The number of fatal car crashes in Maine is remarkable, but not surprising to anyone who drives the narrow, winding country roads where speed limits range from a reasonable 25 mph to a perilous 50 mph. And when you dare go the speed limit, there is always someone tailgating or crossing into oncoming traffic to pass.

According to the Maine Department of Transportation, the 70 mph speed limit on the highways is safer than anything less because the average car is comfortable going that speed.

Besides this questionable logic about safety, how do you rein in this high speed once drivers exit the highway? There is not enough law enforcement to police the speeding cars on the back roads.

In addition to the life-threatening danger of speeding on these roads that are shared with pedestrians and bicyclists, the peaceful beauty of the Maine countryside is destroyed by the roaring engines blasting down roads. For decades there have been studies linking high speed and noise pollution and the ill health effects of this noise.

The sound of speeding cars and trucks creates tension for those walking, running or bicycling on the roads. Even sitting inside a house when a speeding vehicle roars down the street can make one shudder! Reducing speed reduces noise.

There are so many physically active people in Maine. We enjoy getting outside because it is a beautiful place.

Speeding vehicles are affecting the quality of life here as well as taking lives. We should honor the natural environment of this great state and recognize that lower speed limits and enforcing them will benefit all of us.

Angela King


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