Friday, July 07, 2006

Why You shouldn't Believe the Left

OpinionJournal - Safe at Any Speed About 10 years ago the Republican majority in Congress eliminated the 55 mph speed limit.

This was greated with an outcry from the left about the increase in deaths that would the fault of the Republicans. (Those uncaring Republicans, dammit.)
Ralph Nader claimed that "history will never forgive Congress for this assault on the sanctity of human life." Judith Stone, president of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, predicted to Katie Couric on NBC's "Today Show" that there would be "6,400 added highway fatalities a year and millions of more injuries." Federico Pena, the Clinton Administration's Secretary of Transportation, declared: "Allowing speed limits to rise above 55 simply means that more Americans will die and be injured on our highways."
Chicken little was rumored to have said that the sky would fall.

The only problem is the sky did not fall.
Per mile traveled, there were about 5,000 fewer deaths and almost one million fewer injuries in 2005 than in the mid-1990s. This is all the more remarkable given that a dozen years ago Americans lacked today's distraction of driving while also talking on their cell phones.

Of the 31 states that have raised their speed limits to more than 70 mph, 29 saw a decline in the death and injury rate and only two--the Dakotas--have seen fatalities increase. Two studies, by the National Motorists Association and by the Cato Institute, have compared crash data in states that raised their speed limits with those that didn't and found no increase in deaths in the higher speed states.
The Left cries wolf at ever juncture. Freedom equals death according to many on the left. Of course they never actually bother to look at the statistics. Because the statistics often say that they don't know what they are talking about.

Forget the utter disregard for the law that speed limit created.
National Motorists Association, says that by the early 1990s "compliance with the 55 mph law was only about 5%--in other words, about 95% of drivers were exceeding the speed limit."
But a bad law on the books that cannot be enforced - that doesn't have the support of 95% of the public... - that bad law is better than no law according to the left.

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