Gov. Jennifer Granholm suggested today that Michigan might want to consider enactment of slower speed limits on some state highways as a means of reducing costs in an era of high fuel prices.
“I think it’s something we might want to take a look at,” Granholm said in response to a question at a roundtable meeting with reporters to unveil a new state, Web-based service designed to help Michigan residents save money on housing, health care and gasoline.
Granholm said lower speed limits are “not a proposal,” but should be considered in light of the significant reduction in fuel consumption that results from reducing speed, and as one of many steps that could be taken to decrease demand for energy resources as the state and nation move toward alternatives to oil and gas.
First off, this won't help much. Very few drove 55 anyway when it was the speed limit thanks to the democrats of the 1970's. That law was broken by most of the population because it was a bad law unworthy of being followed when the expressways were built for 70 MPH speed limits. All this does is feed disrespect for the law.
Another reason this is bad is that it costs the state more money to replace all those signs changing the speed limits.
Another reason this is bad is that this creates bottlenecks. Some go 90MPH and some go 40 - look at US-23 for a posterboy of that right now. I hate bottlenecks with a passion and will go 80MPH (and be tailed by those going 90MPH) to pass cars just to get around wolf packs so I am not close to a chain of cars and can be as close to lone wolf as possible on the freeway. After than I go with traffic around 74-75MPH. Space between cars is good. It avoids tailgating (and me tapping my brakes if you do tailgate me). It causes less accidents as it increases reaction time in many situations (unless a deer crosses your path).
People who want to drive slower to reduce costs have several options without government pointing a gun at their heads. They can go 55 in the Right Lane. That's what the slow lane is for. They can drive on other roads besides the expressway. I often avoid US-23 myself when I go to Ann Arbor, Brighton, or the Detroit suburbs. I take fewer trips myself. I go to Meijer (Screw Walmart) less often and go more often to the local Mom and Pop place 3 miles from me.
If Granholm REALLY wants to lower fuel costs, she can get the state to fasttrack approval on a new oil refinery. "Build it here and it is approved, no questions asked." It's not like we don't need the jobs here. That will even increase the tax base in this state. She can also stop the sales tax on gasoline costing us more money. That won't happen anytime soon. Government is addicted to money.