Letter: Reducing speed limits in Salt Lake City may cause more problems than it solves

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) A “20 Is Plenty” sign is placed on the lawn of a home near 300 E. 1800 South on Friday, June 4, 2021.

The Salt Lake City Council’s decision to reduce the speed limits from 25 to 20 mph on city streets misses the mark. While the city cites safety and fatalities as the concern, it should be noted that the majority of the auto fatalities that took shape this year along the Wasatch Front, did not happen in Salt Lake City. Moreover, the majority of such deaths occurred due to the fact that the driver was driving under the influence and not due to any speed driven. In all seriousness, how can we expect any impaired driver to follow a speed limit when they disregard the law of driving impaired in the first place?

We all want safe streets. However, an emotional haphazard decision without significant study on all of the impacts, fails citizens of Salt Lake City and all of those who come to our city to work, conduct commerce and recreate. For instance, will this decision lead to a reduction in commerce being conducted in our city? How much additional time will our community spend in their cars and on public transportation due to slower speed limits? Practically, are the costs associated with the extra time worth the supposed safety gains which the city has failed to articulate on why changes should be made across the board?

Regretfully, for years the city has failed to monitor and enforce the existing 25 mph speed limits, so a change likely will just inconvenience those who are trying the hardest to comply. Unfortunately, this change will likely give drivers a false sense of security and lead them to drive more distracted with their cell phones out and in use. Please let the City Council know that it’s time to reconsider the change based on logic and reason rather than just on emotion.

Ted Peterson, Salt Lake City

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