Double think is alive and well in the Illinois General Assembly. The latest instance in the long line of the corruption of the English language is the justification given for increasing the speed limit on rural interstate highways from 65 to 70 mph.
Rep. Jerry Costello II tells us law-breakers routinely drive 72 mph while law-abiding persons dutifully drive the posted 65 limit. This disparity, he expects us to agree, causes accidents. His answer is to raise the speed limit so that more people will drive faster. Thus, according to Costello, more speed will produce fewer accidents.
Yet, it is well-documented: speed kills. The faster drivers travel, the more likely there will be serious fatalities.
Does Costello truly believe that those who already drive above the speed limit will now be satisfied with driving only 70 mph? Isn't it more likely that routine law-breakers will drive above the speed limit, perhaps at 77 mph, while law-abiders will drive no faster than the new 70 mph limit, thereby maintaining the proximate speed disparity that so concerns Costello?
This special-interest legislation favoring the trucking industry also ignores the nation's commitment to the conservation of natural resources aimed at energy independence. The faster we drive as a nation, the more fuel we consume and the more dependent we remain upon international cartels and the domestic petroleum oligopoly.
No doubt the trucking lobby appreciates co-sponsor Costello for his boosterism, but in the process public safety will be seriously impacted.
Albert P. Melone