Letters: AAA opposes high speed limit

Group says 70 mph enough

The Michigan House of Representatives will soon vote on a package of bills aimed to increase the speed limits on Michigan’s roadways. As a leading traffic safety advocate, AAA Michigan has serious concerns with the legislation.

This proposal could potentially increase the speed limit to 80 mph. We recognize the need for a speed limit that keeps all traffic moving at a safe rate, but do we really want large commercial vehicles traveling at speeds of 70 mph and cars driving at 80 mph? Given the current conditions of our roadways, we question the safety of traveling the current speed limit let alone driving at increased speeds.

An additional concern with increased speeds is driver distraction. More than ever, drivers are faced with numerous distractions in the vehicle — cellphones, texting, GPS, the list continues to grow.

The reaction time of a distracted driver will be reduced even further if they are driving 80 mph.

Proponents will argue individuals are already driving faster than the posted speed limit and people tend to drive at a speed they feel comfortable with. We are also concerned about the negative effect a speed limit increase will have on newly licensed drivers and senior drivers.

We commend the House Transportation Committee for incorporating the requirement of a safety study into the bills at our suggestion, but we believe there are additional factors to consider such as roadway design, vehicle crash data and roadside development.

In addition to these physical attributes, we also need to consider the interaction of large commercial trucks and passenger vehicles and speed limit enforcement.

We urge legislators to vote “no” on House Bills 4423, 4424, and 4425.

Steve Wagner, AAA Michigan

Political posturing on Flint

As a resident of Michigan, I am very proud of the local response to what is going on in Flint, as well as all of the response/relief efforts offered by others.

What I don’t appreciate is the grandstanding/posturing being carried on by politicians.

Now there is a political debate scheduled in Flint.

In my opinion, the focus on Flint should be for solutions, not political grandstanding or posturing. Finger pointing can occur later.

Media coverage responsibility could include disclosure of any personal check contribution payable to the entities actually dealing with the Flint water crisis. For those just using the citizens of Flint for self-promotion, the term “shameless” is an understatement.

Amy Bachelor-Gasser, Clarkston