Professor Berlyn Cobian
March 22, 2011
Driving for No Limits
A prevalent issue today in the state of California, as well as the rest of the United States, is the issue of speed limits on our highways, freeways, and expressways. The problem with speed limits is they essentially do nothing to benefit the citizen; instead they serve as a band-aid for a deeper problem in our transportation system, and work as a revenue generator for the state government. Instead of raising or dropping speed limits on our open roadways, they should be abolished. Eradicating the speed limit on our roadways might seem drastic at first thought. Worries about accident, injury, and death rates spiraling out of control begin to formulate in your mind, but those worries are unfounded. There are many examples, and numerous studies conducted by reputable departments, that would suggest that this proposal of a speed limit free road might actually be feasible, and safe. The first example of this idea of a road with no speed limits is Germany’s famous Autobahn. This highway system was opened August 6, 1932, making it 23 years older the United States’ Interstate system. The Autobahn consists of almost 8,000 miles of road, of which only half of that road has a speed limit. Even so, it is one of the safest highway systems in the world (Wilkinson, “The Autobahn Is 75 (Years Old, Not MPH)”). In fact, statistics show that it is even safer than the U.S. interstate highway system. As stated, in the online article “Driving the Autobahn,” by James M. Clash, in 2001, the death rate on the Autobahn was 27 percent lower than that of the interstates in America. Continuing on the matter of safety, it is safe to say that the posted speed limit has extremely little to do with it. Despite the death rate on the Autobahn being lower than the U.S.’s interstates, the average speed is substantially higher at 81 miles per hour. 15% of drivers on the Autobahn at any given moment are...
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