Thursday, April 21, 2011
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has signed two controversial traffic laws into effect. The State Maximum speed limit will be raised by 5 mph to 75, and motorcyclists can now run a so called "dead red" light. Both laws go into effect later this summer.
The new speed limit law will go in effect July 1, and the State Secretary of Transportation will decide which roadways qualify for the higher speeds. Estimates suggest that around 1,100 miles of Kansas Roads will see a higher limit. Opponents say that motorists already exceed the posted speed limit by 5-10 miles/hour, and this is just permission for drivers to drive as fast as 90 mph. Speed isn't necessarily dangerous, though, and most accidents are caused by distracted driving or driving too fast for weather conditions. Neighboring states (Nebraska and Oklahoma) already have 75 mph speed limits in place.
Motorcyclists can now run a "dead red" after waiting a reasonable amount of time. A "dead red" is when a red light does not change for a motorcycle because they are not large enough to set off the sensors that trigger lights to change to green. This is especially problematic late at night when few cars are on the road. Opponents argue this is just dangerous and waiting a long time at a light is worth it to stay alive, but I would contend that motorcyclists already have to be extra vigilant, and this is a common sense law. Give people some credit here. The law also applies to bicycles.
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