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swamprat
01-19-2008, 01:04 AM
In the state that held the nation's first primary, a bill has been introduced in the New Hampshire legislature that would raise the speed limit to 70 mph and ticket dawdling drivers who set up camp in the left hand lane. If passed, the bill would make New Hampshire the first New England state to post a 70 mph speed limit since 1974, when states were forced to enact the 55 mph speed limit by April 1 of that year. In 1973, Maine and New Hampshire were the only New England states to post 70 mph speed limits. The legislation has been introduced by David L. Smith, ironically a Nashua Democrat. (That's a Democrat I could vote for!)

Smith also wants to strengthen the slower traffic keep right law by enacting a $50.00 fine on people blocking the left hand lane on an interstate highway. The bill also sets up fines for exceeding the new speed limit that range from $65.00 to $350 for 91 mph. Speeds of 96 mph require a court appearance.

Chances of this legislation becoming law are already being affected by the Portsmouth Journal and Seacoast online newspapers who are biasing their articles against raising the speed limit. The usual arguments are used such as "if they raise the speed limit to 70, people will drive 85 mph."

Of course, experience paints a different picture. When speed limits are increased by 10 mph, speeds traveled actually increase by no more than 2 mph according to the FHWA report entitled "The Effects of Raising and Lowering Speed Limits."

In addition, an independent analysis (by me) of state fatality statistics showed that states raising their speed to 70 mph or more experienced a larger drop in their fatality rates than states keeping their 65 mph speed limit.

It is time for the "Live Free or Die" state to do the right thing and raise their speed limit to 70 mph.

Here is the bill text.

http://gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2008/hb1524.html

Let's help them out -

http://gencourt.state.nh.us/index/indexstatus.asp?expbillno=hb1524&txtsessionyear=2008

Here are the articles on the issue:

http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/21/2179.asp

http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080117/NEWS/801170407

http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080118/OPINION/801180437/-1/NEWS19

Eric
01-19-2008, 06:24 AM
Great stuff, Henry - and some goods news, too!

I especially like that they are trying to do something about left lane hogs; the only portion I would take issue with is the exorbitant fines atttached to higher speeds, but I understand the practical and political realities, too. Still, it seems pretty obvious to me that if a road that was designed for average speeds around 70 mph back in the 1950s (as is the case for the US Interstate System) surely such speeds - and more - are at least as "safe" today given the tremendous improvements in vehicle design, tires, etc.

But I wish them well; it is a step in the right direction.... .

swamprat
02-06-2008, 10:44 PM
According to an AP report, the New Hampshire House has voted against raising the speed limit to 70 mph on its interstate highways. The House killed the bill with no debate beforehand.

So much for "Live Free or Die." I think its just "Die."

Eric
02-07-2008, 06:58 AM
According to an AP report, the New Hampshire House has voted against raising the speed limit to 70 mph on its interstate highways. The House killed the bill with no debate beforehand.

So much for "Live Free or Die." I think its just "Die."


I'm not suprised; I would have been had it passed.

Freedom and common sense don't get much play these days; it's all about power - and playing for power.

swamprat
02-07-2008, 11:51 PM
Apparently this had been tried before. There needs to be a real grassroots campaign in NH for that to happen...

Probably won't happen for a while, if ever.

Eric
02-08-2008, 06:26 AM
Apparently this had been tried before. There needs to be a real grassroots campaign in NH for that to happen...

Probably won't happen for a while, if ever.


I am hugely pessimistic; not only are there enormous legal obstacles/potential challenges, there is the fact that a large swath of the population are fearful cattle who want saaaaaafety and to be protected... for the sake of the chiiiiiiildren.