Bad driving, bad rules are real road hazards

According to The Maui News, July 18, the Operation Speed campaign will be activating traffic and patrol officers, as well as “strategies” to stop and cite motorists for exceeding speed limit signs on major highways from July 20-27.

One only has to drive daily on Maui’s four-lane highways to see that 85 percent of the drivers travel at 60 mph although the speed limit is posted at 45 mph. This “85th percentile” is the standard used by traffic engineers all over the planet to establish speed limits.

Michigan traffic engineer Martin Parker states: “The likelihood of a crash occurring is significantly greater for motorists travelling at a speed slower, and faster, than the mean speed of traffic.”

So why are speed limits so artificially low?

Jim Walker, past president of the National Motorists Association, states: “They are arbitrarily set, usually too low, for one or both of these reasons. 1. The venue wishes to create lucrative speed traps for revenue with under-posted limits. 2. The venue responds inappropriately to requests from well-meaning but uninformed residents to lower the speed limits below the safest levels because the residents sincerely but falsely believe it will increase safety.”

It isn’t speed that’s killing us. It’s bad driving and rules of the road that are seriously out of touch with the way most motorists drive. Nail bad drivers, not someone who is travelling in a reasonable and safe manner at the 85th percentile.

Lopaka Aldrich