In The News

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Does State Revenue Outweigh The Safety Of Motorists?

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Michael J. Nichols, Drunk-Driving, OWI

A Michigan Senator and the Michigan State Police are urging the state to boost speed zones in rural areas of highway in Michigan making some ask whether the state revenue is outweighs the safety of motorists.  Senator Rick Jones (R) Grand Ledge says that scientific studies indicate that Michigan Motorists are already speeding in these areas making slower law abiding citizens the hazard on highways.   These slower vehicles have become obstacles that are clogging up the flow of traffic.  “If someone is going 40 and someone is going 55 that really create a dangerous situation so if we get everyone going the same amount of speed it creates a much safer driving environment, says Jones.  Jones believes that with higher speeds, this will reduce the need for speed traps some police agencies use to produce revenue.   Fewer speed traps will free up officers to focus on catching the bigger offenders who are going exceptionally fast and drunk drivers. 

Not all share in Jones’ optimism of the faster equals’ safer theory.   Obviously no matter what the speed limit is Michiganders will inevitably push the boundaries most travel at least five to ten miles an hour over the speed limit anyway so raising the limit to 80 will provide the potential for 90 in some cases.  While this may shave a few minutes off your daily commute there are several factors that should be addressed when lawmakers decide this issue.  According to Attorney Steven Gursten of the Farmington Hills Based Michigan Auto Law, “if Michigan increases its speed limit laws, we can say with absolute scientific certainty that people will die and more people will be catastrophically injured.  It is just simple physics.  Higher speed car accidents will cause more carnage and more deaths,” referring to a study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.

Higher speeds also means higher margin of profit for the State of Michigan.  Vehicles will require more gas, increasing fuel consumption and boasting tax dollars, insurance costs will rise due to a higher payout from more severe accidents.  Many fear this is merely a meager attempt to boost a struggling Michigan economy with an influx in tax dollars and creating accident related jobs, in a time when people are driving less because of high gas prices. 

Therefore, citizens of the state of Michigan, regardless of whether or not you support raising the speed limit in rural areas, our lawmakers will be debating this issue and so should you.  Talk about these issues with your family, friends and co-workers, become educated on this subject and let your voice be heard. Both ideologies claim to be backed by scientific studies, but ultimately you will be taking your family down these Michigan roads, this law will affect every person in the state of Michigan and your opinion matters.

If you need an attorney who is committed to results regardless of the reason you were stopped, contact the Nichols Law Firm at (517) 432-9000 or mnichols@nicholslaw.net

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Peer Recognition

Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.