Residents across the state of North Carolina could see a significant change in speed limit signs in the upcoming months as a result of an overwhelming vote in the senate recently. The proposal was to give the state’s Department of Transportation authority to raise the speed limit on some North Carolina roadways from 65 to 75. In a vote of 45 to 1, the measure passed and is now being passed on to the House.
But while many people in the state think that the new legislation is a good idea, there are others who aren’t so sure. According to recent statistics, nearly 30 percent of road fatalities and car accidents have had excessive speed as a contributing factor. Those opposed to the bill pointed out this month that by increasing the speed limit, legislators are also increasing the likelihood of serious accidents in the future.
Studies done by transportation agencies across the nation have demonstrated that injuries become more serious as the velocity of the vehicle increases. And at freeway speeds, a person’s risk for fatality increases significantly.
Backers of the new legislation say that many drivers are already travelling at the new proposed speed limits and question why increasing the limit hadn’t been done sooner. Critics have been quick to point out that if some negligent drivers are willing to drive 10 mph over the speed limit now, what would stop them from doing the same behavior when the limit is raised?
While the House still needs to vote on the proposed legislation, many people in the state worry that the bill has gathered too much steam and is unlikely to be stopped by representatives. If the law does go into effect, the general concern is that our state could see an increase in the number of fatalities on our roadways as a direct result.
Source: ABC 11 News, “North Carolina Senate approves allowing 75 mph speed limits,” April 11, 2013