Whew! Gov. Scott vetoes reckless hike in speed limit to 75 mph

June 7, 2014 

A medical helicopter lands on Interstate 75 south of State Road 70 in Manatee County in April 2014 to airlift a patient from a traffic crash that shut down southbound lanes. MARC MASFERRER/Bradenton Herald

Gov. Rick Scott wisely vetoed the controversial bill allowing state officials to boost the speed limit on highways to 75 mph.

Law enforcement representatives from across the state lobbied the governor, citing public safety dangers.

A new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration outlines the economic and society damage caused by motor vehicle crashes. The research scrutinized the economic impact of those crashes, putting the bill at $871 billion in 2010. That year, 24 million vehicles sustained damage, 3.9 million people endured injuries and 32,999 died.

In citing behavioral factors linked to wrecks, the worst one was -- you guessed it -- speeding. That factor accounted for 24 percent of the crash costs, at $210 billion.

Alcohol-related driving came in second, at 23 percent, followed by distracted driving, 15 percent.

That study came out after the governor pledged to veto the speed bill. Common sense, though, should be reason enough.

Our interstates are already race tracks where few motorists obey the posted limit, mostly 70 mph. The state needn't supply a reason to drive even faster.

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