Increase our speed limits

picture-18.pngHere’s the problem for me. I’m not hitting 100 on the speedometer often, but it’s difficult to drive the speed limit. When a road is empty, it’s not only hard, but also unnecessary.
When I’m on the Betsy Ross Bridge at 3 or 4 a.m., I don’t want to drive 45 mph. But the speed for the bridge never budges.

It’s indisputable that some people on the road cannot drive well. But not everyone should be forced to choose between driving like a grandmother or getting pulled over.

Two years ago, state transportation officials in Texas agreed. They knew people were going over the limit, and more than 521 miles of highway within 10 counties had its maximum speed raised to 80 mph.

“You get a safer highway when people are driving in more uniformed speeds,” Carlos Lopez, director of traffic operations for the Texas Department of Transportation, said about the change.

Unquestionably, many are going above the speed limit everywhere. By setting a speed that many drivers are already driving, it would not only make the roads safer, but would also reduce speeding tickets.

That would make me happy. I received two in 2006. Both times I was still in my native New Jersey while on my way back to Main Campus.

Despite the tickets, it is still hard to drive 65 on a 65 mph road, especially if I’m the only car around.

The way new cars are, 65 and 100 feel the same. Any newer, good car should feel just as smooth no matter the speed.

Not only does the maximum speed limit need to be raised, but it is also important to introduce a minimum speed on all roads. Nothing is worse than getting stuck behind lane cloggers, leaving you trying to figure out which car is going to take a lead so you can get around them all.

I’d guarantee most police officers agree. Cops always get stuck behind slow drivers since everyone who notices a police car on the road slows down.
But in Philadelphia, it’s up to City Council to change speed limits, not police.

So Ms. Anna Verna, City Council president, there are reckless drivers, and there are serious accidents that occur despite the fact that highway speed limits are too low. But driving is no fun while going slowly, and most people are going to drive above the current speed limits, anyway.

Sure, some people are satisfied with the limits, so if the maximum ever goes up, and I end up in a fatal accident as a result, those people can say they told me so.
But at least I can say I went down driving a car the way cars are meant to be driven.

Jeff Appelblatt can be reached at

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