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      07-04-2008, 08:59 AM   #1
atr_hugo
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Not this again?

Ruh, roh: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/....ap/index.html

WASHINGTON (AP) -- An influential Republican senator suggested Thursday that Congress might want to consider reimposing a national speed limit to save gasoline and possibly ease fuel prices.
Sen. John Warner has asked the Energy Department at what speeds vehicles would be most fuel efficient.

Sen. John Warner has asked the Energy Department at what speeds vehicles would be most fuel efficient.

Sen. John Warner, R-Virginia, asked Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman to look into what speed limit would provide optimum gasoline efficiency given current technology. He said he wants to know if the administration might support efforts in Congress to require a lower speed limit.

Congress in 1974 set a national 55 mph speed limit because of energy shortages caused by the Arab oil embargo. The speed limit was repealed in 1995 when crude oil dipped to $17 a barrel and gasoline cost $1.10 a gallon.

As motorists headed on trips for this Fourth of July weekend, gasoline averaged $4.10 a gallon nationwide, with oil hovering around $145 a barrel.

Warner cited studies that showed the 55 mph speed limit saved 167,000 barrels of oil a day, or 2 percent of the country's highway fuel consumption, while avoiding up to 4,000 traffic deaths a year.

"Given the significant increase in the number of vehicles on America's highway system from 1974 to 2008, one could assume that the amount of fuel that could be conserved today is far greater," Warner wrote Bodman.

Warner asked the department to determine at what speeds vehicles would be most fuel efficient, how much fuel savings would be achieved, and whether it would be reasonable to assume there would be a reduction in prices at the pump if the speed limit were lowered.
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      07-04-2008, 10:49 AM   #2
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http://warner.senate.gov/public/inde...ct.ContactForm

If you don't like it, be respectful, but voice your opinion.

I did already, but my main point was that billions of taxpayer dollars have already been spent on individual roadway studies to determine the best speed limit to alleviate traffic (and sitting stagnant, burning fuel and adding pollution), and in my state, the Big Dig was even designed to take into account faster sections and slower sections to have traffic flow better. Dumping a broad stroke policy on all roadways is irresponsible, and will create gridlock scenarios, adding pollution, burning more fuel, and lowering our quality of life.
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      07-04-2008, 11:24 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryn View Post
http://warner.senate.gov/public/inde...ct.ContactForm

If you don't like it, be respectful, but voice your opinion.

I did already, but my main point was that billions of taxpayer dollars have already been spent on individual roadway studies to determine the best speed limit to alleviate traffic (and sitting stagnant, burning fuel and adding pollution), and in my state, the Big Dig was even designed to take into account faster sections and slower sections to have traffic flow better. Dumping a broad stroke policy on all roadways is irresponsible, and will create gridlock scenarios, adding pollution, burning more fuel, and lowering our quality of life.
Very well said sir!
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      07-04-2008, 12:21 PM   #4
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As larryn notes, one of the main things we learned last time we had a national speed limit is that one size poorly fits all - whether thinking in terms of roads or vehicles or drivers. Another major lesson, much like we learned with Prohibition, is that the best social policy is one that invites public support rather than requires enforcement. Senator Warner was not serving in the Senate the last time a national speed limit was mandated, so perhaps he needs a bit of reminding that, despite its well-intended rationale, it was loathed by drivers and many law enforcement professionals.

FWIW I'm definitely seeing slower driving on the Interstate sections in my area, even during rush hours. I think some/many folks are already adjusting their driving habits. What are the rest of you seeing?

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      07-04-2008, 01:13 PM   #5
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I think I've skipped straight to acceptance on this one. If gas is $4.10 in the US it's still probably underpriced by a good bit compared to the rest of the world anyway. The oil market is going through a period of rapid adjustment at the moment, but it will eventually settle down, people will get used to it, and life will go on. I say bin the rediculous speed limit ideas and deal.
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      07-04-2008, 02:26 PM   #6
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Other than increasing the issuance of sppeding tickets, I don't see how lowering the speed limit would make a difference. People have the option of driving 55 mph, or lower, now and many have chosen to do it on their own already.
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