by Mike Masnick
Fri, Nov 14th 2008 4:15pm
For those of you who never have actually been in a car, some researchers have now revealed the obvious: most drivers are comfortable ignoring the speed limit. Of course, what's more interesting is the theory for the reason behind this: it's an unintended consequence of the decision by the federal government to mandate a nationwide 55mph speed limit back in 1974. Setting such an artificially low speed limited basically made people realize that speed limits had little, if any, relationship to actual safety regulations, and felt more comfortable trusting their own judgment in terms of what speed was safe for driving. Thus, now, even if speed limits were set to match safety levels, many people would still ignore them because they've learned that speed limits are somewhat meaningless. Yet another example of unintended consequences that result from bad legislation.
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