Raising the speed limit won't increase traffic fatalities

Letter writer Jacqueline S. Gillan says Gov. Larry Hogan should veto a bill that would raise the speed limit to 70 mph because it will increase traffic deaths in Maryland ("Hogan should veto 70 mph limit," April 9).

Yet she also states that traffic deaths are the lowest since 1948 — including the years starting in 1973 of the national 55 mph limit.


The limit has been raised, yet the deaths are down. How can this be?

Vehicle safety has improved almost every year. Maybe Ms. Gillian is not aware of the how much safer today's cars and trucks are and is only concerned with statistics.


Tires have improved not only in their ability to grip the road but also their in ability not to hydroplane on water.

Suspensions and brakes have vastly improved so that cars can stop within shorter distances and handle turns or evasive maneuvers without skidding thanks to traction controls and other electronic safeguards.

Cars have crumple zones to absorb impact and better seat belts and air bags. Doors have side impact beams and air bags as well.

And as for pollution, many of today's trucks and cars are geared to be more efficient at higher speeds.

What has been proposed is not a universal 70 mph limit on every road but only on limited access highways with wide roads and gentle turns where the limit is already 60 or 65 mph. Adding another 5 to 10 mph is not going to greatly increase traffic fatalities in Maryland.

Craig Garfield, Ellicott City