I like to drive fast as much as the next person. Yet, every time I see the new 70 mph speed limit signs on 295, I can’t help feeling as though we’ve struck a devil’s bargain.

Sure, we might shave a few minutes off our commutes, but along with those delightful extra moments the people of Maine also get the following:

We use significantly more gas. Cars typically get their best gas mileage at speeds of around 55-60 mph. The U.S. Department of Energy’s webpage says for every 5 mph you drive above 55 you can expect a 7- to 14-percent increase in your fuel consumption. As we ponder the Keystone pipeline, the perils of fracking, and the political implications of Middle East oil, to say nothing of climate change, one might think this an extremely odd time to deliberately increase our highway fuel use.

We spend significantly more money on gas. It’s kind of obvious, but the more we use, the more we pay. It’s not free now and it’s not going to be under $2/gallon forever.

We increase traffic fatalities on our roads. More traffic fatalities occur on roads with higher speed limits. Car crashes are already the number one cause of death in our young people. Why would we go out of our way to increase that toll?

We make our roads more challenging for new, inexperienced and elderly drivers.

And then we complain that our lives are too “fastpaced.”

Sarah Wolpow