Letter: Save gas and health

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  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    May 14, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    to Mike Richards

    I don't know how you feel about the scenery, but, the high desert flora is boring.

    Oddly, I don't mind the drive between Mesquite and Vegas; its ideal for a particular Sammy Hagar song.

  • Pendergast Salt Lake City, UT
    May 14, 2014 10:19 a.m.

    Come on. Use common sense.

    p.s. my traffic pet peeve... older ladies in mini suv's going 3 to 5 mph below the speed limit (deliberately?) on surface streets.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 9, 2014 2:04 p.m.

    c'mon liberals, you should be screaming for higher speeds!

    a recent article said the national highway trust fund was running dry. We need to speed and use more gas so we can put more money back in the government gas tax coffers. Remember the main lib mantra? more taxes = better.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 9, 2014 11:21 a.m.


    Re: "So according to Mr. Richards, no speed limits should ever be created"...

    I re-read his comment... and he didn't say that.

    Nice strawman though. Makes it easy to feel you won the argument if you pretend he said something brainless (which he never said).


    Remember slow drivers... the slower you drive, the longer it takes to get there, and the longer your engine is running. And when your engine is running... it's polluting.

    So driving slower isn't ALWAYS the answer. Driving smarter is the answer, and that sometimes includes driving slower (but not always) so making it law to drive slow always... not the best idea ever...


    Every engine ever produced produces the most pollution per mile traveled... when the car is not moving (at a light) or in stop and go traffic.

    So maybe the smartest thing to do would be to avoid stop-and-go traffic (on surface streets) and use the freeway when possible. And go the same speed as the rest of traffic instead of driving slow and trying to bog it down and turn the FREEWAY into a stop-and-go traffic mess too...

    May 9, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    The letter-writer suggests we could prevent pollution by driving slower. In areas where that matters (e.g. within the confines of the Salt Lake Valley), slowing all traffic reduces the carrying capacity of the roadways. During times of peak traffic, it has the potential of turning a smooth-running freeway into a parking lot. The pollution from thousands of cars idling on the freeway is significantly higher than it would otherwise be. Those who would like to see everybody slowed down by whatever means, whether legal or not, don't seem to understand this principle.

    I encounter a similar problem on surface streets almost every day. While driving on roads with synchronized lights, I often get stuck behind someone who apparently believes that driving 25 in a 35 is more economical or safer, or perhaps their car just won't go that "fast". But there is a double penalty for driving like that. In the first place, cars get better gas mileage at 35 than at 25. In the second place, sitting through extra stop lights wastes both time and gasoline.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 8, 2014 11:32 p.m.

    So according to Mr. Richards, no speed limits should ever be created? Using Mr. Richard's logic, any and all laws and regulations should be abolished. Anarchy should rule. Do, say, commit any act you desire! Anything goes!

    Drive however fast you want, kill whoever and whenever, marry whatever you want, pollute anywhere!

    The godless right seems to prefer anarchy over order.

    The Lord gave us laws, regulations, and order for our own benefit. The government does this too. Will we choose to disregard our laws and speed limits and believe that we are above the law?

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 8, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    To "LDS Tree-Hugger" however, a little known Utah law also says that if you are gowing slower than the flow of traffic, regardless of the posted speed limit, that you are comitting a traffic violation. You are impeding the flow of traffic and pose a greater hazard than the people going 75 in a 65.

    To "Mike Richards" if you want to look at other great "successes" in government teaching the people to change their habbits for government sanctioned habbits, look at the government nutrition guidelines. They were implemented in the late 1960's. Within 2 years of the government nutrition standardsa being taught to our kids the childhood obesity rates began to climb. Seems like when government wants to control behavior it usually has a backfiring effect.

    What the tree huggers forget is that automobiles were optimized for a 55 mph speed limit when they were designed. If they are optimized for a 65 mph speed limit then you wouldn't see a great difference in MPG when going 75 mph.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 8, 2014 12:31 p.m.

    Dennis, your discussion makes perfect sense except...utah. Man does not affect the climate here, science is pure hokum, speed is a right, your health is your problem, get out of my way, and people don't care about mileage when they buy 3500 super duty pickups as ego massaging runabouts.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 8, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    I made many trips from Salt Lake to San Francisco when the speed limit was 55 mph. A ten hour drive took me only as far as Reno. I charged my customer for the motel room and the meals. The second day, I would travel to San Francisco, fix the problem and get back to Reno. (Each leg of the trip was about 500 miles.) Again, I would stay at a motel and charge the cost of the motel and meals to the customer. The third day, I traveled home. When the speed limit was increased to 75 mph, I could drive all the way to San Franciso on the first day. The second day required an hour at the customer's site and then a return trip to Salt Lake. Three day trips were cut to two day trips. The customer saved a substantial amount of money. The extra cost for fuel was not even noticeable.

    Government exists to keep us safe, not to dictate how we live our lives. Restricting speed to "teach" us to conserve is none of the government's business.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 8, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    Dennis.... 1973 is calling... they want you back. Better find a way to go back (not forward) and get back to blissful 1973...


    Google "National Maximum Speed Law"...

    Quotes from Wikipedia...
    "While officials hoped gasoline consumption would fall by 2.2%, actual savings are estimated at between 0.5% and 1%"....

    "The law's safety benefit is disputed as research found conflicting results"...

    It's not the miracle Dennis pretends it would be.


    Milage depends on how you drive (not just speed).

    My car displays my current MPG real-time. It goes down most when I'm accelerating... not when I'm maintaining my speed (even above 65mph). I CAN get high gas mileage even above 65.

    A green light on my dash indicates when the car is operating economically (goes out when my driving is causing the engine to not be efficient).

    I can keep an eye on that, I don't need nanny-state mandated slow driving for all.

    My advice... no mandated slow speed on freeways to make these people feel good. Everybody driving conservatively (not like a jackrabbit). Know your car and where it performs best and do that.

    Basically SELF-regulation....

  • LDS Tree-Hugger Farmington, UT
    May 8, 2014 8:28 a.m.

    Speed kills, period.

    I drive the posted speed of 65 mph because it is;
    1. Safer
    2. Cheaper

    BTW -- I'd just like to remind all Utah driver's that it is perfectly legal to drive 45 mph on the Freeways, and that tailgating is illegal at ANY speed.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    May 8, 2014 7:08 a.m.

    Maybe you should get out and drive Utah's open roads. According to my vehicles computer display the most gas used is getting to speed and not maintaining that speed. 55 mph and 70 mph are computed at the same mpg.