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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2019, 8:32 PM
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Is The American Autobahn Next? How States Are Pushing Highway Speeds Past The Limit

Is The American Autobahn Next? How States Are Pushing Highway Speeds Past The Limit


Feb. 22, 2019

By Chris Woodyard

Read More: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...an/2946374002/

Quote:
.....

State Sen. John Moorlach's vision for a Golden State version of Germany's famed Autobahn a stretch of pavement where you can drive as fast you want is just the latest in a series of moves by states to put the pedal to the metal when it comes to speed limits. It's happening even as safety experts try to throw on the brakes on speeds that have now reached legal levels they view as somewhere between risky and downright dangerous.

- Seven states, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming have allowed 80 mph speed limits on select highways. One, Texas, has 85 mph on a section of State Highway 130. Legislatures have upped limits as cars have become safer and more powerful and the price of gas has tumbled, lowering concerns about the poor fuel mileage that high-speed driving can bring. Yet, the resulting higher speeds haven't made much of a statistical dent in highway deaths, the Governors Highway Safety Association reports. — In California, Moorlach doesn't think safety will be a showstopper when it comes to his no-speed-limit plan. He said crash concerns haven't dampened enthusiasm for the German Autobahn, a haven for speedsters for decades. In announcing his plan, he pointed to a World Health Organization report that estimates road traffic deaths at 4.1 per 100,000 people in Germany compared to 12.4 in the U.S. His bill would add four lanes to two highways, Interstate 5 and California State Route 99, for drivers who want the convenience of going without a speed limit.

- A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the lives of 33,000 motorists and their passengers would have been saved if there had been no speed limit increases between 1993, when states posted highways at either 55 mph or 65 mph, and 2013. Another IIHS study that looked only at the effect of raising the speed limit to 80 mph in Utah estimated that an increase in traffic speed of only 3 mph, to 78 mph, increased the chance of fatalities by 17 percent. The other problem is that even with higher limits, people tend to drive faster than they should. — Having gone on trips to Utah and Nevada, where other motorists sometimes whiz by at 90 mph, Chuck Farmer, vice president of research for IIHS, said, "Personally, I find it very uncomfortable." "When higher speed signs go up, not only is traffic moving faster but some motorists immediately start exceeding the new posted limit," said Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association. The effect is a "double whammy" on the average speed of traffic.

.....



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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2019, 9:30 PM
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Climate crisis? What climate crisis?
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Old Posted Feb 22, 2019, 9:39 PM
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Old Posted Feb 22, 2019, 10:19 PM
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This is stupid. Thousands of people die needlessly due to people driving too fast. We need to enforce speeding laws more strictly, not undermine them.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2019, 4:10 AM
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His bill has 0% chance of ever becoming law. As if the CA Democrats are going to pass this Republican's bill.

Having driven on the autobahn a long time ago, I think its a pretty good idea and would work well in California. However, the cost to build and maintain these high speed lanes would be very expensive. The sections of highway that have no speed limits(they're referred to as "advisory limits") in Germany are designed for travel at high speeds and are maintained at a higher level than highways in the US. There is a big difference between driving over a pothole at 60mph compared to driving over one at 160mph.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2019, 5:19 AM
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Climate crisis? What climate crisis?
Well the climate crisis is the same issue in Germany as here plus we at least produce the gas that would be burned. Germany has to import it.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2019, 5:23 AM
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Originally Posted by floor23 View Post
Having driven on the autobahn a long time ago, I think its a pretty good idea and would work well in California. However, the cost to build and maintain these high speed lanes would be very expensive. The sections of highway that have no speed limits(they're referred to as "advisory limits") in Germany are designed for travel at high speeds and are maintained at a higher level than highways in the US. There is a big difference between driving over a pothole at 60mph compared to driving over one at 160mph.
It's a non-issue as far as I'm concerned. A significant number of people already drive 85, 90 of more on I-5 and SR 99 already. I generally drive 3 or 4 mph over the 70 mph limit (on the theory no cop is going to bother me for less than 5 mph) on these roads and cars commonly go whizzing by me like I'm standing still.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2019, 6:36 AM
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We already have this. It's called I-5
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2019, 6:47 AM
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I really hope this happens, but I doubt it does. People, evidence shown in this thread, are just too quick to knee jerk reactions than really thinking logically. Plus I don't see the dems in California going for it. It sure would be nice to have this though. Maybe one day.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2019, 9:01 AM
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I wouldn't have a problem with it, and if they want to reduce fatalities to German levels, they should make it as difficult to get a license here as it is in Germany and issue fines and penalties for infractions at German levels.

We can't have really high speed limits and allow anyone with a pulse to have a driver's license. Of course if we did that, we'd have to actually provide decent mass transit as as true alternative to driving.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2019, 1:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plutonicpanda View Post
I really hope this happens, but I doubt it does. People, evidence shown in this thread, are just too quick to knee jerk reactions than really thinking logically. Plus I don't see the dems in California going for it. It sure would be nice to have this though. Maybe one day.
A person who was thinking logically would absolutely not support this as fatal accidents increase exponentially with speed. The human brain simply cannot react to hazards effectively at such high speeds, and cars are not designed to protect passengers from impacts at such high speeds.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2019, 5:26 PM
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Quote:
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A person who was thinking logically would absolutely not support this as fatal accidents increase exponentially with speed. The human brain simply cannot react to hazards effectively at such high speeds, and cars are not designed to protect passengers from impacts at such high speeds.
Properly designed, one of the key design features of an expressway is that there are few perpendicular surfaces and all traffic is going the same direction so relative speed differentials are reduced.
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2019, 5:34 PM
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Properly designed, one of the key design features of an expressway is that there are few perpendicular surfaces and all traffic is going the same direction so relative speed differentials are reduced.
If there is no speed limit then relative speed differentials will be much HIGHER because you'll have one guy trying to go 65 and another trying to hit 120. And relative speed doesn't matter after you've lost control and are crashing into fixed objects.

Also the suggestion that you can add all these lanes cheaply is incredibly ridiculous. If California couldn't build a HSR line what makes them think they could build a highway of the same distance?
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2019, 5:38 PM
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And motorcycles would be doing 180 mph
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Old Posted Feb 23, 2019, 5:43 PM
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This would last an hour before some top-heavy SUV driver changes lanes too fast and rolls over into the opposing lane.
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Old Posted Feb 24, 2019, 8:55 AM
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The speed limit should be pulled back to 55mph, like it was in the 70s and 80s, if we were a country that actually cared about safety.
https://youtu.be/RvV3nn_de2k

Periodically I drive 55mph in a 65 or 70mph zone and it's like you're in slow-motion. But you are easily able to respond to debris in the roadway, deer, and other stuff.

Last edited by jmecklenborg; Feb 24, 2019 at 9:10 AM.
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Old Posted Feb 25, 2019, 2:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
The speed limit should be pulled back to 55mph, like it was in the 70s and 80s, if we were a country that actually cared about safety.
https://youtu.be/RvV3nn_de2k

Periodically I drive 55mph in a 65 or 70mph zone and it's like you're in slow-motion. But you are easily able to respond to debris in the roadway, deer, and other stuff.
Going 55 in a 70 is very dangerous, well, very dangerous if you also think going 85 in a 70 is dangerous LOL

I've been on 130 a couple of times. Nothing like going 89 with a cop passing you. Truth is, I felt safer, and I'll tell you why. When you are on a normal highway with the speed limit at like 70, you will speed(well, not you Jmeck, but the vast majority do). So naturally I am going 5-15 miles over anyways. Now, the great state of Texas has allowed me to go so fast, so I almost feel like a douche pushing it. So going 4 over is as fast as I go, and it seems most other people do about the same. So I think the speed deferentials are actually lessened in that case.

55 is a joke. The only people pushing this are upper-class people who fly everywhere and don't do 10 or 15 hour trips semi-annually.
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Old Posted Feb 25, 2019, 4:17 AM
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The only people pushing this are upper-class people who fly everywhere and don't do 10 or 15 hour trips semi-annually.
Depending on how many people you have in your car flying this distance isn't any more expensive than driving. It's just that you don't account for the depreciation in your mental math even though wear and tear is obviously occurring when you drive that many miles. Besides, we're talking about tens of thousands of people dying every year here and you're worried it might cost you a few minutes on your trip? Not really all that concerned TBH.
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Old Posted Feb 25, 2019, 9:41 AM
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My dad and grandparents are from Munich Germany. One thing that he says is the whole German system of obtaining a drivers license is much more stringent than in the US. What they go through is like race car training in comparison to our system with the DMVs. Many people in USA would fail a German exam. Also as someone stated above, German roads are maintained at a much higher level than what we have on US freeways. I'm all for transforming the context from "speed limit" to "suggested speed" as I dont think it really deters people from speeding unless they are aware of police or Highway patrol. To me it seems more like a getcha gotcha for Highway patrol to make money.
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Old Posted Feb 25, 2019, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
The speed limit should be pulled back to 55mph, like it was in the 70s and 80s, if we were a country that actually cared about safety.
https://youtu.be/RvV3nn_de2k

Periodically I drive 55mph in a 65 or 70mph zone and it's like you're in slow-motion. But you are easily able to respond to debris in the roadway, deer, and other stuff.
I hope you stay in the right lane and not in the left. I can't stand folks that do 55 mph in the LEFT LANE and.... and... in a 65 mph road!

In NJ/NY, left-lane bandits are the locust.
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