many studies have shown that when a car hits a pedestrian at 40mph the fatality rate is ten times greater than 30MPH. and in a school zone, there are a lot of kids around...
we should be more vigilant about revoking drivers licenses.
How often do kids end up in a street around a school? Even during student arrivals and departures?
The reality is that it just isn't that often.
The hidden cost of speed limits is monumental: There are more than 100 million people driving to work in the US alone. The average commute is 25 minutes. If we slowed the speed limits by 10 MPH, that would increase the commute by a little less than 20%, so about 4 minutes per driver per day. That works out about 6.6 Million hours per day, or just over 1.4 billion hours per year. At an average US wage of over $20 / hour, The lost productivity is around 28 billion dollars per year.
Back in the 70's, the conservationists claimed we would get 5% or better improvement in fuel economy by switching to 55 MPH instead of 65. Turned out to be less than 1% improvement. That amounts to a saving of about 1.5 Billion Gallons of gas, or $6 Billion USD. So we spent 28 Billion to save 6 Billion.
OK, so we assume the rest is in lives saved. The NTSB has concluded that the reduced speed limits from 65 to 55 saved around 4000 lives annually, with reductions in speed limits from 45 to 35 saving less than 500 lives per year. Even all told, an across the board reduction in speed limits by 10 MPH would only save 5500 lives. That amounts to a cost to the economy of $4 Million USD per year per life saved. To put that in perspective, Mamograms are estimated to cost less than $50,000 per year per life saved.
So what about the school zones? how many Children are killed in these zones? The truth is that no one even keeps statistics that have any meaning because it happens so infrequently. Thats not to say that kids die from it infrequently, thats saying that kids are very rarely even hit in these zones. Its rare enough that we don't even really have a big enough sample size to be statistically useful.
The statistical truth at the end of the day is that our current speed limits cost our economy far more than they save. The Germans did what Germans do: They did the math. They concluded that on open highway speed limits would cost their economy more than they cared to pay, so they did away with them where they were not needed.