55 mph Speed Limit Day
One of the most common ways that people violate the law is to break the speed limit. It’s easy to do and there always seems to be an “excellent reason”. You can’t be late to work again, your plane takes off in 30 minutes, the store closes in a few minutes, and you really, truly need yogurt for breakfast tomorrow.
Regardless of the reasons people may have for speeding, it is a common habit that leads to car accidents. Maybe it’s time for us to respect the speed limit.
President Nixon signed the national 55 mph speed limit into law on January 2, 1974. The law’s purpose was to increase driving efficiency. The law was also enacted in response to a dispute between OPEC (the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries), which had resulted in an oil embargo against the USA.
To be eligible for federal funding for highway projects, all states had to adhere to the 55 mph (90 km/h limit) requirement. The law was wildly popular, but the actual enforcement of it was lax or virtually nonexistent. According to studies, over 80% of motorists violated speed limits on many roads. Nevada and Arizona went so far as to replace speeding tickets by “energy wasting” fines of $5-15. This was for a variety of reasons.
Pop culture also used the number 55 as a shorthand for speed limit. A hand that contains a pair fives in Texas Hold’em poker, for example, is called a “speed limit” to show how significant the 55 mph speed limit has had on the world.
Perhaps the speed limit is no longer 55 mph. This is likely to be a good thing. This could be the time to promise that you won’t exceed the speed limit no matter what. You have to remember that speed limits are set for a reason. Driving faster than the limit could put you and other motorists in danger. Make sure to inform your loved ones and friends about safety concerns in your car.
Your children should understand how a seatbelt could save their lives in an accident. Even if they have had “only one beer”, never let someone who is intoxicated drive. Your family members should be aware that driving while tired can lead to serious injuries. Make sure you emphasize the importance of regular car inspections and servicing, as well as the fact that all functions and devices responsible for safety in an accident are functioning properly.
Although the speed limit is no longer 55 mph, 55 mph Speed Limit Day still provides a great opportunity to consider road safety.