California has some of the fastest and most dangerous streets in the world. In fact, a national coalition of safety experts recently used Los Angeles as an example of what not to do when it comes to setting speed limits.
Los Angeles, like many California cities, uses what’s known as the 85th Percentile Rule to determine speed limits. Speed limits are set at or below the speed at which 85% of drivers will naturally drive in that area.
In practice, this often means if the current speed limit is 30 but most people tend to drive 45 there, the city will probably look at raising the speed limit. Over time, this leads to city-wide increases in speed limits and more high-speed traffic crashes.
It’s a dangerous game with deadly consequences. And it’s exactly why some lawmakers are pushing for AB 43, a bill that would slow down California’s streets by setting lower speed limits to keep people safe.
How Would AB 43 Slow Down Our Streets?
Research shows, broadly speaking, that slower speeds almost always make cities safer. Low speeds especially protect pedestrians, which is why pedestrian safety organizations like Walk San Francisco support AB 43.
AB 43 would encourage local governments to control speed limits, especially in areas with accident-prone roads. City leaders could work with traffic engineers to identify high-injury streets and assign lower speed limits as necessary.
In areas where bicycle traffic is common, for example, speed limits could be adjusted down to account for this slower-moving traffic. Same for areas with lots of pedestrians. It’s a major change from relying only on motorists’ behavior to determine speed limits.
Also, AB 43 would allow law enforcement officers to use radar guns to enforce speed limits in a wider range of areas. Local governments wouldn’t have to go through the hassle and expense of a traffic survey first.
That means we could see lower, safer speed limits in areas like college campuses, senior housing communities, busy shopping areas, and other zones with many pedestrians, scooter riders, and bicyclists. AB 43 could make a big impact on slowing down California’s streets and saving lives.
Why Are High Speed Limits So Dangerous?
It’s easy to get caught up in our society’s fast pace and always want to drive as fast as possible. But here in California, exceeding the speed limit is one of the top contributors to road deaths and injuries.
Speed kills! When a motorist is traveling at a very fast speed, it’s difficult for them to maintain the reaction time it takes to drive safely and avoid obstacles in the road. And sometimes, the obstacle is a human being.
In an instant, a motorist could kill a pedestrian, cyclist, scooter rider, or another motorist. Pedestrians in particular are at an extremely high risk of death and severe injuries in accidents that involve speeding.
Here at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers, we see the horrific results of high-speed crashes. If you were injured in a crash and need to seek compensation from the person who hurt you, you can call 877-380-8852 or get a FREE online case evaluation now.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus On Your Life
After a personal injury, contact the attorneys at Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers. We handle many areas of the law, including speed-related accidents. We believe you should be able to focus on recovering while we handle the legal details. We truly care about the people of California. Contact us today for a free online case evaluation.