Speed Limits Aren't Saving Lives, So Make Cars Slower

Government's priorities elsewhere, but cars that can't top 75 would save gas, too
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2008 1:27 PM CDT
Niko Mendoza, 17, mourns for his friend, who was killed in a high-speed car accident, near the scene of the crash Aug. 28, 2008, in northeast Los Angeles.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Speeding contributes to 13,000 US road deaths each year, and, at 30% of traffic fatalities, places only slightly behind alcohol, at 39%, Kent A. Sepkowitz writes in the New York Times. While preventing drunk driving is a complex problem requiring cooperation of motorists, police, and educators, speeding can be prevented easily: by making cars that cannot physically exceed the speed limit.

It wouldn't be that different from requiring helmets and seat belts, the argument goes, and as an added benefit, the slower cars would have better fuel efficiency. “Sure, it would take us longer to get from here to there,” Sepkowitz concludes. “But thousands of deaths a year are too great a cost for so adolescent a thrill as speeding.”