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Montana speeds.

                      Subject:                              Time:  1:38 PM
  OFFICE MEMO         Montana speeds.                       Date:  12/10/96

>The law enforcement in Montana is pushing for speed limit of 75mph on
>highways in Montana. The law enforcement sites that "highway accidents"
>have gone way up after the speed limit was abolished. So much for U.S.
>autobahn. Bureaucracy 1, U.S. drivers 0.

>It's not over, yet. Maybe highway _accidents_ are up, but the number of
>_deaths_ went down...  Under pressure from safety lobbyists, some
>legislators are contemplating a speed limit idea, but Montana residents
>are opposing the speed limit 2:1. They have threatened to vote out any
>legislator who proposes a speed limit and to increase the frequency of
>legistative meetings from every 2 to every 3 years. The next legislation
>is meeting in January 1997..

As a Montana resident, I have been opposed to the 'reasonable and prudent'
speed limit set in our state.

In the past, if you were going 80mph or less, the Highway Patrol would not
likely pick you up for speeding.  If you did happen to get picked up, the fine
was $5, paid on the spot, with no effect on your driving record.  Over 80, it
was, as it always is, up to the officer on whether to give the $5 fine, or,
dependent upon weather, road, or daylight conditions, cite you for reckless
driving.  The people of Montana understood this system, and traffic flowed
*very* quickly.  Auto insurance rates stayed low.  This 'understanding' was
not widely known among out-of-state motorists, who pretty much kept up with
the brisk pace of traffic.  And it was good.

Now we have visiting motorists in their Geo Trackers, Troopers, and
dilapidated old iron doing between 90-100mph.  Unreasonable and imprudent by
any measure.  If you have ever seen a Tracker at full-tilt, believe me it's
the scariest, most skittish thing I've ever seen.  Keep your distance.  What
was once a means for Montanans and visitors alike to travel the expanse of our
state at a quick and enjoyable clip has become sullied by a notion of
unlimited speed, no matter the inadequate hardware.  Not to mention
18-wheelers who feel the need to step it up a bit.

According to the NY Times article:
65% of cars travelling more than 85mph were from out of state.
75% of cars travelling more than 95mph were from out of state.

I'm all for speed, and have paid the price for it in Montana and elsewhere. 
It just seems that an element in the populous is not being responsible,
reasonable, or prudent.

Just my $.02

Aaron Pratt
'87 Coupe GT.