Monday, September 21, 2015

Lower speed limit was safer

After nearly being side-swiped by a cement truck barreling unbalanced down Highway 75 in a recent rainstorm, I thought about how the speed limit for this widened stretch is being raised and considered this teetering ‘near-miss’ a bad omen.

Equally unsettling were the reactions of two motorists who decided to speed up and buzz by the hydroplaning truck as it overcorrected, and then almost toppled over on them as they passed in the slick right lane. I suspect that these law-bending speeders are part of the majority who were ignoring the limits anyway; which is a major reason why the Idaho Transportation Department decided give up on its prudent attempt to keep the speed lower and us safer.

The area near the hospital is well known as an active wildlife corridor, and raising the limit there goes against the grain of an insightful WRHS applied physics class study on the effects of vehicle collisions with wildlife at 45 mph versus 55 mph.

Moreover, motorists turning left into traffic now need to cross over an additional lane before merging.

Sadly, it's easy to predict that bad vehicle crashes will likely increase when the highway soon turns icy and numerous motorists continue to show a lack of respect toward the speed limit. And since Idaho is a state without annual vehicle safety inspections for tires brakes and steering systems some of the same people who pay little heed to basic traffic rules on treacherous roads probably will be piloting vehicles that are not even roadworthy for new season. 

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