WFSU News Team
Thu November 14, 2013
Highway Safety Experts: Bill Raising Speed Limits Would Cause More Deaths
Traffic on Florida roadways could soon begin moving faster if a bill filed in the Florida Senate becomes law. But experts say more speed equals more accidents.
The bill, filed by Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) and Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth), would swap current 70-mile per hour speed limits on Florida interstates for 75 mile per hour thresholds. But Insurance Institute for Highway Safety spokesman Russ Rader says even though such bills might find political support, that doesn’t mean they’re smart.
“There’s no question that raising the speed limit is politically popular, but there is always a safety tradeoff," Rader says. "It’s physics 101.”
Rader says data show higher speeds lead to higher crash rates. He adds numbers showing a declining fatality rate are misleading. It’s not because there are fewer crashes, he says, it’s because modern cars simply shield passengers better during impact.