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AAA To Scott: Veto 75 MPH Speed Limit

| May 11, 2014

'Increasing speed limits on Florida roadways would result in more speed-related crashes, injuries and deaths and hinder the state's effort of moving toward zero traffic fatalities,' AAA Senior Vice President Kevin Bakewell says.

‘Increasing speed limits on Florida roadways would result in more speed-related crashes, injuries and deaths and hinder the state’s effort of moving toward zero traffic fatalities,’ AAA Senior Vice President Kevin Bakewell says.

The nation’s premiere auto club is increasing pressure on Gov. Rick Scott for a face-to-face meeting in the hopes of persuading the governor to veto a proposal that could result in higher speed limits on Florida highways.

AAA asked Scott more than a week ago for a sit-down to talk about the narrowly-approved measure that could see maximum speed limits hiked by 5 mph. Auto club officials say they have yet to hear back from Scott’s office regarding the request.

A spokesman for Scott said Friday that the governor hasn’t made a decision on the bill and that his aides would be willing to discuss the bill.

“Our office would be happy to meet with AAA to hear any concerns they have with this legislation,” said Scott spokesman John Tupps.

But Karen Morgan, AAA manager of public policy, said Friday the governor’s office had not responded to AAA Senior Vice President Kevin Bakewell’s May 1 request for a meeting.

“Increasing speed limits on Florida roadways would result in more speed-related crashes, injuries and deaths and hinder the state’s effort of moving toward zero traffic fatalities,” Bakewell wrote.

The proposal was not among the 58 bills forwarded to Scott on Thursday to be signed, vetoed or allowed to become law without gubernatorial action by May 23.

The bill (SB 392) would change state law to hike the maximum allowable speed limit on limited access highways from 70 mph to 75 mph, and on four-lane divided highways outside urban areas from 65 mph to 70 mph. The Department of Transportation would be responsible for decisions about the speed limits, and would also have the authority to set minimum speeds on certain highways.
Bakewell in his letter contends the bill is “a green light for higher speeds” that will enable motorists to travel up to 80 mph without fear of being fined, resulting in more accidents, deaths and higher costs to the state. Under current law, the penalty for driving up to six miles above the posted speed limit is a warning.

“Throughout the legislative session, no compelling argument was offered as to why the speed limits should be raised,” Bakewell wrote.

AAA points to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study showing that one-third of the nation’s motor vehicle fatalities in 2012 were speed-related. But proponents of the bill contend that many motorists are already driving at the higher speed and that the measure takes the issue out the hands of politicians, giving the transportation agency the ability to decide the safest speeds for state roads.

Transportation Secretary Ananth Prasad told lawmakers during committee appearances that his agency, which didn’t request the bill, would only conduct the speed studies in select areas where conditions may warrant an increase.
Lake Worth Democratic Sen. Jeff Clemens, one of the sponsors of the bill, argued during session that a 5 mph increase is unlikely to impact road safety.

Still, the proposal faced opposition from lawmakers at every stop in the committee process before being passed by a narrow 58-56 vote in the House and a more comfortable 27-11 Senate vote.

–Jim Turner, News Service of Florida

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34 Responses for “AAA To Scott: Veto 75 MPH Speed Limit”

  1. Steve Wolfe says:

    …because they’re already driving 80 mph anyway. I see. So if we’re already driving drunk, we should raise the blood alcohol content limit. If we’re already doing something wrong we should just become more tolerant of it. Is this the best they can come up with to reduce regulation? Oh well. Enjoy it while it lasts. Soon enough the feds may set another nationwide speed limit.

    • Henry Stowe says:

      Over my dead body.

    • seenmuch says:

      You straw man argument is just that, a empty argument!

      Contrary to non-sense we have put up with since the NMSL era, only when limits are posted to the 85th percentile speed do they have a positive impact on safety. Arbitrary maximums that do not match 85th percentile speeds increase conflicts leading to aggressive driving having a negative impact on safety.

      Contrary to AAA non-sense, Raising the limit to proper levels is a safety based measure! 7+ decades of real collected DOT data from around the world shows that to be the truth. If like today the average speed increases past the posted maximum the only way to make a speed limit have any relevance to safe travel is to raise it to correct engineering and safety study based levels. That what raising the posted limit is about, making travel the safest possible from having a posted maximum.

      Any maximum that does not match what is the safe, comfortable and engineering based speeds will never be obeyed. And cannot be enforced, nor will have the respect that a posted limit must have if safety has anything with having a posted maximum in the first place!! We have all the years of NMSL collected data which proves having underposted limits do not work!

      • Steve Wolfe says:

        You still basically make the case against raising the speed limit (which is now a moot point). You call it “safe” and “comfortable.” Based on that, we must be less safe where the speed limit is lower, because people just wanna speed anyway. And I’m more comfortable when the idiot weavers stand a good chance of getting a ticket, hopefully before they kill someone. You know all those people you have to pass in the right lane because they’re such slow-pokes? They’re doing the speed limit. So the people doing to speed limit are just “in your way.” I beg to differ. Speeders need to adapt to the speed limit, not the other way around. You see, you must share the road with everyone with a license, but not all of us are qualified to drive like Dale Earnhardt Jr. We’re not all spring chickens in perfect health with 360 degree vision and lightning reflexes. Also there is no state safety inspection here in Florida, and lots of the cars you are next to in heavy 70 mph traffic are junk with no brakes, burned out turn signal and brake lamps and worn out shocks and tires. You are sharing the road (like it or not) with learners, lots of old folks, out-of-towners getting in their first “oohs and ahs” trying to find the right exit, farders, texters, people who’s phone calls are more important than driving, 80,000 pound tractor trailers that don’t even exist on the autobahn, impatient young men who think they ARE Dale Jr., drunks, and soon to be stoners (well, more of them). There has to be a limit. It can’t be set for C-6 and C-7 Corvettes because they’d all be bouncing off the rest of us like pin balls, leaving chunks of shredded carbon fiber for the rest of us to run over. If 70 isn’t enough for you, move to Texas. Vote with your feet if Florida ain’t good enough. Or buy an airplane. 70 isn’t 80, but it will do. It will have to do.

        And if you ever see me on the interstate in my OLD Corvette, I will still wave with all five fingers.

  2. AAA is desperately trying to protect their ability to gouge their policyholders with high insurance surcharges when they get tickets in speed traps where the posted limits are set FAR below the safest levels. It is quite literally a racket. Wherever AAA can intimidate politicians to set artificially low speed limits with less safety but more speeding tickets, they can then profiteer from their safe driving policyholders that become revenue ticket victims.

    Florida residents who hate speed traps and want more safety need to call Governor Scott to ask him to sign the bill to permit 75 mph speed limits. It will make Florida safer and help stop AAA from running their insurance surcharge racket with their safe driving policyholders.

    James C. Walker, Life Member-National Motorists Association

  3. Stephen says:

    AAA is FULL OF IT!

    the 75 mph states HAVE HAD DEATH RATE DECREASES!

    Here are the FARS data:

    AZ 1996 55/65 mph death rate 2.36 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.38
    ID 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.99 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.05 (Now 80 mph)
    KS 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.89 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.29
    ME 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.32 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: .95
    MT 1996 55/65 mph death rate 2.12 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.79
    NE 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.80 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: .95
    NV 1996 55/65 mph death rate 2.18 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.02
    ND 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.26 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.62
    OK 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.96 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.47
    SD 1996 55/65 mph death rate 2.24 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.23
    TX 1996 55/65 mph death rate 2.02 2011 with 75 mph AND 80 MPH speed limit death rate: 1.27.
    UT 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.64 2011 with 80 mph speed limit death rate: .92
    WY 1996 55/65 mph death rate 1.94 2011 with 75 mph speed limit death rate: 1.46 (Now 80 mph)

    Heck TX which has 70 mph limit on two lane roads, 75 mph limit on 4 lane roads, and 80 mph on rural interstates. had a 2011 death rate of 1.27.

    FL Death rate is 1.25!

    OUR ROADS and even TX and UT on just two examples. ARE SAFER DESPITE HIGHER SPEED LIMITS!

    I am a AAA member AND I SUPPORT THE 75 mph LIMIT!

    (AAA would lower the limit to 55 if they could. They were using the same argument in IL over a year ago when they increased from 65 to 70).


    SIGN THE 75 mph bill. A 5 mph increase IS SAFE ON RURAL INTERSTATES!


    • Ron says:

      One could argue that the decrease in highway death rates you cite from 1996 to 2011 is due to safety improvements to automobiles during that 15 year period.

      I think a better measure would be a comparison of the overall number of accidents instead of the resultant death rates, but even that figure may be skewed by the vehicle safety improvements.

    • Really? says:

      I reviewed the FARS data and what you posted in not within its entirety. Yes the stats you posted are the true numbers but if you examine year by year the fatality rate actually increased then decreased slightly. Secondly, it does not differentiate between specific 75 mph zones and all of the other speed zones. Thirdly, it does not take into account the improvement of motor vehicle safety equipment since the 1996 time frame you posted.
      And lastly where are their rural interstate anywhere near northeast Florida? Florida is not similar (rural) to any of the states you posted.

      • Nancy N. says:

        You’ve obviously never driven I-10 if you are trying to argue that there are no rural interstates near Northeast Florida.

      • Ron says:

        I guess Mark Twain was right… “There are three types of lies: Lies, damn lies, and STATISTICS!”

  4. JoJo says:

    So, they raise the speed to 75 and you can do an extra 6 miles on top of that (81 MPH) and get a warning.
    Folks! do you honestly think that an impact at 81 MPH is safe. Consumer Reports does crash tests at 35 MPH and a number of cars have failed that. At 81 MPH even the innocent, young and elderly have no chance.
    Now, put an 80,000 pound tractor trailer in that accident and you have total carnage. I have seen many an accident scene and they are not pretty.

    Sheriff Manfre needs his men to crack down on the speed limit around town. Yes, we have red light cameras around town but in between the red light cameras drivers are speeding on Belle Terre doing 60 and higher. Either raise the speed limit from 45 or crack down. Where is the enforcement???

    • Henry Stowe says:

      This debate about taking impacts at 80 mph is getting stale. the death rate is about 1/3 of what it was when the speed limit was 55. The US Interstate fatality rate is higher than on Germany’s Autobhan and many other roads with speed limits higher than 75 mph.

  5. m&m says:

    I agree. Gov Scott should veto it and raise it to 85..

  6. w.ryan says:

    Tell me again the purpose for speed limits? It’s a great stop all for sure!!! Certainly a revenue producer! While we’re at it force drivers to wear helmets and bikers to buckle up.We can say “Bikers Buckle up It’s the Law”.

  7. Raloh Belcher says:

    JoJo, neighbor, you’ll be pleased to know that Sheriff Manfre’s team HAS been and CONTINUES to crack down on speeding here in town or should I say the merry City of Palm Coast. I’ve seen it first hand time and time again in the recent and very recent past. I’m out on the road a lot here. And it’s refreshing to see. And I’m a leadfoot by self-admission, just haven’t been caught – Where there isn’t traffic around me. (would that make me a hippocrite?)

  8. Mel says:

    Raise it ? I don’t think so. If anything, they should LOWER IT to 65mph. To many people on the roads who DO NOT know how to drive. We should have MANDATORY driver license renewal every 4 years with a driving test. It like driving in a MAD MAX movie on the interstate.

  9. Live n Let Live says:

    So it’s a fact, raising the speed limit will decrease fatalities? This makes me laugh..
    Tell that to all the victims from speed related deaths. Even our own State Troopers are killed senseless because of others speeding..
    People drive in the pouring down rain wet roads the same as they do on a sunny day..People out there are plain ignorant to the fact you cannot control a car, truck or motorcycle in any weather especially wet conditions when you are going fast..Period.
    You can get to where you’re going at 65 just as quickly as you can going 75 and in one piece..
    Now, you enter, drinking, texting, on the phone, OH yes, let’s not forget the new fun thing out there coming soon. MARIJUANA! This will be very interesting… How stupid can the government be?

    • seenmuch says:

      If you are asking, the facts from the collected DOT data in states that have higher limits on those stretches that are posted at higher limits travel is safer than it has ever been!

      So yes, raising the posted maximum to match reality on the ground from collected speed & safety data improves safety. But keeping limit artificially low below this point cause conflicts in travel flow making travel less safe!!!

  10. Really? says:

    To date there have been 15 traffic related fatalities in Flagler County. Normally it runs 12-15 fatalities annually.

    As for the speed traps.drivers will still do 15+ above the posted speed limit. There won’t be a shortfall of ticket writing to feed the “racket”.

    My suggestion is to travel to a fatality scene and see the aftermath of speeding and then get the pleasure of telling someone their loved one isn’t coming home.

    If its all the same to everyone, I would just prefer keeping the max speed limit set at 70 mph and not set a another record.

    • seenmuch says:

      If posting a maximum has anything to do with safety, which today it doesn’t it must match the reality on the ground. The current 70 maximum is a political maximum that in no way reflects what is today the actual safe maximum!!

      Contrary to the AAA, the insurance lobby non-sense on this issue, higher speeds on roads and highways specifically designed for higher speeds poses no safety issue whatsoever!!!!

      I am beginning to wonder if this group will ever tell the truth on this issue. They have a track record coast to coast today of over & over telling this lie where ever their revenue stream is endangered by states passing a law to allow a proper safety and engineering based limit to be posted…

      Please stop making up stuff with cooked up stats, Give the real stats if you want to participate in this discussion. The truth is and the AAA, the insurance lobby knows this that only by giving the state DOT the ability to do safety and speed studies to post the proper maximum is safety improved. And that maximum limits should always match on the ground collected engineering, speed & safety data. While the just passed bill allows for a increase it is still a arbitrary maximum! Signing the bill is the first step to having the proper maximum across the state allowing a increase to within 5-7 mph of what the real engineering & safety based, comfortable maximum is today on Florida freeways…

      But if having a posted limit is really about safety and not raising money a law allowing the DOT to choose what the real is the real maximum is the only way to make travel safer. Sing this law and in the next session pass a law allowing the DOT to post real engineering and safety data related limit without the interference of a political arbitrary maximum like the the law is today!!! And anyone that drives on the states freeways knows that if the real safe, engineering based maximum was posted today it would be 80 mph!

      GOV ignore this non-sense from the AAA, a group that knows they will loose money if the proper limit is posted. A group that lies about the data to try to block proper limit laws to protect their revenue stream. A revenue stream that has nothing to do with safety. A revenue stream that is only produced when posted limits are arbitrary political maximums that in no way reflect what is the real safe engineering based!!!!

      • Really? says:

        your ten minute dissertation boosts of roadways that are designed for a higher speed, there is no argument there but you are not taking into account that vehicles are operated by a flawed component, the driver.
        secondly, my law enforcement friends have a 10 mph tolerant before stopping for speed violations. Taking that into account vehicles are already traveling at 80 mph. So your revenue generating theory just doesn’t hold water. Want stats? Ask the clerk’s office for speeding ticket data.

  11. A lot of people are speeding in Palm Coast now on Palm Coast Parkway and Belle Terre , I even see the sheriffs deputies do it, if you don`t and do the speed limit you get stuck at every single light cause they have them rigged that way , its time wasting, fuel wasting, and brake pad wasting , but if you do 55 you can beat out the lights , traffic is supposed to flow for a few minutes in one direction then flow for a few in the other , but they got us stopping at them all hoping since they cut the yellow light time in half you`;ll get fed up and try and beat the next one and they get you for the 158 , I can`t count how many times I`m heading east on Palm Coast Parkway and as soon as the red arrow goes away by Steak and Shake they don`t even look , just come racing out and not staying in right lane till its safe to come, just right in my path and they`ll even when I change to far left lane keep coming into that one , they`ve made it more dangerous aside from them doing that at that intersection, you`ll be going speed limit through green light and people so afraid it`ll change on them are automatically hitting their brakes had many near rear end collisions that way as well because most people want to make the lights so they are riding the bumpers of the cars in front of them , then you get one of those that hit the brakes out of fear of ticket and every ones slamming on breaks at once , two or three camera`s would of been fine for a town this size , but they abused the system by installing 47 and have the nerve to say its not about the money , they just got caught trying to rip the clerks office out of their fee`s and state out of some of theirs , now since two judges have called attention to the fact that their system is flawed and they are running it improperly they want out before they land in jail if they delve into the light tampering as well , there is nothing safe about these camera`s , its greed pure and simple

  12. Anonymous says:

    Just now AAA thinks they are able to direct state government.

  13. Anonymous says:

    watch your insurance rates go up just because you live in a state where 75mph exist.. it’s like if you do not have a college degree you are more likely to get into a car accident

  14. Buylocal says:

    It would be safer especially with an increased speed limit if slower drivers would stay in the right lane allowing a better flow of traffic and not encourage weavers passing on the right. This may be the reason they drive faster in Europe with less accidents because they get this basic rule of the road.

    • Rusty says:

      …because that idiot Gov Jeb Bush signed legislation that you don’t have to move out of the faster (left) lane which prevents road rage and accidents!

      • Steve Wolfe says:

        Road rage isn’t the fault off slower or non-conforming drivers. It is entirely the fault of the people who surrender their self-control, self-respect, and then assume some righteous idiocy. Ragers should be tased for about 15 minutes or until “al dente.”

  15. Anon2 says:

    In reply to the comment about the college degree.. this is they way they have it rigged. My parents both died in their 50’s a few years back and it damaged my credit trying to care for them both. Apparently (and this is probably true), there is supposed to be a correlation between bad credit and being a bad driver. I have a ‘Safe Driver’ stamp on my license.. no accidents, tickets or violations in more than 15 years, but for junky 10/20 coverage.. I’ve got to shell out almost $200/month for liability on my 21 year old car!! Insane. This is why people end up driving around with no coverage at all and since about 1/4 of the drivers on the road are uninsured or severely underinsured… we all get to pay for it with the rate increases.

  16. Live n Let Live says:

    @ Anonymous..

    What pray tell does a college degree have to do with a car accident?

  17. Sandy Alexia says:

    I don’t think the speed limit should be raised. Especially the further south you go down 95 when there are at least six lanes in each direction. Too much craziness as it is! Aside from the fact small children will not survive a crash at that speed, you will waste more gas going that speed. That will raise the gas prices even higher. Who wins with this one?

  18. Initialjoe says:

    I’m all for it :)

  19. JoJo says:

    @ Raloh Belcher

    I don’t play politics but I see you do. In my estimate Sherriff Manfre has failed when it comes to traffic enforcement in this City. We need our own Palm Coast Police Department which also means getting rid of the money grabbing Red Light enforcement.

  20. Steve Wolfe says:

    One thing this article has done is caused the speeders, weavers, potential road-ragers, 1finger saluters, and VIP’s among us to self-identify. Might be the same people in Palm Coast who wait till they see the whites of your eyes before they pull out in front of you even though you’re the only other driver for a quarter mile.

    All this in the county with the highest unemployment in the state. Imagine how clogged the roads would be if it was 3% and gas was cheaper.

    And for those who get so animated about an additional 5 mph, what do you do when you have a real problem?

  21. JGarcia says:

    Yes, please, veto it.

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