Many people believe that speed plays a big role in automobile crashes. Therefore Seattle’s council members are discussing a ways to decrease fatal crashes in the city. By lowering the speed limit. The Seattle DOT believes that speed is one of the main factors causing a severe accident to take place. If the city decides to take action and lower the speed limits, they will have to pay around $200 – $300 per sign. With around 500 signs that will need to be changed, that’s about $150,000.
Lowering the speed limit is possibly a very smart idea. Considering the amount of traffic congestion there is in the city of Seattle. They’re thinking about dropping the speed limit of main roads from 30 mph to 25 mph. As well as residential roads from 25 mph to 20 mph.
The city council committee also learned that speeding can contribute to about 25 percent of fatal accidents yearly. Within the year, about 13,000 collisions occur on the streets of Seattle, 27 percent on residential roads and 73 percent on main highways. Pedestrian and bike collision rates have also been high, making up 7 percent of crashes and 47 percent of fatalities. Not to mention the fact that, about 70 percent of pedestrian deaths happen to people ages 50 and up.
Seattle’s Department of Transportation Director Scott Kubly believes that this will reduce the crashes in Seattle he says that “…beyond just the speed, it will actually improve flow.”
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I have to admit… part of me thinks this might just be a means of revenue-raising on behalf of the council members. Reduction of speed limits, especially on roads that would easily handle those speeds, would significantly increase the opportunity for speeding tickets. Investing in automatic speed cameras would pay for itself extremely quickly.
Reducing the speed limit is only part of the solution… the other part is changing the culture of drivers. Speed Limits don’t mean much if everyone ignores them. You’ve got to change the culture so that everyone wants to reduce the speed they travel with… this can be done by a disciplined media campaign.
I personally can’t wait until self-driving cars are in full force… I personally think most accidents happen because of the wide-variance of driving behaviours. Some people are slow, some are fast, some never change lanes, some change lanes constantly.. self-driving cars will make all vehicles on the road more predictable… thereby reducing accident-potential significantly.