Tuesday, September 07, 2010

[Cars] A Small Victory for Reason

A Small Victory for Reason: Here in Ann Arbor, speed limits were raised at three notorious speed traps. You read that right: Raised. These spots have been well known to locals for decades and probably great revenue generators. But recently, after years of efforts, the National Motorists Association successfully argued that raising the speed limit would not make these roads less safe, but would be a sane and rational response to the situation. Bear in mind, this probably means less revenue for the city in speeding tickets. And no doubt someone at some point hysterically argued that raising the limit would result in the deaths of innocent children in flaming car crashes. Yet it was done. It is now two years since and nothing bad has happened.
One thing did change. As was expected, the vast majority of safe, sane, competent drivers who go along with the normal flow of traffic are no longer arbitrarily defined as criminals, and no longer subject to big ticket fines and even bigger insurance surcharges.
The National Motorists Association should win a Nobel prize for this achievement. I thought I would never in my life see a point where a plea to rationality overcame both emotional and financial pressure in politics. And in Ann Arbor no less. Astounding.