Is the Question Why Speed? Or Is It Why Not?

That common attitude in the title of this post is one of the reasons that, despite years of efforts by law enforcement authorities, state and federal agencies and advocacy groups, speed-related accidents have continued to grow.

In order to prevent car accidents and traffic fatalities, local agencies research to determine what speeds are safest on any given road. Once that is determined, speed limits are put into place. Cars traveling above those limits are more susceptible to losing control and causing an accident.

And that scenario is not an uncommon one. In fact, speeding is a factor one third of all fatal car accidents.

Since 2000, traffic fatalities occurring from drunk driving or not wearing a seatbelt have fallen, but speeding deaths have increased. In 2010, almost 11,000 people died as a result of speeding.

More steps must be taken to crack down on speeding enforcement. In the last seven years, only two states have increased speeding fines.

Of course, with the economic downturn, state and municipal budgets have been cut, which means that fewer law enforcement personnel are monitoring the roads. That, coupled with the fact that people generally do not take speed limits seriously, makes it difficult to cut down on speeding and speeding-related accidents.

Some advocates think that better education about driving safety will help, but others think that more than just education is necessary to send a message about the dangers of speeding on the roads throughout Texas.

Source: USA Today, “Speeding enforcement falls through cracks with budget cuts,” 3/8/12.