- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Recent editorials from Florida newspapers:

May 2

The Tampa (Fla.) Tribune on raising speed limits:

An unnecessary bill that would make our highways more dangerous has passed the Florida Senate and House and is now headed to Gov. Rick Scott, who can sign the bill into law or veto the measure.

We strongly urge Scott to veto the bill, which is opposed by law enforcement and safety organizations.

The bill, sponsored in the Senate by Jeff Brandes, a Republican from St. Petersburg, would allow the state to increase the speed limits on sections of Florida’s highways by 5 mph provided traffic engineers sign off on the increase. That means the limit could be raised to 75 mph on interstates, to 70 on divided highways and to 65 on rural highways.

We can find no good reason to raise the limits. Crash studies show injuries are more severe at higher speeds, and fuel studies show more gasoline is consumed at higher speeds.

Yet the measure passed comfortably in the Senate. It narrowly passed in the House, where some members warned of the dangers to motorists and law enforcement patrolling our highways.

Across the nation, injuries and deaths on interstates have increased since the repeal of the 55-mph speed limit 20 years ago, according to the American Journal of Public Health. In Iowa, deaths on rural roads increased 10 percent when the speed limit was raised from 65 mph to 70 mph.

The bill should be particularly troubling to seniors, who tend to drive within the limits to give them the needed reaction time. Drivers moving past them at faster speeds create a greater danger.

Scott should listen to law enforcement, consider the national statistics, follow common sense and veto this dangerous bill.




May 5

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