It seems to be a rite of spring, like groundhogs and potholes. Each year, as the snow melts away and the bare pavement beckons, Albertans seem to give it more gas. Maybe winter hibernation makes our right foot a little heavier. But when we start pushing the pedal to the metal, are we putting ourselves (and others) at risk?
We asked AMA members to share their thoughts on speeding, and more than 1,800 responses showed us that speed is still a hot button issue on Alberta roads. Here’s what the respondents said:
- Over the Limit: Although there isn’t a magic number that we all agree on, 80% of respondents consider anything more than 30km/h over the limit to be “excessive” speeding. 47% said anything more than 20km/h over the limit should qualify as excessive.
- Enforcing the Limit: When it comes to enforcing the speed limit, 52% believe that current penalties are just about right, while 34% think penalties could be stiffer.
- Pushing the Limit: Seems like the higher the speed limit is, the more willing we are to stretch it. 77% of respondents said they are more likely to speed on highways and freeways rather than city streets.
- A Fistful of Reasons: When asked why we speed, 39% responded that it was to keep up with traffic. Fourteen per cent of us admitted to speeding when we are running late, and 22% indicated they speed because they feel the posted limit is too slow for the road.
- Slowing Down for Signs: And when it comes to putting the brakes on speeding, many claim to slow it down when faced with a visible reminder, like seeing a school zone (29%) or a visible police presence on the road (22%).
Some people feel strongly that police should hand out tickets to people driving slower than the limit. Others want to see the limit raised to 130km/h on the QE2 Highway. Comments show that the jury is still out when it comes to photo radar, but by and large most people seem to feel that when it comes to speeding, the answer is pretty simple: You do the crime, you pay the fine.
With 16,000 AMA School Safety patrollers watching over our crosswalks and school zones, we take a particular interest in making sure we all slow down anywhere that children, cyclists or pedestrians share the road. Research shows that at 30km/h, a pedestrian has a 95% chance of surviving a collision with a vehicle. At 60km/h, those odds get flipped upside down — only a 5% chance of survival.