What is a Super Speeder?

There is a bill in the GA legislature to additionally fine people for excessive speeding. Fine. Good even. However, it disturbs me that people quote the wrong statistics as rationale and tie it to emotional cues.

Slowing down ‘super speeders’ on Georgia highways is a super idea – gainesvilletimes.com:

Last year in Georgia, 1,700 people lost their lives in traffic accidents; that averages to about one person every five hours. These aren’t benign statistics, folks. These are real people — mommas and daddies and sons and daughters, friends and neighbors — people who could and should still be with us.

People losing their lives in traffic accidents is quite serious. However, this isn’t 1,700 people who lost their lives because of excessive speeding. According to Weitz & Luxenberg (for 2003), speed was a factor in only about 20% of these traffic accident deaths. This is at the same level as deaths associated with alcohol (MADD for 2005 claims it higher: 35% and 30% in 2005). W&L also claim people were not wearing a seatbelt in half of these deaths? If that is true, then let’s raise the fine on not wearing a seat belt by $100 a year until this goes down to less than 5%.

Airbags are associated with an increase in deaths?

This map of crash deaths in GA is scary: 1) the map is unreadable unless you take the picture and look at the original JPG, 2) the lack of understanding of greater than vs less than. Plus, I’d rather it be deaths by percentage of amount of traffic than just deaths. More cars = more opprtunities for people to do stupid things. For example, I am impressed by the low numbers of deaths in certain counties along I-75 and I-85.


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