Readers React: California law lets speeding drivers set speed limits. That’s insane

To the editor: After living for 60-plus years inside and outside the United States, I moved to California about a year ago. Driving has been a huge aggravation, and I wonder why motorists here drive so fast, why speed limits are so high and why enforcement seems absent.

The editorial and news article about the state law requiring that speed limits be set according to studies that determine the natural flow of traffic answer those questions. Requiring speed-limit enforcement to be severely limited in the absence of a recent traffic study ranks as one of the craziest laws of all time.

Driving is not “natural.” Speed limits are generally intended to promote safety, and enforcing them is imperative. Protecting motorists from speed traps, the point of this law, can be done in other ways.


Craig Mears, La Mirada


To the editor: The rationale of raising the speed limit so police can use radar guns to nab speeding drivers is a cop out (pardon the pun).

Police do not need radar guns to write tickets for reckless driving. Speeding motorists are usually breaking many other laws and rules of the road: weaving in and out of traffic, making illegal lane changes (without using a signal), running red lights and stop signs and making illegal left or right turns.

Step up the enforcement of all the laws of the California Vehicle Code, not just speed limits. I bet drivers will slow down.

Genie Saffren, Los Angeles


To the editor: Born in L.A., I am particularly concerned about the safety of pedestrians and drivers. I live a few blocks from Zelzah Avenue — where the speed limit was raised to 45 mph despite its history of deadly collisions — and the adjacent Cal State Northridge, where I earned a teaching credential and from where my three sons graduated.

My eldest son was struck by a car as he crossed Zelzah. He thinks he would have been more severely injured had he not been an athlete.

Crossing that street on foot at least three times a week, I see students texting, on skateboards and engaging in other distractions; they assume they cannot be hit by speeding cars. Yes, they should be more careful, but remember: Young adult and adolescent brains are not fully developed. Also, in addition to CSUN, there are two high schools on Zelzah.

I am writing my councilman, hoping there will be changes that will lower speed limits.

Ursula Benstock, Northridge

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