GHSA Alarmed by Data Linking Speed Limit Increase to Fatalities

Resource Type

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2016

Contact: Kara Macek, kmacek@ghsa.org
202-789-0942 x140

GHSA Alarmed by Data Linking Speed Limit Increase to Fatalities

Supports Traditional and Automated Enforcement to Reduce Speeds and Crashes

Statement for attribution to
Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) Director of Federal Relations Erik Strickland

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is troubled by new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) that illustrates how increasing speed limits in states across the country between 1993 and 2013 have led to 33,000 fatalities on U.S. roadways.

Speeding is often a forgotten issue in highway safety. But the truth is that excessive speed contributes to a tremendous proportion of all traffic fatalities. In 2014, there were 9,262 people who died in speeding-related crashes (28% of all fatalities).

Increasing speed limits has the potential to exacerbate this problem. We know that crashes are more deadly as speeds increase. In addition, most drivers treat maximum speeds as a minimum target. Past research has shown that as posted speed limits are raised, drivers will exceed these limits, and more fatal crashes will result. This new research reinforces earlier studies and provides clear evidence of the negative safety implications from increasing speed limits.

Rather than increase speed limits, GHSA encourages states and communities to vigorously enforce existing speed limits through both traditional means, using police officers to detect violations, and by judicious use of speed cameras, which have been proven effective at reducing speeds and crashes.

GHSA publishes speed state maximum speed limits on its website at http://www.ghsa.org/state-laws/issues/speed%20limits

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About GHSA

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is a nonprofit association representing the highway safety offices of states, territories, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. GHSA provides leadership and representation for the states and territories to improve traffic safety, influence national policy, enhance program management and promote best practices. Its members are appointed by their Governors to administer federal and state highway safety funds and implement state highway safety plans. Contact GHSA at 202-789-0942 or visit www.ghsa.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GHSAhq or follow us on Twitter @GHSAHQ.