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Speed Limits on the Highways Essay

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Paper type: Essay, Subject: Free

Nowadays out streets and highways are filled with automobiles, motors, buses and different other vehicles, which make problems of traffic safety topical for our society. Thousands of accidents happen every day in our country, and the statistic of lethal outcomes is really scary. The majority of reasons, which usually bring to accidents and deaths on the roads, are connected with speeding and alcohol usage.That is why it is necessary to think about assuming some drastic measures, directed on protection of our citizens on the road and next to it. This problem has to receive permanent public concern and attention. To my mind, establishing of speed limits is one of such measures, which can work well and be really effective. Speed limitations can be especially efficient for extremely busy roads, like motorways, highways or freeways.Currently, all 50 states of our country adopted the laws, which set up speed limitations on the roads and highways. Speed limit is maximum (or minimum) speed established by legislation for one of another type of road. Usually, the drivers can be informed about speed limits on the roads with the help of traffic signs, which appear next to the roads.Of course, speed limits vary according to the type of the roads and type of the vehicle. A number of states have different speed limits for such vehicles, as buses, trucks and other commercial means of transportation and, as a rule, maximum speed limit for such vehicles is lower, than the one for usual cars. Also, some states have different day-time speed limitations and night-time speed limitations.Average speed limits in the United States are the following: 45–70 mph on the highways and expressways, connecting the cities or towns, 55–70 mph on non-Interstate expressways, and up to75 mph on interstate freeways (Wikipedia). In some states speed limits can exceed 75 mph, like in Texas or Kansas, where it is allowed to drive with the speed 80mph on some roads.Certainly, speed limits slightly vary from one state to another. For example, in Arizona usual maximum speed limit for highways is 75 mph and in Tennessee it is at most 65 mph. It is interesting also, that generally the states on the West of the country have speed higher limits, than the ones in the East (Wikipedia).There is a special rule, connected with establishing of speed limits, which is used in our country since the middle of XX century. It is called the 85th Percentile Rule. The concept of this rule is the following: typically 85% of drivers do not exceed the threshold of safeness in normal circumstances. It means that 85% of drivers usually drive with the speed, which is relatively safe for particular road or highway. That is why the majority of current speed limitations are set by traffic engineers, according to this finding.Speed limits are really very necessary, because the drivers of the vehicles, which are moving with too very high speed, can not react quickly on the changes of the situation on the road. Also, a speeding car has considerably lower ability to maneuver and can not stop its movement fast. In such cases, established speed limitations help the drivers to keep their vehicles under permanent control during their travel.Therefore, the main functions of speed limits are slowing down the traffic and decreasing the amount of accidents, connected with speeding. Especially, it can be said about the highways, where a lot of vehicles move permanently with relatively high speed. That is why the accidents on highways are exceptionally dangerous for people.Besides, speed limitations are directed on strengthening of safety of the drivers, as well. Speeding is very dangerous for the automobile itself. When speeding, the processes in mechanism of the car get accelerated and fasten very intensively. Sometimes driving speed is too very high and the mechanism of the automobile can not stand on such intensification and tension. That is why in such situations engine can blow or other malfunction of car can happen.Certainly, speed limitations have other important functions. Frequently, speed limitations are connected with some special situations on the roads, like roadwork or bad environmental conditions. In such cases, speed limitations play the role of reminders about the most reasonable speed levels on one or another part of a highway, and make our roads much safer.In other words, speed limitations attract attention of the drivers to the most unsafe and critical parts of the highways. For example, tough speed limitations can be very effective in those parts of the roads, where some reconstruction or road expansion take place. Or, some special speed limits can be established for the roads, which are located on dangerous territories: for example, in the mountains, where the roads are spiral.In addition, speed limits have one more very practicable reason. They are necessary for our society as an effective reinforcement instrument for the police. Only specified speed limits can serve as reference points, which help to control the speeders on the roads. That is why established speed limits can help police officers in providing and securing conditions for safe traveling on the highways, and also in catching and fighting with chronic speeders. Speed limits are exceptional regulations of traffic on the roads.Many opponents of speed limits say that established limits can not force all drivers to obey them. They point on large amount of those drivers, who enjoy speeding in anyway. This can be partially true. But still the majority of drivers pays attention on speed limitation signs and tries to fit into established speed limits, because these limitations serve for the safety of the very drivers, as well. Besides, any specified speed limitation is better, than unspecified ones!Speed limits are very important and effective measures of road safety! They must exist, but certainly they have to be realistic, reasonable and flexible. Speed limits have to vary, depending on the category, location and business of a street or a highway. Such details, like weather conditions, terrain features, condition of the road, etc., must be obligatory taken into consideration, when establishing speed limits.According to the statistics, about 32% of lethal accidents are connected with speeding. (Blagojevich) That is why it is extremely important not only to establish speed limitations, but also to control observation of these limits by the drivers, especially on the highways and freeways, where the existing speed limitations are rather high and the situation always remains dangerous for safety of our citizens.Bibliography:·         Blagojevich, Rod. “Speed Limit Enforcement.” Illinois State Police. 2004. 14 Dec. 2005 <http://www.isp.state.il.us/traffic/speedlimitenf.cfm >.·         “Speed Limit.” Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia Online. 4 Dec. 2005 14 Dec. 2005 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limit >.·         “Speed Limits.” Arizona Department of Transportation. ITD Highways Home Page.14 Dec. 2005 <http://www.azdot.gov/Highways/Traffic/Speed.asp >.

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