How Do You Feel about Changing Nevada’s Speed Limit To 85 MPH?
Bill SB2 has been introduced into the Nevada Legislature to change the Highway Speed Limit on some highways from70 MPH to 85 MPH. Controversy surrounds this bill on both sides. Senator Don Gustovson, the sponsor of the bill, testified on Monday in support of this legislation which he says would help reduce traffic accidents on stretches of highway that are far from civilization.
Those against the bill state that upping the speed limit would only mean drivers would drive above the posted limit and actually soar down the highways at 90 plus. After all, how many drivers do you see now who seem to never drive the speed limit, but it appears they use our highways as a race track?
Other states, such as Texas and Utah, have raised their speed limits and actually have seen a decrease in overall accidents. Is it because they are driving faster and are now paying more attention to the road, or is it because people are more worried about the faster drivers, and they are slowing down themselves and are more aware of their surroundings?
I can remember the 1970’s when Nevada did not have any speed limit outside the city limits, and as long as you were not driving recklessly, any speed was the limit. As the population grew, the speed limit was decreased in hopes of saving lives, but it had the opposite effect. If you have ever driven from Las Vegas to Reno, once you are outside of the city limits, you’ll probably notice there are miles and miles of sagebrush and open road populated by sleepy drivers.
The drivers today do not see driving as the focus; distractions like cell phones and texting are on their minds more than the oncoming traffic. The increase in cars on the roads today here in Northern Nevada is due to the population boom, it will only become worse with all of the new Industry arriving daily.
I am a great supporter of smaller towns, since that is where I hope to be when I retire. Until then, I will need to cope with all the drivers on the road by being alert in hopes of not becoming a statistic. When you consider the drunk or impaired drivers in the mix*, that is definitely a recipe for disaster. And people are pushing for Recreational Marijuana, which can only add to the problem. Pretty soon our highways are going to look more like the bumper car ride at a carnival than a highway.
I cannot wait to see how insurance companies tackle this one. This topic is up for debate and everyone will have their own views and opinions, but I think we really need to view the safety of our roadways and not fall prey to political pressures or certain groups. This is about all the people, not some of the people. If you have ever been in an accident, it’s never pleasant, and depending on the severity of the accident, it can be a life changing experience, costing you time and money. After all, insurance companies have limits that they will pay out, and the rest is on you.
Time will tell.
(*In 2012 32% of all driving fatalities were impaired drivers. http://www.alcoholalert.com/drunk-driving-statistics-nevada.html) Source for Nevada drunk driving information and statistics from US Dept. of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 12/02