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The corruption spread. Under-posted speed limits became the rule rather than the exception. Nearly every road in the country was afflicted with a posted maximum lawful speed 5, 10, 15 — even 20 — mph lower than the 85th percentile speed for that road. The “85th percentile” is the speed at which the majority of cars on a given road are traveling; this is the standard according to which all speed limits are supposed to be set under the guidelines of the “Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices,” the “bible” of traffic safety engineering. The MUTCD and its guidelines are, however, routinely ignored — and lower-than-reasonable limits posted that turn nearly ever driver into a “speeder” subject to being ticketed at any time.
And that, of course, is the nut of the deal. Speed enforcement, to a great extent, is about money, not “safety.” Most motorists can’t help driving close to 85th percentile speeds — and with the natural flow of traffic — rather than hewing to an artificially low limit, even if it opens them up to a “speeding” ticket. State and local authorities know this, and know how much money can be raised through traffic tickets. This is why there was so much resistance to getting rid of the NMSL.
But now the cat is out of the bag. Or at least, his head is. The “speed kills” lie has been exposed.
It’s taken more than 25 years, from time the NMSL was imposed to its repeal in ‘95, to get highway speed limits back to where they were. And to free America’s motorists from the tyranny of being ticketed at every turn for “violating” posted limits that themselves were in violation of both traffic safety engineering principles (MUTCD) and common sense.
With any luck, the unshackling will continue — and the rest of the “revenue enhancement” speed trap racket shut down at the state and local levels, too.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?