In recent years, we have seen a disturbing, though not surprising, trend in Massachusetts. As the population grows, car traffic grows, pedestrian traffic grows, and bicycle traffic grows. This increased traffic poses a question that Boston lawmakers are currently addressing- how do we keep all of these people safe? One way of keeping people safe is to decrease the speed limit within the city. That was already done once, in 2017, with the city lowered the speed limit from 30 to 25. Now, the city is talking about lowering the speed limit again.
The desire for a lower speed limit and safer streets is understandable when we look at the toll that traffic accidents take. In 2013, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control estimated that crash-related deaths resulted in $438 million being lost to medical and work related costs. It is no surprise, then, that the city of Boston plans to continue its efforts to create safer roadways for pedestrians and drivers by further reducing the speed limit. One difficulty with this proposal lies in the fact that it requires state approval for implementation. This hurdle has led some to consider the idea of “safety zones,” which are certain areas with reduced speeds that would not require state approval.
While several factors contribute to pedestrian accidents- speeding, distracted driving, driving under the influence, poor weather conditions, nighttime driving- eliminating even one of those factors can lead to improved safety and fewer casualties and injuries.
Is a Blanket Reduction in Speed Limit the Best Solution?
At first glance, it is easy support a law that reduces speed limits, as slower traffic would seem to equal increased safety. Some suggest, however, that the existing safety problems in the city lie in the fact that traffic laws are not enforced. There are a number of traffic laws that Boston residents see broken every day; drivers fail to yield in crosswalks, accelerate through yellow and red lights, turn right on red even when a sign clearly says not to, and constantly look at their phones. Perhaps, people suggest, strict enforcement of current laws would be preferable to enacting new laws.
Others suggest that lowering speed limits in certain zones- and enforcing limits in those zones- is the best solution. Certainly, roads in the Financial District during a weekday rush hour are different from roads in the more suburban areas of the city, like West Roxbury and Hyde Park. Perhaps lowering speed limits in selected areas, where pedestrian traffic is heavy, or where there is a history of traffic accidents, is a better solution than slowing all drivers in all areas.
What Should You Do if You are in an Accident?
If you have been injured in a car accident, whether it was caused by speeding or not, a Massachusetts car accident attorney can help you understand your options. Our attorneys can help people injured in car accidents in all phases of their claim. We can remove the headache of dealing with insurance adjustors. Beyond that, we will dedicate our firm’s significant resources to getting injured clients top dollar for their cases. Contact the personal injury attorneys at Mirick O’Connell today if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident. We will provide a free and confidential consultation about your case.