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Isit necessary to speed limit?
Thedebate over whether speed limits are necessary on the roads as ameans to regulate traffic has been there for a long time. From thetime speed limits were introduced in the 1960s as a way of conservingfuel in the US, to the current speed limits which are meant toenhance safety of our roads, it is clear the debate over this aspectis far from end. The police agencies, insurance companies, as well assafety organizations believe that the speed limits are a way ofregulating traffic on the roads. The key argument behind the speedlimits has been that it significantly reduces accidents (Nationalresearch council 12).Additionally, proponents of speed limits on the roads believe thatthe speed signs on the roads can be used to increase or lower speedof vehicles along such roads. However, there has been counterarguments over the role of speed limits on the roads. The opponentsargue that the speeds do not reduce accidents, neither do theycontrol the speed at which motorists drive.
Thesisstatement: Whereasthere has been enormous debates regarding the usefulness of speedlimits, it is evident that the use of speed limits has significantlyreduced accidents and their severity,henceenhancing safety.
Speedlimits can be used as a way of reducing accidents on the roads. Thisis an argument which has been there for a long time. A deeper lookinto the issue suggests that speed limits can indeed reduce roadaccidents. This is informed by the fact that when drivers are drivingat a lower speed, they are in a position to react swiftly and safelyto the various conditions on the roads. It is evident that when amotorist is driving at a100 miles per hour and above, it would beextremely hard for him to react to react or maneuver any situation onthe road. This means that the driver may end up causing an accidentwhich he or she would have otherwise avoided if he was driving at alower speed. This argument has been opposed vehemently hence creatingdebate over the effectiveness of speed limits. Opponents suggest thatin Germany there are various roads that have no maximum speed limitsand the rate of accidents on such roads is lower than in the UnitedStates where there are speed limits (Woolley41).Whereas these statistics may provide information that suggests thatspeed limits are not useful elements in the reduction of accidents,it is essential to note that the speed limits are only necessary whenthere is a situation on the road calling for the driver’sattention. In Germany, the speed limits are enforced on some roadswhich are heavy with traffic.
Researchhas indicated that speed limits can reduce the severity of damages toa vehicle and the injuries to the passengers in case of an accident.It is evident that accidents will always happen despite how extremelycareful drivers are on the roads. There are various factors thatdetermine the severity of an accident and the extent of the injuries.However, one thing is extremely clear that high speeds will lead tosevere accident with extreme injuries and possible fatalities. Thisis due to the impact that the vehicle will have during the accident.Speed limits ensure that motorists drive at reasonable speeds andthat in case of an accident, there are minimum injuries and thedamage to the vehicle is minimal. It is essential to state that thespeed limits are not put on every road, but are only put on roadswhich experience heavy traffic and are prone to accidents (Nationalresearch council 19).The role of speed limits in this scenario is self evident. However,opponents of speed limits who are fond of over speeding believe thatthe extent of an accident does not depend on speed but on the reasonsof why the accident occurred. The counter argument continues toassert that speed cannot cause an accident on its own but there areother conditions that affect the severity of accidents. Suchconditions may include bad roads and careless driving. There is nosingle sane driver who would drive recklessly at a high speed withoutcaring for his own safety welfare, as well as that of the otherpeople (Woolley65).It is, however, important to realize that speeds may not be the causeof an accident, but it makes the effects or consequences of anaccident extremely severe and sometimes fatal.
Anotherargument that has been brought forward in favor of speed limits isthat they are extremely necessary near schools, churches and animalcrossings. There are numerous activities that go on near schools andtherefore it is easy to knock down pedestrian if one is driving at ahigh along such areas. The same case happens with churches there arechurch related activities especially on Sundays that go on andtherefore drivers must be vigilant in order to avoid accidents. Withregard to animal crossings, the debate over the effectiveness ofspeed limits is null and void. Animals do not have commonsense andtherefore will simply cross the road regardless of an oncomingvehicle (May 36). Opponents to this argument suggest that driverswill not simply slow down because there is a sign of 20mph. Opponentargue that drivers will hardly slow down because there is a speedlimit, but will drive carefully minding their own welfare, as well asthat of the other people. Opponents of the speed limit campaignssuggest that this is just but a way of collecting fines from themotorists who fail to observe such limits. In other words, it is away of collecting revenue for the government. A counter to thiscounter argument is that some drivers rely solely on the signs on theroads to drive safely. Road signs such as the one for speed cannot beignored entirely (Danieland Germà 74).For instance, a road sign signaling the driver to slow his speedsince there are school children crossing nearby is essentiallyimportant. There might be some drivers who are not conversant withcertain roads and speed limits are extremely crucial to them.
Inconclusion, it is clear from the above discussion that the importanceof speed limits on the roads is not debatable. Whereas there are somepeople who seem to disagree with the idea of speed limits, it isclear that limiting speed on roads reduces the likelihood of anaccident occurring, as well as reducing the severity of theunavoidable accidents. Speed limits near schools, game parks andchurches are extremely critical (Kenworthy 78). The reaction time ofa driver who is driving at 120mph will be extremely low and thereforeit will be hard for such a driver to avoid an accident. Whereasdrivers may be careful on the roads, it is evident that remindingthem of the various rules on the road is essential. Road signs act asways of reminding drivers of what to do. This becomes even extremelyuseful when motorists are driving on new roads. Speed limit signs canwarn drivers on various aspects such as bumps or a narrow road. Slowspeeds and safety are inseparable. Safety does not only meanprevention from death, but it also means preventing passengers fromany injuries when an accident happens. Driving at a high speed wouldsignificantly increase the chances of passengers getting injured oreven losing their lives.
Nationalresearch council.Guidelinesfor Design and Operation of Nighttime Traffic Control for HighwayMaintenance and Construction.Washington, D.C: Transportation Research Board,2002. Print.
Daniel,Albalate and Germà Bel. Speedlimit laws in America: Economics, politics and geography.Research Institute of Applied Economics, 2010. Print.
Woolley, James. Recent advantagesof lower speed limits in Australia. Journalof the Eastern Asia Society for Transportation Studies,Vol. 6, pp. 35-62 – 35-73,2005.
May,Andrew. Trafficflow fundamentals.Prentice hall: Englewood Cliffs, 2012.print.
Kenworthy,John. Sustainabilityand cities: Overcoming automobile dependence.Washington, DC: Island press, 2013. Print.