Crash injuries decrease up to 20% with lower speed limits: Roadshow

Q: Sadly, there was another speeding tragedy, at Leigh and Blossom Hill. When will this end? Yellow means STOP, if possible, not GO. I’m at Hamilton. Leigh is a racetrack here. I hear it every day. One second is all you get at a light before drivers hit their horn. Relax, y’all, and you and we will live longer, happier lives.

Robert Wahler, San Jose

A: Yes, yellow means come to a stop, not race through the intersection.

As for speeding, a recent study in Seattle showed that lowering speed limits on arterial streets, where a large majority of accidents occur, cut the chance of injury in accidents by 20 percent.

“Everybody thinks of highways when we talk about speed limits, but reducing speeds on city thoroughfares and residential streets is just as important,” said Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) president David Harkey. The IIHS sponsored the Seattle study.

Researchers looked at the proportion of crashes involving fatal, serious or evident injuries, comparing injury rates with three control cities in Washington where there were no known changes to speed limits over the study period. The proportion of crashes with injuries dropped on major roads in the three years after the speed limit reductions in the downtown area of Seattle, while the proportion of crashes involving injuries increased in the control cities.

Q: In response to all of the letters concerning a memorial for Manny Huizar at Safeway, I think that it is beautiful that so many people are offering to fund a permanent memorial. I do think that there should be a memorial, but I do not think that it should be a roadside memorial. He was not killed in a traffic accident.

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