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Re: 55 now 70, =$

On Fri, 22 Sep 1995, David R. Derting wrote:

> Althought I don't agree with the notion that all regulation is bad I'm 
> happy to see the posted speed limits may change to reflect the speeds 
> that 80 percent of the drivers drive.

There you are.  Don't forget about the study that you paid for through 
your government (and which your government then surpressed) that shows that 
posted speed limits have virtually no effect on speeds driven nor accident 
rates.  Raise the limits, lower the limits, or take the signs down and 
throw them away, speeds driven are generally the same.  The only real 
difference is the number of people technically in violation of the 
arbitrary law.

In fact, the study showed that the accident rate went DOWN slightly when 
limits were raised, but the change was not large.

See http://www.msn.fullfeed.com/nma for more detail, but here is enough 
of it to demonstrate that I am not making this up.

Effects of Raising and Lowering Speed Limits
Final Report

Report No. FHwA-RD-92-084
October 1992
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration 

Research, Development, and Technology
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, Virginia 22101-2296 

Performing Organization Name and Address:
Martin R. Parker & Associates, Inc.
38549 Laurenwood Drive
Wayne, Michigan 48184-1073 

Sponsoring Agency Name and Address:
Office of Safety and Traffic Operations R&D<BR> Federal Highway 
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, Virginia 22101-2296 

Contracting Officer's Technical Representative (COTR): Howard H. Bissell, 
HSR-30 and Davey L. Warren, HSR-10.
Contract or Grant Number: DTFH61-85-C-00136.
Type of report and dates covered: Final, October 1985 - June 1992 

(partial quote from conclusions):

Although the study sites could not be randomly selected, they represent a 
wide range of rural and urban conditions, traffic volume, and regional 
situations. As large changes in the posted speed limit did not create a 
meaningful increase or decrease in the motorists' speeds at the study 
sites, it is plausible that this effect would also be found on other 
nonlimited rural and urban access highways. 

The data collected during this study indicate that there are no benefits, 
either from a safety or operational point of view, from establishing 
speed limits less than the 85th percentile speed.  This 
does not mean that all speed limits should be raised. Traffic and 
engineering investigations should be conducted to obtain an accurate 
measure of the speed distribution. Greater emphasis should be placed on 
using the 85th percentile speed in setting safe and reasonable speed 
limits. These studies should be repeated as land use and traffic 
characteristics change. 


So you see why the government surpressed their own study, since it 
contradicted one of the sacred precepts of the 55-mph proponents.