75 miles an hour unsafe in residential area
A recent accident on Highway 79 has brought the speed limit debate back to Olney. This highway which runs from Olney to Wichita Falls has seen its share of accidents, some fatal. Should we change the speed limit from 75 to 55? Yes, this might inconvenience us if we are running late to work or just want to make an appointment on time, but is it worth risking lives? Here are some statistics.
According to 2019 Consumer Reports article, “Nearly 37,000 additional people have died in traffic incidents over the last quarter of a century because of rising speed limits on our nation’s roadways, according to a new study from an insurance-industry-funded group.” In other words, using insurance statistics, this group has determined that thousands more have died because of higher speed limits. The article continues, “The researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that for every 5 mph increase in a highway’s speed limit, roadway fatalities rose 8.5 percent.”
With this in mind, it seems reasonable that we should consider lowering the speed limit on Highway 79—but there’s more. According to an anonymous source close to the situation, “
As you can see, lowering the speed limit could lower accidents and fatalities on our highway. “
One woman who asked to remain anonymous argued, “When speed limits are lower, and you drive slower, you have more control. That plus the fact that people still try to text and drive…at those speeds, they have less control for reaction times. “ She continued “with my three grandchildren now on the road, lowering the speed limit in dangerous spots would certainly give me more peace of mind. “
“When you already have vehicles up to speeds of 75 mph and other car pulls out trying to gain speed, they close the gap very rapidly,” Stacey Rogers said, who is in favor of reducing the speed limit down to 55 mph on 251 S. “We have seen growth in that area, both residential and a manufacturing facility to the south,” Rogers added. This part of town is continuing to grow in many ways… with a growing number of residence and jobs—which is why this issue needs to be resolved sooner rather than later. “We have had some incidents and accidents in this area some of it just carelessness and some of it is related to speed. But you have more of a residential setting along with the manufacturing plant and there is no reason in my opinion not to reduce the speed until you get out into the country towards the south,” Rogers concluded.