The Journal Sentinel has the data: fatal highway crashes are spiking with the higher speed limit pushed by the road-builder lobby's newest best friend, noted transit foe and Governor-in-training Robin Vos.
So file this from 12/9/13 under "told you so," or just plain "duh!":
Encouraging Wisconsin drivers to go faster is going to cost lives.Along with this highway safety double-standard from earlier in 2013:
But Vos has yet to get behind modest efforts in the Legislature to tweak state OWI statutes and treat some first offenses as misdemeanors if offenders' blood alcohol content measured 0.15 or higher, or about twice the current legal BAC limit of 0.08. Offenders blowing 0.14 and below - - still just a ticket...
So we could end up with higher speeds on state highways to match what's posted in other states - - the uniformity or consistency argument - - but continue to be the exception on drunk driving and merely ticket (enable) first-time (caught) drunk drivers up to 0.14 who would be charged with a misdemeanor if they were caught over the border blowing 'only' 0.08.
Make sense?I mean, why listen to stupid experts with facts in hand when a Robin Vos knows better?
AAA Wisconsin is urging the Wisconsin State Senate to stop proposed legislation that would raise the maximum speed limit on rural highways to 70 mph due to concerns that higher speeds make it more difficult for vehicles to slow or stop in order to avoid a collision, and can increase the severity of resultant crashes. AAA is particularly alarmed about the potential implications for trucks, as their weight makes those considerations even more pressing.
The legislation would result in a 5 mile per hour increase to the current maximum speed limit in the state, which would have a dramatic effect on the stopping distance of trucks, lengthening it by up to 100 feet.
This is a concern for all drivers, as according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 8 in 10 truck crashes are multi-vehicle collisions, and over 70 percent of injuries and fatalities sustained in truck crashes are the occupants of the other vehicles.
The evidence from neighboring states provides a clear warning: higher speed limits lead to higher rates of truck involvement in fatal crashes. According to the most recent data available from NHTSA (2012), Wisconsin’s rate for large truck involvement in fatal crashes was 7.4 percent, while Minnesota and Iowa - which allow trucks to travel 70 mph on rural highways - were at 10 and 13.2 percent, respectively. Michigan, which has a differential speed limit that keeps trucks below 60 mph even in places where cars are allowed to travel 70 mph, was well below Wisconsin at 5.2 percent.