The speed limit depicts a law that governs the maximum speed by the road vehicles. Over the past the speed limit has risen following advancement in technology, in the past some regions set the speed limit at three kilometers per hour in urban areas, however over the years this limit has risen to over 90 kilometers per hour. The reason why the speed limit has risen is the advancement in technology which includes better roads and better vehicles. This limit is put in place in order to reduce road accidents, protect the environment and also to enable police to easily apprehend suspicious motorists. The speed limit differs from region to region and highways have higher speed limits than areas with high population example areas near a school, the setting of speed limits depends on the nature of the road, accident records of a section of the road and judgment of engineers and politicians. This paper discusses the importance or the advantages of speed limits.
Advantages of speed limits:
Speed limits are put in place in order to reduce accidents, some roads have had many fatal accidents which are directly related to speed, therefore in order to reduce such accidents there are laws that limit the speed in order to reduce accidents. Roads that pass through residential or highly populated areas have a lower speed limit in order to reduce the accidents these vehicles may cause, from physics kinetic energy rises as the speed rises, therefore the kinetic energy at impact will increase as the speed rises and therefore high speeds will lead to more fatal accidents. The speed limit allows motorist to travel at reasonable speed, some sections of a road may have high number of fatal accidents in the past and in order to reduce these accidents
the speed limit is reduced to reduce such accidents. Therefore the speed limits reduce the number of injuries and deaths that may occur due to over speeding motorists.
It is also evident that speed limits enable police to apprehend criminals, in most cases the police are able to identify criminals on roads. Criminals will tend to drive at high speeds which helps the police to identify the criminals and as a result this has a negative effect on crime rate, drivers driving under the influence of alcohol also tend to drive at high speeds and therefore the police are also able to identify them, as a result of this we can state that the speed limits reduce crime and other deviant behaviors.
The fines imposed on road users because of over speeding is a source of revenue to the government, therefore speed limit laws earn the government some revenue which helps in the provision of public goods, however this revenue is not of much importance than the protection of road users from other careless drivers who do not follow road rules.
Environmental protection is also an advantage of setting the speed limit, speeding vehicles consume more fuel and therefore pollutes the environment more, therefore by setting the speed limit fuel consumption is reduced and as a result the environment is protected, therefore speed limits do not only help in reducing accidents and help the police in arresting criminals but also helps in protecting the environment.
The other advantage of setting the speed limit is that it is possible to identify wreck less drivers on the road, some road users do not obey traffic rules and therefore may cause accidents which may lead to the loss of lives even to innocent motorists, as a result of this these wreck less drivers are identified and their license suspended or fined in court.
The speed limits should be viewed as a law that governs road users to drive reasonably, if the speed limit on the roads were removed then we will definitely be increasing the number of accidents, deaths and injuries on the road, the other problem that would rise is pollution and this is because speeding vehicles consume more fuel and therefore pollutes the environment more.
From the above discussion it is evident that speed limits are there to protect lives, they are not put in place to harass motorists, the factors discussed above include the reduction of road accidents, police are able to apprehend criminals and environmental protection. When the speed limits are suspended then the number of accidents would increase and also there would be an increase in environmental pollution which includes air and noise pollution. Fines imposed on those who break the law on the road is a source of government revenue but this is not of much importance than the protection of lives on the road that would be lost if there were no speed limits.
Neil Brewer and Carlene Wilson (1995) Psychology and Policing, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates publishers, New York
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