Lower speed limit on Route 1: Really?
Your editorial in Feb. 28 issue refers to quotes from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, IIHS. First, this agency is funded by auto insurers. The premise you bring forth is a bit farfetched. The remedies that were agreed upon by a “local committee” looked at the whole picture, not statistical information by a nationwide group. The members of this committee are familiar with Route 1, and all of its nuances. Reduction of the speed limit from 45 mph to 35 mph will definitely slow the traffic down. Well heck, let’s make it 25 or 15 mph. The slower the better I guess, if you note the quotation from the insurance institute.
You seem to forget, that during the “in season” period on Route 1, you’re lucky if you get to 25 mph! The injuries and deaths that occurred this past summer involved alcohol, lighting (or lack thereof), driver inattentiveness, just plain stupidity, or a combination of them.
Crossing Route 1 in dark clothing at night, in an unlit area outside of a crosswalk area is just one example. Pedestrians and bicyclists need to be part of the solution also. Wearing bright reflective clothing, or reflectors, lights and use of helmets, as you mentioned, when riding bicycles, would be a start. Have you noticed that out of season, these incidents either rarely occur or don’t at all?
You refer to speed cameras on Route 1, really? I can see them in school zones with a speed limit of 20 or 25 mph, but not on Route 1. Besides isn’t it the state police’s job to perform enforcement? It doesn’t seem that the state police are having any difficulty enforcing the speed limit lately on Route 1. They have been doing a bang up job recently on Route 1, and I applaud them in that effort.
In closing, the remedies projected, such as additional lighting, added crosswalks, sidewalks and allowing bicycles on the sidewalks is a step in the right direction. Let’s crawl before we walk, then walk before we run, especially into speed reduction and speed cameras. Think about the off season locals who would suffer because of your drastic ideas, which will make government (through tickets), and insurance companies (through premium increases), rich at the cost of the residents. Remember IIHS is funded through insurers (that’s insurance companies!!) “They” couldn’t have an agenda, could they?