Driving in the US means obeying stringent speed limits set to help force drivers of all sorts of road going vehicles to drive within a regulated speed range deem safe for all.
This ranges from state and type of road to another.
But some people have never liked this and the latest person to kick against this is Stphen Boyles, an Assistant Professor of Transportation Engineering at the University of Texas who recently wrote an article; “Roads Are Better. Cars Are Safer. Let’s Raise the Speed Limit,”.
|Speedometer. Image courtesy of 123RF.|
Jalopnik reports that he posited thus; Research shows that the speed limit has little effect on how fast people drive. Traffic engineers have tried all kinds of tricks — flashing lights, pink signs, cute speed limits such as 48 instead of 50 — and they all work only for a week or two until the novelty wears off.
While many drivers ignore speed limits altogether, others do try to follow them out of a sense of safety or obedience.
This difference in speeds is actually more dangerous than if everyone were driving at a faster speed. We’ve all felt the frustration of being behind slow drivers and annoyance at aggressive drivers weaving through traffic. Both of these situations are dangerous and make traffic worse.
He goes on to reference Texas 130, a road with a speed limit at 85 mph. Boyles implies that this speed limit works because modern roads are engineered for this kind of driving. Importantly, he notes that “speed limits should be set at the 85th percentile of traffic speed. That is, only about 1 out of 7 cars should be driving faster than the speed limit. Any more than that and the speed limit should be raised.”
With Nigeria’s current speed limit of 100 kph maximum, which is about 62 mph, do you think this has helped reduce road crashes on our roads or do we need to increase ours also or even reduce it further?