1/21/2014 - Fewer speeding tickets after limit is raised
In what many might describe as defying conventional wisdom, raising the speed limit has not produced more tickets for motorists in a part of the country where the move was recently made.
In mid-2013, state officials in Ohio decided to increase the speeding limit from 60 mph to 70 mph on various highways throughout the area. In the first three months after the law went into effect, police officers distributed about 19,000 speeding tickets, which was substantially lower than how many were issued during the same time in 2012 as well as the year prior to that, according to local newspaper The Columbus Dispatch.
Anne Ralston, spokesperson for the State Highway Patrol, noted that even though these are compelling figures, any definitive conclusions about the effect of bumping up the speed limit can't be made for a couple more years.
Kary Macek, a representative of the Governors Highway Safety Association, told the newspaper that as a general rule, states are hesitant to raise the limit because motorists will often adjust their rate of speed accordingly.
"People tend to think there's a cushion," said Macek. "So we're always wary of increasing speed limits because we're worried people will increase their expected cushion. Perhaps people are really taking it seriously."
The Dispatch noted that in 2011, the main reason for deadly automotive accidents - all of which resulted in an auto insurance claim for those involved - was linked to speeding.
The National Motorists Association is one of the few major organizations that generally supports increasing some of the nation's speed limits. They argue that limits de-emphasize positive motorist behaviors and are rarely based on anything other than assumptions as to what the best speed is.