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291 Slow Down, We're Moving too Fast 2010-10-08

25 mph speed limit

In the Summer of 2010 - 10 hikers/climbers were killed climbing the highest mountains of Colorado, the fourteen thousand foot peaks. This is a high and very tragic number.

From 2001 to the present 5,746 Americans died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a high and very tragic number.

In 2009 33,808 people died on the American highways. Again, 33,808 people died in just one year from vehicle crashes. (NHTSA)

Now that is just crazy. We are not fighting a war here in America, we are just trying to get to the store and almost a hundred people die each day from "accidents."

Yet, despite 33,808 fatalities I do not see anyone marching. No one is protesting and hardly anyone seems concerned. The NHTSA was actually happy that we had the lowest number of deaths on the highways since 1950. For the rest of us, we know that accidents happen and for some reason we are happy with that answer. Since 1950 over 2 million people (33,808 x 60) have died on American roads, and it is okay, because they are accidents.

Isn't it time we find solutions?

An easy answer is, slow down. I do not mean slow down a little, I mean make drastic reductions to speed limits on all roads. Slow down. We would reduce fatalities, we would also save energy, pollute less, save on highway construction, save on the cost of vehicles, and save on insurance. The lower speeds would also make walking and bicycling safer.

Buses and other mass transit would see a boon of activity. A special lane and speed for the buses would whisk them past the slower moving vehicles. Trains and other rails would also see an increase in riders. If it was truly faster to use mass transit than a personal vehicle, the public would change.

Of course there would also be all kinds of trouble with enforcing the lower limits, etc.; but slowing down is an answer. Who would not slow down to save 33,808 people's lives? Now, we only have to convince the law makers and 307,006,550 more Americans. The world is just getting too small, slow down and make it bigger.

Happy slow trails.


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