July 2nd 2018
Less speeding? Or more ticketing?
Living in the portland metro area since the day I could breathe,I have seen how the population has grown over the past years. Portland has become very populated over the past decade, which typically results into tons of traffic, rush hour is mostly every hour of the day now if we look at specifics. What interested me the most was how much the metro area was changing the speed limits. So many areas near me the speed limit has slowed down by 10 mph. Thinking about all the deaths, speeding tickets and crashes that may have caused this change. Looking more into this problem, I have found many complaints from people in my area as well, who are annoyed with speed limits change. Concerning portland, Portland is known for us being the nicest drivers, also meaning we are very slow drivers. Lowering our speed limits, may just make the problem worse. And It makes me wonder is what the city doing right? In my opinion I believe that the speed limits should be decreased in certain areas such as residential areas for safety measures but not commonly used roads.
Since recently there has been a lot of changes with speed limits, the biggest change is the one in residential areas. According to the article “Portland Speed Limits Vote ” speed limits in residential areas have changed to 20 mph. The Portland City Council decided that on thousands of city streets it would be changed to 20 mph, while also reducing non-arterial residential streets. Also, with this change it is immediately posted, even if the speed limits signs are not changed yet you should be going at 20 mph. According to the city all the signs should’ve been replaced by April. The whole cost to this change would be around 300,000. Comminsier by the name of Amanda Fritz explains her traumatic event of her three family members dying from car crashes. She proclaims that this change might work. “Helping reduce the speed will mean less crashes or accidents happening.” While on the other hand another commissioner by the name of Nick Fish, explains his difference with the change. Exclaiming that even with the change being made, while driving on the street and following the speed limit, drivers behind him grew to be angry with him going 20 mph. This problem may seem that it hasn’t crossed every single person’s mind in the Portland area that the speed limits have been enforced. And maybe involving more police enforcement should be taken with this change, due to lash back from certain drivers against other drivers might cause a mad road rage.
Oregon is one of the best among the states with transportation safety laws, shown in article “Fatal Auto Crashes Rise Again” .We are very efficient with our laws in seat belt usage, restricting cell phone usage, wearing helmets, etc. Even though, we have those strong laws, there is a growing trend of fatal auto crashes in Oregon. “In 2016, 495 people died on Oregon’s roads, a 58 percent increase from the 313 deaths in 2013.” Not only that but Oregon has had trouble with teens and driving. Oregon recording 467 fatalities that were caused by crashes involving drivers between the age of 15 to 20 from 2006 to 2015. This becomes an issue due to speed limits that have been ignored among today’s drivers, along with reckless driving. Decreasing the speed might not show much of change at first, but with the help of law enforcement it’s better to have a percent decrease rather than another uproar of fatalities.
While the residentials areas are lowering speeds limits, highways wants the speed limits to rise. According to the article “Oregon Speed Limit Raised 75Mph” the current speed limit on the state highway is 55 mph, while on the interstate highway it is 65 mph. There are two bills currently pending for the change of speed limits on the highway. One of them being “Oregon House Bill 3094, which proposes to change the speed limit for passenger vehicles on interstates—I-5, I-84, I-82—from 65 miles per hour to 75 mph”. State highway speed limits would go up to 65 mph. A similar measure, “Oregon House Bill 3402, would increase the speed limit to from 55 to 70 mph:” but, only for sections of eastern Oregon highways, like Highway 97 and Highway 20. Mostly, this is saying that our current speed limits are way too slow for the highways and an increase should happen. Most of today’s drivers are already driving at 70 mph regardless the signs of 65 mph. This is also pointing out that Oregon is one of only twelve states that has a maximum speed limits of 65 or lower. In conclusion , in rural areas in Oregon is more likely to support the high increase in speed, because of fewer cars, rather than busy ones like I-5.
In conclusion, with speed regulations going on in the portland metro area there are upsides and downsides to the entire process. There are negatives such as angry frustrated drivers going ballistic for you obeying the law, to having to lower speeds due to a high fatality rate increase in the area. As well as having an increase speeds in open space highway areas to potentially help others. It mainly comes down to perspective at the end of day so i do in fact believe that the speed limits should be decreased in certain areas such as residential areas for safety measures but not commonly used roads. Because as said previously, death tolls have increased from 313 deaths in 2013, to 495 in 2016 thats an extreme increase of deaths due to driving doesn’t matter if it was intoxication, reckless driving or even illegally, it is a problem and the actions are being taken into hand, it will be a process for people to finally cooperate with the new speed but with the help of law enforcement regulating it can slowly help prevent future incidents for upcoming generations and for yourself.
Njus, Elliot. “Portland City Council Approves 20 Mph Speed Limit on Residential Streets.” OregonLive.com, OregonLive.com, 18 Jan. 2018, www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2018/01/portland_speed_limits_vote_20.html.
D’amore Law Group. “Should Oregon Speed Limit Be Raised to 75 Mph? | Portland Personal Injury Attorneys – D’Amore Law Group.” Should Oregon Speed Limit Be Raised to 75 Mph? | Personal Injury Attorneys Portland: Vancouver & Bend, Oregon Auto Accident Attorneys, 0AD, www.damorelaw.com/oregon-speed-limit-raised-75-mph/.
Hernandez, Lauren. “Fatal Auto Crashes in Oregon on the Rise Again.” Statesman Journal, Statesman Journal, 5 Feb. 2017, www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2017/02/04/fatal-auto-crashes-oregon-rise-again/97286682/.