Speed limit changes BARELY affect average travel speeds. Of course it wouldn't hurt to raise it!

http://blog.motorists.org/the-effect-of-speed-limits-on-actual-travel-sp...

Several reasons why we should RAISE the speed limit:

1. Nearly 90% of fatalities occur on secondary roads. Only about 6% of fatalities occur on rural interstates plus another 7% on urban interstates nationwide. Increased speed limits would not apply to the roads where 87% to 94% of fatalities occur (depending on whether urban interstates are included).
2. Higher speed limits on interstates helps draw traffic away from secondary highways which are more dangerous, thus increasing overall road safety.
3. For decades, traffic engineers have promoted establishment of speed limits based on 85th percentile speeds – the maximum speed at which 85% of motorists travel when unencumbered by traffic or enforcement. Well informed state police and transportation departments also advocate this approach.
4. Speed limits have very little impact on the pace of faster traffic – most drivers, including the police, ignore under-posted limits.
5. Higher interstate speed limits improve safety by reducing speed variance, road rage and weaving.
6. Under-posted speed limits breed disrespect for all laws, especially traffic laws. This leads to speeding in construction zones and on secondary roads.
7. Under-posted speed limits leave drivers bored, unengaged and distracted. Since driving does not demand their full attention, drivers talk on the phone and even text while driving…because they can. Do you think drivers text on the German autobahn? Not likely.
8. With a very few exceptions, even with increased speed limits our interstates are still posted at or below the limits which were in place in 1970 (pre-55). Since then the handling capability and safety equipment on vehicles has improved dramatically such that limits of 80 to 85 should be the norm (as they are in many other parts of the industrialized world).
9. The so-called safety advocates (insurers and others who make money from ticketing) tend to cite studies which count the raw number of fatalities rather than looking at the actual rate per mile driven. The raw number of fatalities fell under the 55 mph speed limit fell primarily because people were driving less (because of gas prices). The actual fatality rate has fallen steadily for nearly 100 years during times of both rising and falling speed limits.
10. Higher limits reduce congestion and may actually save fuel by allowing drivers to keep a steadier pace.

In addition, IL and WI are the two only states in the region with a speed limit lower than 70 mph on rural Interstates!

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