Lower speed limits
could help save lives
In recent days, there have been numerous Opinions page articles about road safety. They promote pedestrian and auto awareness and new legislation that will restrict texting while driving. While all of these ideas are good, they are the same messages that police and politicians exhort on a regular basis. In the meantime, more people are being killed while walking, cycling or driving on our roadways.
We must start to think about solutions that actually will improve road safety and not just encourage good behavior. Solutions that will improve road safety include lower speed limits, painted bus lanes, dedicated bike paths and more public transportation. Pulse and the Capital Trail are two great examples of how to reduce pedestrian and bicycle deaths. Bikes and pedestrians on the same roads with speeds greater than 25 mph regularly lead to tragedy.
Speed enforcement also is lacking in all Richmond-area locations and on our highways. It has become too dangerous for an officer to stop someone, and I don't blame them for staying in their cars in the safe median driveways. Residential speed limits are too high and have resulted in pedestrian and cyclist deaths (notable examples have occurred in Henrico's Wyndham neighborhood).
Additional laws will definitely help, but we need to look at how they will be enforced if enacted. We also need to explore technology in enforcement (such as cameras) and the acceptance of technology in our courts. Basic math can convert time and distance to speed, so why can't that be accepted? Let's continue encouraging good behavior but implement solutions that have real results.