Bad idea to raise speed limit in UP

Upon learning of the passage of the increased speed limit on the roads in the state of Michigan by our governor I am deeply concerned for the residents of the state of Michigan. I believe he has made an unwise choice for his people.

My first thought is with a speed limit now of 55, there are few drivers who actually obey this speed limit. If drivers go at least 60 to 65 now, they will probably be going 70 to 75 when the speed limit is raised to 65.

We all know speeding is an issue now where a reduced speed limit is posted through town, and will become a bigger issue when the highway speed is increased.

Driving the open highway has its own risk, too. It is a proven fact that accident rates increase with increased speed. One website I looked at says by increasing speed from 55 to 65 results in a 19 percent increase in accidents on rural interstates in relation to other roads.

Living downstate, I don’t think our governor understands the roads in the U.P. As you all know, deer-vehicle accidents are very serious. Downstate where he lives and drives, the freeways have wide shoulders and cleared land beyond that give drivers a wide field of vision to spot deer.  This wide vision field probably has saved many drivers from hitting deer.

Our roads do not offer such an amenity. If a deer bounds out of the woods, they are on the road in just a couple of leaps. We have very little or no chance of trying to avoid hitting the deer. If the speed limit is raised to 65 mph, our odds of avoiding a vehicle-deer crash will be lessened. There will be many more accidents.

How much will this cost you? If you are fortunate enough to walk away with just a damaged car, consider yourself fortunate. What will the odds be of that deer coming through your windshield and seriously injuring or killing you, thanks to the new higher speed limit?

But then maybe Gov. Snyder is just a sly fox. The faster you drive, the lower your fuel economy. I looked up this subject and found that by increasing speed from 55 to 60 mph, fuel economy is decreased by 3 percent; at 65, it decreases by 8 percent. If you are not abiding by the posted speed limit and drive 70 and 75, your fuel economy decreases by 17 percent and 23 percent. That sure amounts to a lot of money in increased gas consumption.

Now here is where our governor is pulling a fast one on us. We all know the gas tax just increased this month and we have all felt the pinch at the pumps. With the new higher speed limit we are going to be buying more gas and sending more tax dollars to the state.

So, people of Michigan, buckle up, drive safe, and open your wallets to Gov. Snyder.