figures after the speed limit was lowered. In other words, if you take those safety-equipment-related reductions into account, the fatality rate actually increased. If you're going to credit the lower speed limits with reducing auto deaths, it would mean that all of those safety features did nothing to make cars safer.

notajayhawk 3 years, 9 months ago

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