Originally created 06/19/02

Worry about safety before speed

It is amazing how many letters you receive about speeding on our roads. Are there that many traffic engineers in this country?

Prior to the energy crunch in 1973, many places had 60 mph speed limits on gravel and dirt roads. Now we are building large, hard, surface roads designed to move traffic in large volumes. We have gone from biased-ply tires to radial tires. We have power steering, power brakes, improved suspension and countless other improvements.

Moving to the suburbs, most people have to drive farther to work. While it is true that it only takes about 4 1/2 minutes longer to go 15 miles at 55 rather than 70 mph, everyone fails to consider how many other vehicles are on the road possibly going to the same place. The result is traffic congestion and, the lower the speed limit, the greater the congestion.

Instead of issuing so many speeding tickets, let's first ensure that the vehicles on the road meet lawful standards. I constantly see vehicles with illegal window tinting, no headlights, cracked windshields and about any type of violation you can name. Let's put our emphasis on safe vehicles before we worry so much about speed.

Henry Jongma, Augusta

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