Friday, July 15, 2016

Have Traffic Laws Gone Mad?

Do These Laws Make Sense?

As engineers and police departments work to craft and maintain safe roads, people are sometimes left wondering why certain laws exist. Does this road really need to be one way? Does every corner need a stop sign? Are these annoying speed humps actually serving any purpose? In most cases, traffic laws are there for a good reason but in some cases, they are actually pretty off the wall. 

Crazy Traffic Laws

Some states have enacted laws that leave people scratching their heads. Some notable ones? 

  • In Eureka, CA it’s illegal to sleep on the road
  • In GA, it is against the law to drive through a playground
  • In Sag Harbor, NY, it’s illegal to undress in your car
  • In West Virginia, it’s against the law to eat road kill
  • In CT, it’s illegal to shoot whales from your car
  • In UT, there are birds that have the right of way
  • In MA, it’s illegal to drive with a gorilla in the backseat

Method to the Madness

While outlawing using the road as a bed sounds preposterous, statistics on traffic safety and road accidents demonstrate that most traffic laws are enacted for a good reasonLower speed limits on residential roads are not just arbitrary, they can actually save lives. One Swedish study found that after reducing speed limits, traffic fatalities were reduced even several years down the line. Keeping traffic moving at a safe, steady pace on residential roads can make the difference between a narrowly diverted accident and an untimely death.

Maintening Safety

Enacting appropriate speed limits is a great start but many studies find that speed limits alone do little to curb speeding drivers. Speed limits in conjunction with enforcement measures, however, can be powerful in creating safer roads and neighborhoods. Using speed limits in conjunction with road narrowingspeed humps, or speed indicator signs can ensure that the laws on your streets not only make sense but are adhered to.

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