.
May 15th, 2008
05:21 PM ET

Should speed limit be lowered to 55 mph?

ALT TEXT
Click the Play Button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say.(PHOTO CREDIT: AP PHOTO)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Gasoline prices rose to a record today – for the 8th day in a row. The AAA says the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded is now $3.78. That's a 12% increase in just the last month. $4 a gallon is clearly in sight now, and if some experts are right, it could go a lot higher.

Surveys show that drivers have been changing their habits in order to cut fuel costs. They're doing things like shopping for cheaper gas or putting less in the tank instead of filling up. But how about slowing down?

Cars are most fuel efficient when driven between 30 mph and 60 mph. Above 65 mph, mileage drops sharply. This isn't rocket science. If drivers are forced to slow down, we would all use less gasoline. And if demand went down, prices might just follow.

One expert says reducing highway speeds from 70 mph to 60 mph would reduce gasoline consumption between 2% and 3%. That could translate into a price reduction of as much as 10%. At today's price, almost 38 cents a gallon.

This is exactly what happened in 1974 during the Middle East oil embargo. President Nixon and Congress imposed a national speed limit of 55 mph. Congress repealed the national speed limit law in 1995, and today there are 32 states with speed limits of 70 mph or higher. In Texas, you can even drive 80 mph on some roads.

But there doesn't appear to be much interest in Congress for a new national speed limit. John McCain and Hillary Clinton would rather pander to voters with the idea of a three-month vacation from the 18 cents a gallon federal gas tax which will never happen. And if it did, would save drivers a whopping 70 bucks.

Here’s my question to you: Should the highway speed limit be lowered to 55 mph to conserve gasoline?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Tina from Fort Worth, Texas writes:
It would not make much difference here in the state of Texas. If you do 55, you are bound to be run over and if you do 75, there is always someone out to knock you over into the slow lanes. Until they make all cars the same size that are only powered by 2 squirrels running on a belt then it will be fruitless.

Tom from Fort Lauderdale, Florida writes:
Jack, Anyone who would propose a decrease in the speed limit to save energy has overlooked the obvious cost of slowing down the entire country. The faster freight and people move across America has a finite bottom line number. Slowing down America as a solution to OPEC oil has all the logic of shooting ourselves in both feet with a bazooka.

Steve from Idaho writes:
It is about time we Americans quit whining and start facing the reality that our lifestyles are going to, have to, change! We pride ourselves on having 3.2 cars in our garage and feel it's our right to drive our big 8-cylinder SUVs. Lowering the speed limit to 55 miles an hour, times millions of cars, will save gas, reduce waste and may even bring the price of gas down a little.

Katherine writes:
People never paid attention to the speed limit when it was 55 mph, I don't see how changing it will help.

John from Washington writes:
No. The current market-based increases in gas prices will lead to rational drivers making their own decision to drive slower in order to conserve fuel. The increased prices will also help folks make the rational decision to trade in their wasteful behemoths for fuel efficient vehicles, as seen in the rest of the nations on this planet!

David writes:
Jack, I have watched many people speed by me only to meet them at the next light or toll both, so it sounds good to me.

Ken from Virginia writes:
No, Jack, they should have no limits. That way I will be able to overtake you one of these days on the turnpike.

Posted by
Filed under: Oil Prices • Speed Limit
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    This isn't a matter of conservation, as it was in the 70s, Jack. This time the oil barons are much smarter and are squeezing every last centime and kopek they can out of everyone – a sort of last gasp profit grab before Obama puts a screeching halt to their perfidy (ummm, hope?). Hey, people still have some money, gas is plentiful, so let's continue the speed rape. Faster, faster. They – the oil barons – still have 249 days of uncontested free reign over US policies, let them enjoy it.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  2. Raymond Duke/Gatesville,Tx.

    No it shouldn't. Their is no shortage of oil. It is a scam by wall street ,the bush administration , opec and the oil companies. That 55 mile an hour is fine to do if you live in a city . It doesn't hold water for rural America. It only allows the states to get richer by handing out speeding tickets. Besides Jack all them experts that advise the president and congress such as the economist are the reason this country is in the shape it is in. Take a couple of economic courses, listen to the foolish B.S. they propose , then get someone who has a decent education from a state college instead of Harvard or Yale to run the country and it will get straighten out. I rest my case by pointing out were all our last few presidents and contenders have graduated from.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  3. Cynthia

    It will be helpful, but even at that most of us are going to have to pull our old bicycles out of the garage and start using them as a means of getting around.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  4. Sharon from Illinois

    Yes it should be lowered. I drive 65 and people fly by me like I'm sitting still. If you lowered it to 55 they would probably still drive the same way they do today. We complain about the gas prices but nobody, nobody wants to change they way they live or learn to conserve anything.We are such a complaining selfish society today.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  5. George

    Yes lower the speed limit to 55 miles per hour, and limit everyone from driving but 5 days per week. It was good enough for us during World War II to conserve, and we all lived through it. Do something now before it gets too late to do it, and we leave this country in one hell of a mess when we die, and our sons, and daughters, and grandchildren will have to take up the problem. Raise the cost of gas to $10.00 a gallon, and that will get the attention of all of those people who are driving those gas guzzling vehicles.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  6. David Natchez, Mississippi

    They tried this already and all it did was tie up traffic and generate more speeding tickets. The price of gas and the amount I have to spend dictate how many miles I want to squeese out of a gallon. I also ride a motorcycle and it gets about 50 miles to a gallon even when I cruise at 75. It ain't the speed limit stupid, it is the oil companies backing the speculators driving up the price and controling the refineries.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  7. barbara

    JACK,
    Our Goverment has plenty of Oil in reserve and could release some to lower these gas prices,,,,,,,,,,,,,this Country should demand it of BUSH, then we would have to drive so slow or do without food to buy gas to get to work! As far as the speed limit I like it the way it is-----55 is much to low and everyone will be getting tickets and tickets today, are more or less in the hundreds of Dollars today then years ago! I would vote against lowering the speed limit.

    Have a good night.
    Barb from Florida

    May 15, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  8. Peter Pan McKinney, Texas

    The 55 MPH speed limit was enacted by Congress in March 1974 as part of a package of measures dealing with the oil crisis. It was thought that it was the most efficient use of an auto's engine and thus would save fuel. As it turned out, however, the energy actually saved was minimal and at best 1 percent of gasoline consumption or about the same amount a driver could realize by increasing the pressure of his radial tires from 24 to 26 pounds
    Air is cheap. Changing signs along the highway costing millions of tax dollars that no one is going to obey anyway is dumb.
    Sorry Jack. That is a big NO SALE!!!!!

    May 15, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  9. Stacy from Farifax, Virginia

    Driving slower is one of many ways to reduce gasoline consumption. Americans should also be looking at other ways to drive less to work and school such as walking, biking or using public transportation.

    In honor of National Bike to Work Week eveyone should commit to finding an alternative to driving at least once a week or whenever possible.

    People would save money, there would be less traffic congestion and pollution and an added bonus: they would get some much needed exercise at the same time.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  10. tom shaw

    So, Jack, McCain and Hillary are "pandering' with their ideas and Obama has all the answers for our gas crisis? Naw, don't think so! Not so sure he would know a good plan if it bit him in the butt. Reducing the speed limit would be good in theory, but people do not obey the limits now, so why would they then? A lot of the gas consumed are from people setting in traffic each morning and evening at gridlock during rush hour. Solve that problem and you may actually be onto something. Until then, just stick to YOUR pandering to Obama.......

    May 15, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  11. Eric Patton

    Let people make their own decision how fast they want to go, just make sure I can pass them!

    May 15, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  12. Mel Bakuy - Rancho Mirage, California

    Jack, I remember 1974. Like a good citizen I entered the freeway that morning going 55 mph. After everyone gave me the bird as they went by and the big rigs almost ran me over and a police car went by me totally oblivious to the situation I gave up and went up to 65 mph. It is a good idea if they can and will enforce it but I don't think they will.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  13. Jason, Koloa, HI

    Yes. All the money drivers save on gas they can use to pay the tickets they'll probably get from being used to driving so fast.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  14. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    No, no and no. Not ever again. People will continue to drive as fast as they need to to get where they need to go. Driver's would get more tickets, which will drive up insurance rates and that's a big plus for insurance companies. And what about road rage? $4 a gallon AND you want me to drive how slow? Big Oil will just jack the price up to make up for lost revenue and the American consumer will be penalized again. I went through the oil embargo, and in the end the gas shortage was exposed as being a fraud with OPEC as a direct benefactor. Leave us at least one freedom.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  15. A Kraft Naples, FL

    yes yes yes the more we conserve on fuel and make efficienty our goal we can become less dependent on the foreign oil...we also have to start thinking of nuclear and coal energy to break this dependence and buy smaller more efficient cars....otherwise we will all be walking..which might not be a bad idea....

    May 15, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  16. Kel from Auburn AL

    Heck, no. It would just give small-town cops another reason to oppress peace-keeping out-of-town drivers that are trying to get from A to B and are forced to make trips through speed trap towns. People will speed regardless.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  17. Adam from Orlando

    Maybe not to 55, but it should be decreased. Of course, that doesn't mean it will. People are in so much of a hurry that they'd rather spend a bit more than let up on the accelerator.

    The problem is that even if it's lowered, most people would just ignore the speed limit like they do now.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  18. Len of Colfax, Wisconsin

    Jack, I lived through the last time we had the 55 mph limit and while I would have liked to go faster, it was not really a great hardship. This time around, my wife and I have been going less than 65 mph for quite a while now, so it would not be much of an adjustment to go a little slower still. We have found that we are going a lot further on a tank of gas. This idea would probably make a lot of sense and would probably save people a lot more in the long run than the “gas tax holiday” that I thought was foolishness.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  19. Nancy, Tennessee

    Do people really think that a 55 mph speed limit saves gasoline. Someone needs to talk to some mechanics who understand car engines and how well they run at certain speeds. Especially at 30 mph a car is not at its cruising speed and does not shift into high speed overdrive. With the gear ratios that cars have now and overdrive, over 55 mph gives better gas mileage. If you are out on the Interstate doing 70 mph, you aren't loosing miles per gallon by sitting in traffic idling. Give travelers a break. 70 mph on the Interstate is not whats breaking the oil piggy-bank. We need to look at all the other uses of oil. Why wrap everything up in four package levels? Wait until you get arthritus and see if you like trying to get into all that packaging that is made of oil.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  20. Jacob, Alabama

    No way, Jack. No one obeys the speed limits we already have. The only "benefit" of lowering the speed limits would be the added revenue from the inevitable rise in speeding tickets, and the rise in body shop work caused by rear-end crashes when a car going 75 rear-ends another car going 50.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  21. Matt - Ft Wayne Indiana

    Let it go. Nobody wants an hour drive to last more than that.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  22. John from Eugene Oregon

    Jack, In a word NO! It already costs me a fortune to buy gas with a 55 MPH speed limit it would take me forever to get any where. People in the east often have no idea how much open highway there is in the west.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  23. mimi

    Heck no, are you crazy!

    May 15, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  24. Preston in Los Angeles, CA

    That would be a high-speed hell no. You know, when Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he forgot to add our inalienable right as humans to go exceedingly fast. Let's be honest Mr. Cafferty, when the speed limit was once 55 mph, you, like most people employed the 20 mph rule...if the speed limit was 55, you drove 75. In the process, you endangered lives by scanning for speed traps and gazing in the rear view mirror for pursuing Highway Patrol cars. 55 mph is just one more liberal measure to jerk with our need for speed. Speed does not kill, it just gets you off the road faster.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  25. Allan,Cameron Park, Ca.

    If there was indeed a petrolem shortage, which there is not. Then a phoney fix like lowering the speed limit would help a little but no one will drive 55 anymore than they drive the speed limits we have now.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  26. Doug Pierson Tohatchi, NM

    Jack: Not only no, but hell no! It is fine if you live in the east, but out here in the west it is a different story. We have to drive 30 miles just to get groceries. A lot of people live 60 miles or more from their jobs, and out here it is not that easy to just move. If you are driving 55 miles and hour it will take 2 to 3 days to go from Phoenix to Albuquerque. You easterners just don't have a clue. At 55 mph how would you like to drive across Montana? What you would save in gas would go for motel fees. It would be nice if people slowed down some and frankly I am seeing that out here. Even the big trucks and not going quite so fast. But to mandate it?

    May 15, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  27. Sabrina

    Why wait for Congress to do something? As drivers, we all have the option of leaving a few minutes earlier and driving a few MPH slower and saving gas. Remember...it's a speed LIMIT...not a speed mandate. Nothing says you must drive 65 or 75 MPH just because the sign is there.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  28. Randy Comer

    Not at the federal level. This should be mandated by the states. But yes, it should be lowered to 60. Please not 55.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  29. Joe

    I think the speed limit should be lowered to 55. Not only will it help cars save gas, but it is safer, there will be less accidents, and less pollution in the air.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  30. Linda

    The speed limit should be lowered. I have slowed down from 70-75 to 65-70 and drive states roads which have a speed limit of 55. I am getting 2-3 miles more per gallon of gasoline in my fuel efficient Mini Cooper. However, sometimes traffic is so heavy and is going so fast that I would be taking my life in my hands to slow down. If all would slow down, the savings and safety would be much increased.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  31. Phil B

    Yes, the speed limit should be lowered. But will it? Doubtful. Common sense does not seem to rule this land.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  32. Gary S

    We tried it once before and it didn't work then. The better solution would be a strict enforcement of the present speedlimit. If people really went the posted speedlimit there would probably be the same effect of gas consumption as lowering the speedlimit. Also state coffers would fill up from speeding tickets!!!

    May 15, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  33. izaard

    Band aid on a bleeding artery

    May 15, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  34. Cory Peterson

    No, we should not lower the speed limit. We should make finding an alternative fuel for vehicles one of the top priorities, however, for the Global War on Terrorism. We are paying the bills of our enemy by purchasing oil from the middle east.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  35. larry

    DO NOT lower the speed limit. Pay NOW or PAY LATER.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  36. Jon

    Glad to read this column. We need to think outside the box!

    May 15, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  37. John in San Diego

    Jack, lowering the speed limit – like we did in 1974 – is a symbolic gesture that had little effect then and would probably provide even less benefit now. It's a way of looking like we're doing something, while doing nothing, sort of like an alcoholic solving his problem by having one less drink a month.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  38. Dan (Kirkland, WA)

    I live on the east side of Lake Washington in the suburbs of Seattle. My commute consists of driving between 1 and 35 MPH. Lower the speed limit all you want. I'll still be sitting in some of the worst traffic in the country.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  39. Matt

    No. Lowering the speed limit will only cause more congestion on our highways. In urban areas, 55mph is necessary, but out in rural areas we need higher speed limits.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  40. Wayne in NH

    Jack, It worked before.It will work again. Demand goes down and prices will go down. It will give everyone more relieve on their monthly gas bill at the pumps then the so called gas tax holiday. It can be temporary. It will not cost us anything except a few a little time. It will hit the big oil companies right where hurts, in the CEO's wallet. But this one will never fly, because it will not get any politician a quick vote.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  41. Bill Woessner

    I don't know about you, Jack, but I live near Washington, DC. Around here, the speed limits are mostly irrelevant. During rush hour, you're stuck in stop and go traffic all the time. When traffic isn't bad, people completely ignore the posted speed limit. I think you could change the speed limit to 25 mph and it wouldn't really matter.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  42. Steve Aldridge

    Yes it should be 55 for cars and 50 for trucks.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  43. Robert

    How would this solve the problem in any respect? Why not then 40 or 30?
    If it were really a pinch to people's wallets to pay this much for gas, they should have bought more fuel efficient cars instead of their Hummer H2s and Ford Monstrocities.
    I drive a Honda Civic & it costs me about 40 to fill it up. I also live in Seattle where I don't need to drive everyday. It sucks to have to spend that much for gas, but how can anyone really say this came as a surprise dispite the years of warnings we ignored?

    May 15, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  44. Ryan, St. Paul, MN

    No way.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  45. Erik

    Yes. Federal control is the answer to every single problem.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  46. Steven Davis

    No, I dont believe that the fed should mandate 55 again. Despite the fact that there are places with speed limits higher, individuals can CHOOSE to do 55-60 on their own. I believe people are informed that lower speeds can save them gas, and they speed anyway. Just like here in NYC people are told that mass transit can save them money, but the streets are always packed with cars anyway.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  47. Gabriel

    55 or 60. Yes it should. I frequently drive, on the freeway at those speeds. I get remarkably better gas mileage – so much so that I think the 2 – 3% increase in efficiency might actually be quite conservative. It's certainly a much more sane position than a meaningless 'vacation' which does nothing to address the root cause of the problem and, realistically, gives nothing back to the population. $70? Over 3 months? Come on. That's $23 per month. Or about 75 cents a day.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  48. Gerard

    I'm surprised they haven't lowered it already. With speed cameras in effect through most of the liberal states, they could fine 99% of all drivers and rake in millions of dollars. Therefore, I am soundly against lowering the speed limit. It's only going to save fuel if people drive slower. Enforcement is costly, so how is the government going to rebalance its priorities? And fuel prices work with supply and demand. If demand decreases, prices should decrease. But if demand decreases, they could then lower the supply, which would maintain higher prices.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  49. Dan

    Yes, just hire more Highway Patrol to inforce the law.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  50. Bill Clough

    No. Absolutely not. The double nickle was nothing more than revenue enhancement via tickets, and when the police weren't around it was ignored, diminshing respect for the law in general. Making sure roads flow traffic efficiently results in much greater fuel savings and reduces tailpipe emissions as well. Stop and go traffic, stop lights that interrupt the smooth flow of traffic, and creating situations where people are nearly forced to jackrabbit their starts to make the next light before it turns red – these are by far a greater enemy to fuel efficiency and clean air.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  51. Matthew Bonazzoli

    Absolutely not. Think of the time it would waste and time is more valuable than gasoline. Besides, if we really want to save gas we should as a nation ban toll booths on interstates. These outdated money grubbers cause all traffic to slow down and many cars to come to a complete stop. Also, traffic lights are another area to be looked into. How many of us have been stopped by a red light with no traffic in either direction? Proper planning of traffic paterns, lights with traffic sensors and even god forbid, replacing useless traffic lights with stop signs would all begin to save gas.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  52. Frith

    In Kentucky the speed limit was changed recently from 65 up to 70. I try to drive at 65 if I can because the price of gas is just absolutely ridiculous.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  53. Scott

    The speed limit should not be lowered but people can voluntarily slow down. I have been doing this when time is not a consideration.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  54. David Brumley

    Outlawing large vehicles in the city like SUVs and 3/4 ton pickup trucks would be a lot better idea.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  55. Mike out West

    People didn't drive 55 when it was the speed limit. Why would they now? Besides, accident rates have gone down with the higher speeds. Not to mention the fact that people are in a hurry, so slowing down is just not an alternative.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  56. John

    To quote Sammy Hagar: "I can't drive 55!" If you're going to have a national speed limit, please, no lower than 65. You'd still get a lot of the gas benefits but wouldn't be so darn, frustratingly slow.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  57. Ralph, Long Island, NY

    Couple that with aggressively writing speeding tickets and we should be able to balance the budget, and make social security and medicare solvent forever.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  58. Jeff in NC

    The speed limit should be a function of safety. Drivers are not obligated to drive at the limit. It should be left to individuals to make a personal choice to slow down and save money; not government mandate.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  59. Frankie

    No the people that like to speed will speed.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  60. Billy G in Las Vegas

    a better question might be WHY is Detroit not building a plug in electric car with a 150 mile range at 70 mph? as someone who rarely drives more than 100 miles per day, I would sure buy one.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  61. Don

    So they can reduce production to keep the prices up?

    What planet are you on?

    May 15, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  62. Tom

    No!!! God, with all of the misery across the board these days, I want to at least keep the joy of being able to drive fast! Besides, do you really think anyone is going to obey the lower speed limits? They don't even obey them now, as I am reminded everytime a BMW passes me going about 90.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  63. Russell

    Don't mess with the speed limit. If slowing down saves you gas money, then you should switch to a more fuel effcient car. The whole purpose of driving is to save TIME. If you want to go back to the slow way, try walking everywhere.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  64. Paul from Houma, Louisiana

    No, this will affect all Freight Transportation companies. They barely make shipments on time as it is. I used to do programming work for a national freight company.

    If we do this, they will miss schedules and in a lot of cases this includes food and other necessities we need for daily living. If they reduced the speed limit, it should at least not apply to freight trucks.

    We need long term solutions, there is no quick fix band-aid. I firmly believe the core problem is not oil, its the value of the dollar dropping. This is not some new crazy oil just got more expensive issue. We need to address the core problems that caused this massive increase.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  65. Jack Day

    Absolutely, lower the speed limit on all roads

    May 15, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  66. bill spencer

    No that might slow george bush down from leaving the white House.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  67. Cory

    This is a terrible idea of continuing to expand the federal government's grip on society. Let the states decide what speed limits should be set in their state, as it is their right to do so. Lowering the speed limit across the nation will not singlehandedly lower people's driving speeds, as in many places drivers still drive 5-15+ mph over the limit anyway. There would instead have to be an increased expense placed on police departments to step up speed traps, thus pulling them away from more violent offenses. It would seem that, on face value your suggestion could solve one problem, but perhaps you have not considered the far reaching effects of your idea. Perhaps, when proposing suggestions you might also drop the excessive sarcasm at the end of your statement.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  68. Tracy

    I definitely think the speed limit should be lowered. I drive 130 miles a day round trip to work. In the last month I have stopped driving 80 miles an hour and now do not drive about 65 miles an hour. My car gets 30 miles to the gallon when driving 65 mph and was only getting around 24 mpg when driving 80 mph. I save an average of $20.00 per week now driving slower. Dropping the speed limit would decrease the demand in turn help to lower the price of gas.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  69. Christopher

    No!!! Our speed limits are already way below many other countries- the answer is more fuel efficient vehicles not lowering the speed limit to 55mpg. They had this same idea in Germany and it was struck down in a second.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  70. Mylon Stark

    Jack – before there is action to lower speed limits, we should enforce the existing speed laws across the country.

    It seems the majority of drivers arrogantly and blatantly disregard our road and driving laws – treating speed limits as nothing but a suggestion.

    Let's get serious about the penalties for speeding: if the penalty is 2-digits (e.g., $90), add a zero at the end; if the penalty is 3-digits (e.g., $120), add a one at the beginning. Perhaps, when those who disrespect society's laws incur such appropriate monetary penalties, they'll lighten their feet and rid themselves of a self-created empowerment to spit on our laws.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  71. Gary Rygh (pronounced Rigg)

    I myself have a heavy foot, I was driving at speeds of 70-75 mph. I work 46 miles away, I have slowed down to 60 mph & I am saving approx 20.00 per week. So what I am arriving 10 minutes later at least I am not giving it away or blowing it out of my tailpipe.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  72. Jeff

    Instead of lowering the speed limit, something that people view more as a guideline and in reality won't do anything to improve the fuel situation, why don't we make a ban on driving on the freeways unless you have at least 2+ people during rish hour. If you want to come on the freeways with only one person, charge a tax of say $10 per day. That would make people think twice about not carpooling, using public transportation, or riding a bike.

    Jeff, Orange County, CA

    May 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  73. Jim

    Jack, Having lived through the last 55 MPH speed limit, there is no way I would do it again. People drove just as fast as today but, got ticketed. A better solution is to build more fuel efficient cars and the only way for that to happen is public demand which will happen as fuel costs keep escalating.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  74. Concerned Citizen

    How about instead of doing something like that and wasting tax payers time and money debating it in Congress lets do something like invest in alternative fuels. The rising gas prices and the conflict in the Middle East are connected. If we could get away from using foreign oil the Middle East would implode on itself and the problems for the most part would disappear.

    May 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  75. Micki

    Most definately!!!!
    Lincoln, NE

    May 15, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  76. JC

    How many Band-Aid's does it take to actually solve a problem?

    May 15, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  77. michael

    Another bandaid!

    Here's my answer. Create and offer the Cafferty prize, a 1 billion USD prize to the company that can create and manufacture a viable alternate fuel solution that meets our needs and can bring it to market in the next 5 years. Just ANNOUNCING the prize will slash oil prices and spark a Kennedy-esque storm of inovation.

    Not enough money? Make it two! We can spend a billion a month on this stupid war, why not challenge our country and make independence from oil our goal? – michael / barrington, IL

    May 15, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  78. bill

    The 55mph limit was based on the estimated drag coefficient of cars in 1974. They estimated the point where ground resistance equalled wind resistance and it was 55mph. It is different now. It was a giant guess.

    If prices are high, people will drive slower to save–market forces will change behavior, not politicians.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  79. Eric

    How about we just tax stupid fat a$$ rednecks who choose to buy SUV s and monster trucks then to live so far from where they work? We'll use the taxes to create world class bike and pedestrian infrastructure and to give tax breaks to people who are part of the solution already. Lowering the speed limit or suspending gas taxes is NOT a solution. It's just more stupidity and ignorance... What is wrong with us Americans? Even the French get it!

    May 15, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  80. Jerry - Houston

    A couple of key facts
    We consume upwards of 17 MILLION barrels of oil per day in this country. That is 714 MILLION gallons of oil per day. Of this, well over half must come from foreign sources – such as Venezuela and the Middle East.

    At currentl consumption, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will supply us for a total of 2 months. 60 days.

    Yes, roll back speed limits. No I do not like it, but it might help. Force higher Coporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) requlations again. That might help. I have to admit that it bothers me to hear a guy filling up his Ford F-250 that he uses to commute to work complain about fuel prices and then go blasting off at speed limit + 10. A bit hypocritical, don't ya think?

    While people are bashing the oil companies, what about the auto companies? The profit from a Lincoln Navigator is astronomic compared to a Chevy Aveo. They have a HUGE incentive to push larger, less economic vehicles.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  81. Joe DeRosa

    Lowering the speed limits might be a good way to take a bite out of consumption, but to postulate that it could result in a tangible price change at the pumps is naive thinking, at best. The oil companies and their partners in crime, the commodity traders, have a proven track record of maintaining or raising the prices at the slightest provocation. There's almost a sense of cockiness about the price swings, first a little tentative, then more brazen.... raise it 2 cents, lower it a penny; raise it 10 cents, lower it 3 cents; raise it 18 cents, lower it 6 cents, and so on...Nice little trend there...not!

    May 15, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  82. Robert

    Until the current laws are enforced, lowering the limits isn't going to do much good. As other commentors have pointed out, if you drive the speed limit on the interstates today you get run over, so lowering the limits isn't going to do much. There a better uses of our time and resources that passing yet another law that no one obeys.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  83. Reginald Letivy

    The price of gas should be raised to $37.13/gal. This calculation is based on a number of factors, including average barometric pressure in the U.S., diastolic/systolic levels, metropolitan rainfall PH measurements and nominal IQ quotients (taking into account nominal LDL cholesterol). At this point, equilibrium will be achieved and oil shortfall concerns will begin to fade.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  84. Marc

    Absolutely – lower the speed limit. It's established science that lower speeds conserve gas, so a lowered speed limit would translate into improved gas mileage on a large scale. The only reason many people aren't already lowering speeds is because all other commuters around you are going breakneck speeds and it's almost unsafe to travel at even slightly slower speeds.

    Even if you don't think price of gas will drop; your consumption of it WILL. And less consumption means less money spent at the pump. Also reduces our national dependence on foreign oil; improves national security; yada yada yada - this has so much positive impact it is a no-brainer: enact a lower speed limit. NOW PLEASE!

    May 15, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  85. Rick from western Massachusetts

    Definitely not Jack,
    That would only mean that we'd be exceeding the speed limit by 15 or 20 miles an hour instead of 5 or 10. Most people on the highway today seem to drive at between 65 and 75. I don't think people are going to change their habits just because a law is changed.
    I do have an idea for saving lots of gasoline and electricity though. Let's go to a four day work week with the extra day off coming on Wednesday. That would mean an immediate reduction in gasoline consumption of around 15%. Plus the energy saved by not having businesses heat or cool their buildings for an extra day. By having Wednesday off we would not be enticing people to travel more because of a three day weekend every week. People could keep their kids home from day care, spend quality time with their families, mow the lawn before the weekend. I think most people would be willing to spend 2 extra hours at work the other four days of the week if it would save them a commuting day. Of course we'd still expect you to show up on Wednesday Jack.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  86. Cameron

    I got a better idea how about these nazi styled CEO's of the Oil and Gas companies making 30 billion dollars of profit quit making sorry excuses and build more refineries.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  87. John

    Jack, maybe we should all POST our own lowered speed limits. Since gas has been on the increase I have been monitoring my speed and gas consumption. I must say that I was surprised at the difference driving 55 rather than 70 made in my fuel usage. So if we know driving faster uses much more fuel, it seems more of a personal choice.Oh by the way I drive a company truck, and I do not pay for fuel. I for one will be the one in the slow lane, honk as you go by!
    When we are at the off ramp Rippy Mart and I'm buying a slurppie and you are filling yours up, well I know what I'll be thinking!

    May 15, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  88. Mark

    I think that this is a great idea. i drive a 95 ford taurus and the speedometer is marked at the 5's with 55 in yellow from the last time the speed limits were 55. not only do i think this would help save fuel, it would help to slow down semis. if i felt like i could drive 55 on the highways now and be safe, i would

    May 15, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  89. Monty

    Hm...let's see. We're locked into a death struggle in a volatile region and we're trying to determine how best to remain dependent upon it.

    I've got a kooky idea: why don't we either tax the oil companies on their war profiteering and reduce the deficit or allow them to invest it in bringing hydrogen and electric methodologies to market sooner rather than later? They even get to pick which one after we make the taxes so unreasonable it makes R&D a no-brainer.

    Take a look at the Tesla that the Silicon Valley guys have produced and tell me why it can't work here except no one has any incentive in the mass market to do it. Give them the incentive by hurting their pocketbooks, they'll come around.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  90. frenchie

    55 did not and will not save fuel. It is silly to believe that it will drive down fuel prices. As has been iterated here, it will only drive up the amount of speeding tickets issued and the resulting insurance rates. The gas price will never drop down to where it was even 5 years ago. This isn't a supply and demand issue either. It's simple greed. For the government to even discuss this is ridiculous. Don't we have other more important issues, like where's Osama. Oh yeah, the government can't, doesn't want to accomplish that so they need something to justify their existence.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  91. Bill

    No. If you want to drive slower, use the slow lane, and the rest of us will use the fast lane. The high cost of gas has resulted in LA freeway trafiic actually improving, as more people are using mass transit and cutting down on discretionay driving. So, if it takes gas at $5/gal to get people using more mass transit and buying more fuel efficient vehicles, then I'm all for it – and I'll continue driving fast in the meantime.

    From Los Angeles

    May 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  92. Devin

    It really doesn't matter if the speed limit is reduced. The speed limit is 60 now and people still drive 80! All that will be accomplished from this is more money for the state's from more speeding tickets. Most will not pay attention to this. The most that will come of this is someone driving 75 mph instead of 80.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  93. Dave in Chambersburg, Pa

    Good Idea, but what's the point without enforcement, which is none existent in this area. Of course a National speed limit bill could provide funding for enforcement, this is in turn would raise taxes. You just end up paying a different robber.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  94. Dennis

    Jack, just the view I would expect from a liberal. You all think government intervention is the answer. We are not capable of making rational decisions for ourselves so government must make then for us. Hang in there Jack, the Gestapo is just around the corner.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  95. Michael Stout

    No. Ridiculous idea. Always has been. Speeds are much higher in Germany and they do fine. They also have much better drivers than we do. We should focus on making a driver's license much harder for everyone to get so we have more skilled drivers on the road. Keep illegal and suspended drivers off the road, and make drunk driving penalties more like they are in Sweden. First offense, 1 year suspension. 2nd offense, you're off the road for good.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  96. SD

    So, we are supposed to go backwards when it comes to progress?

    In this day in age and technology, we should be riding in self-driven machines traveling at high speeds to get us were we need to go, instead of wasting time sitting in a car. I find it ridiculous that we are still using a combustion engine to transport us and goods across this planet. The technology is there, but it is being held back from the public so that the rich can get richer off of old technology and us the public. That fact that oil is a commodity and traded on the stock market with crazy investors driving the price so high its hitting us were it hurts is BS.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  97. Justin

    Slowing down will take you longer to get places, no? How will spending more time on the road save you gasoline? Won't any advantage gained by driving slower be negated by more time on the road? I don't get it... Slowing down might all be well and good if you live out in the country and have wide open roads to drive down but if you live in the city, slowing down will only cause you to miss green lights...

    May 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  98. Preston

    Leave the speed limit alone. I will continue to drive 55mph and laugh all the way to the bank. Maybe people will start to live closer to their work instead of commuting the long distances. I hear its a buyers market for houses.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  99. Joe from Nashua, New Hampshire

    Jack, You could lower the speed limit to 55, but unless drivers actually OBSERVED the speed limit, the number on the signpost would be mute. We desperately need INDIVIDUAL, voluntary compliance – whether there is a patrol car in sight or not. Unfortunately, that will never happen.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  100. Ken Burke

    Another law that just makes lawbreakers out of everyone? Nobody drove 55 when the limit was 55. More speed, more gas? More gas, more cost. Price will take care of speed, leave the lawmakers out of it.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  101. Laura Thompson

    This is so difficult to answer. But I thinks it's up to the person behind the wheel, let them spend their earnings on gas if they rather go faster. But the responsible one's will cut back on their speed to conserve. The speed limit of 55 is obsolete, it's almost impossible to drive that slow on highways. So again it's going to be up to the consumer after all it's their money to spend.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  102. Vic

    Honestly, whether the speed limit gets lowered or not I have found myself driving between 55 and 60 mph almost 100% of the time on the interstate now. Sure everyone passes me but the reality is that it doesn't add THAT much time to my commute and it saves me quite a bit of gas. My average MPG has gone from 27 to 35!

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  103. Linus

    Not until they open up ANWR for drilling.

    Punch a few more wells in the ground in Alaska and build a couple more refineries, prices will tumble.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  104. Pete

    You want to lower the cost of gas? Try letting the oil companies drill more. Let the oil companies refine more. The problem is that we are so dependent on foreign oil. And ethanol isn't the answer either. That only drives the cost of food up!

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  105. Rick

    Right lane 55mph for those of us who want to save a few $$$ and BIG tickets for tail gating. Left lane leave the speed limit alone. People are much too stupid to realize how badly we destroying our economy, the environment, and our national security.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  106. Greg, PA

    Jack, you know that I quit smoking last year because I got tired of coughing them up and tired of paying over $4 a pack for them but I still want a cigarette everyday. We have a gas habit in this country and it will finally go away when we are broke and bankrupt we are still going to want it but we won't be able to pay for it. When we are a third world country after this depression is over it won't matter whether we drove there at 55 or 75 we will all be dead and damned.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  107. Mike Cuomo

    It doesn't matter, this country was built on Supply and Demand and inelasticity. As long as the price goes up and people continue to purchase this necessary product the price will stay high. People complained when it was 2 dollars and they didn't change their ways. Now its almost 4, at some point it will level off and start to drop, but we have to be smart consumers and stop buying it.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  108. Pat Mount Jackson, VA

    No, instead let's stop those in the Federal Government from driving their huge SUV's and flying all over the country and the world on their "Bipartisan" junkits.
    Imagine how much that would save !!!!

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  109. Jill

    This is just another way to get more revenue from speeding tickets. Much better to get rid of gas guzzlers than give cities, police, and traffic schools more revenue.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  110. Christopher

    It amazes me how many people turn this into a politics and conspiracy theory – I also have experimented doing 65 all the way home from the city to my Farm in the country – Last week all I passed were Semi trucks as they get it slow down and gas consumption goes down – I only passed 5 cars all week – The laws of Pysics really do apply here. Those that speak of education should really turn off there gaming systems and do some real study on the subject and look at what is going on in the rest of the world – Maybe travel a bit – I just got back from Peru – We are spoiled rotten and need to wake up.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  111. Ivan Miller

    Yes, lower the speed limit. It will make our traveling much safer along with saving gas.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  112. Paulet

    Yes, "driving slower saves consumption and lives" - In my state, it used to say "55 saves lives" - people should be conserving in all the same ways we did in the 70's, - grocery stores should give up Plastic Bags as well - everyone should be working towards conserving.
    Most stores I shop automatically give you a paper bag or ask for your "green" bag but there are a few large chain store holdouts that actually "hide" the paper and have only plastic available - I had one bagger who actually put my plastic bag inside a paper bag??
    We should also go back to glass bottles for Milk, Soda, etc and disposable diapers with cloth linings

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  113. both sides now

    Driving 10 mph over the speed limit costs a lot, reducing fuel effiency by 20%. Think of it this way:
    Two men driving side by side, same cars, same distance.
    One drives 65 mph, the other 55 mph. The one driving 65 pays $3.70 per gallon, by comparison the one driving 55 is paying the equivalent of $3.00. That's no joke!

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  114. R Jamerson

    Rather than creating more traffic issues for rural citizens, the speed limit could be lowered only in urban areas. The amount of petroleum used to create the myriad of plastic products in the world should be evaluated; I suspect that volume could be substituted for natural products as was more the case in the 1970's..fewer plastic bottles, metal dashboards in cars. Might actually allow American industries to start working again.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  115. Amarjit Dhillon (Boston MA)

    Reducing Driving speed is nice observation but has anybody ever given thought on the following to save millions of gallons of gas and time around the country.
    If cops catches a car driver for some violation in rush hour then all the cars on both sides of the highway reduce speed to well under the speed limit which could have cascading effect upto 15 miles and everybody spends extra 20 mins. burning more fuel.
    If the cop simply turns-off his flashing lights after catching then this could help.
    I have seen number of times even if cop catches someone on the other side of highway the traffic slows very significantly. And after passing the cop, it gets normal. Why is this? Either people should not scare and keep driving at normal speed or cops should turn-off their flashers or some kind of exception during rush hour to solve this.
    thanks
    -Amarjit Dhillon
    Boston MA

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  116. Imran

    I think speed limit is a bad idea. More tickets will cost hunders to each one of us. So instead of looking what best suits me, we should look at the bigger picture. Bush, Cheney, Opec and Oil companies are goons and think alike. They sure will come up with something different to make hay while the sun shines. This is a problem for all Americans because its just not gas alone anymore but the price of everything else is going up. Where will it stop or if ever, lets just hope for the new administration to seriously consider issues at home. As some one well said! Charity begins at home.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  117. Dennis

    Who is to blame?

    By telling us to drive 55mpg, you're telling us that we are to blame.
    In the same breath you tell us that cars are more efficient at 55-60mph.

    Humm.. I think we are on to something there.

    US fleet average mpg is either worse or the same as it was almost 30yrs ago! Funny thing is we've stopped making engine efficiency improvements when we stopped making progress in space. NASA goes for the stupid shuttle..instead of landing on the moon..GM makes the Hummer at 12 miles per gallon.

    Bush's energy policy says US manufactured cars should be 35mpg by 202; Europe has that NOW! Japan is already at 45mpg. Who invented cars? Who was the first at mass producing cars?

    Why are our car companies so pathetically resistant to making fuel efficient motors? While Toyota is working on 100mpg+ hybrid cars, GM wants to keep making huge tank like gas guzzlers. Oh Yah, Toyota is the World's number #1 car manufacturer now.

    Execs in the auto industry are arrogant. They just want to keep making suvs and trucks and maintain usage of ancient inefficient combustion engines. STUPID!

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  118. Carolyn

    I have been driving 60 MPH for some time now. I can definitely tell the difference in fuel consumption. Also, I believe the truckers have slowed down as well to conserve diesel fuel. Why can't we all be a little more conscious and slow down ourselves without a mandatory speed limit. I wish we could tell them all where to stick their oil.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  119. wendy

    Hell no jack, it would be foolish for speed law to enforeced to 55. I'm truck driver and seeing every car out on road here doing 55 or less would actually cause more accdents than anybody would know.

    It's stupid idea, and I hope it never passes.

    Wendy from ca
    (truck driver)

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  120. R A Nelson

    I agree with Overby....for all you SUV owners that are whining about the high prices, I've got two points to tell you:
    1) You should've seen this coming for several decades
    2) I've got some oceanfront property in Arizona I'd like you to look at

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  121. trish

    think it should be 45mph, less deaths, and road rage. dont know for certain who is to blame for the oil prob, but im sure that if we were smart we would have drilled ,and gone for alternatives a very long time ago

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  122. will

    How about when I ride my motorcycle and you got soccer mom driving the mini van, trying to feed a kid and talk on a phone going 10 under saying that everyone is driving too fast? Screw you lady! There is no way anyone is going to drive 55. Boy, there was a song made like that...

    And can I say, speeding tickets? Oh yeah! How about a seatbelt law? Hmmm...... Do we see a trend? Government, big oil all trying to suck money out of our already empty wallets. If you want to go slow, get in the right lane. I am sick of people not following the already established laws, yet want more big brother action. Get real people!

    May 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  123. Brat

    The stategic petroleum reserves are not for lowering prices. They are for offsetting shortages. Its about the only thing that Bush has done right. Of course the oil companies are still getting paid for this oil. The government needs to enforce laws against monopolies and price gouging. If the poor slob that is eeking out a living trying to run a filling station overcharges by a penny, he is brought up on charges. Yet Exxon is robbing the entire world blind and not one politician has the guts to do something about it. I'm waiting for Exxon to erect one of their signs over 1600 Pennsylvania Ave any day now.
    Congress is more concerned with steroids in baseball and Football coaches spying on the other teams than helping the American people deal with this problem. Maybe Roger Clemens and Barry bonds should start stealing gasoline then they might get off their duffs and do something

    May 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  124. Alan, Buxton, Maine

    I was a truck driver the last time the limit was 55mph. The only ones who benefit are those who are issuing speeding tickets. Try driving across Kansas on I40 at 55mph; it can't be done! 55 is not a realistic speed for modern cars and truckers would have to spend hundreds more hours behind the wheel which will result in higher delivery costs negating the savings in fuel. The automobile makers know how to double or triple the mileage we currently get. Require that they do so and the problem will diminish markedly.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  125. Jack

    Who cares if the jerks in the Hummers & Expeditions get 10 mpg? Certainly I don't. Sooner or later they'll figure it out. Let the rich spend it all & join the rest of us. Remember nature's little law – survival of the smartest! Life is an open book test – answers are all around you...

    May 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  126. Osemeke

    Chester, Pennsylvania

    Most of us don't have the "retired" stickers on our car. The authorities cannot teach us how to conserve our fuel. Lowering speed limits will make road trips too long and tiresome causing US to switch to other faster means.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  127. Jeff from Stamford

    Jack,

    There are to many factors to blame and simply suggesting a speed limit change would have almost zero impact on anything except an increase in accidents.
    The reason is not enough enforcement in place with little chance of more since their fuel costs are rising as well.
    Also technology has changed since the 1970's. Advanced transmissions today allow for similar or in some cases slightly better mileage at 65 then at 55. Today's 5 and 6 speed transmissions have different ratios then the older 3 speed/2 speed transmissions.
    My final point is I disagree with your mixing conservation with cost. The financial markets are what is driving the costs today. Contrary to what the common press would have uninformed readers and viewers believe, it is not BIG OIL or OPEC. Any petroleum use we would reduce by would be quickly used up by emerging energy thristy countries like China. This is not simply about America any longer. American energy use has dropped as prices have increased. It has done NOTHING to ebb the flow into Asia.
    Obviously everyone should conserve where possible but a national speed limit would do little save fuel and more importantly, impact cost.
    High oil costs are here to stay. They will NEVER go down again. As Americans, we need to understand that and focus on mass transit and get away from the 2+ car families.
    I feel sorry for those in low income areas who have got to be taking it on the chin right now. I can assure you that the Commodities Brokers living in Fairfield County Connecticut are smiliing while pumping $4.25 a gallon gas ALREADY into their fancy SUV's. As if they would pay attention to a 55 MPH law anyway.

    Get used to high prices people. They will not go away.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  128. Tim Ruther

    I am not in favor of lowering the speed limit. I would propose, however, that an immediate transition to manual transmissions, would decrease the average amount of fuel required to drive an automobile by about 10%. Automatic transmissions are inefficient and the automobile industry knows this.

    A drop of a demand by 10% would be huge, and would relieve some of the demand pressure right away. I am not certain, however, that the oil companies would favor such a move.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  129. Bobby

    Lowering the speed limit might help alittle, but that's really the wrong direction. When I lived Germany back in the 70's and 80's, where there is no speed limit, the mind set is it's my car, it's my gas and it's my taxes. When america finally gets fed up with higher cost, they will get rid of their land yachts and get transportation that is effecient. I saw a guy in the news the other day complaining about fuel driving a 38' motor home, boo hoo, get a tent.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  130. Harold in Reno, Nevada

    Heck, let's lower it to 25 or 15 mph and do away will all speed zone changes like school zones – think of the $$$ saved on fewer speed zone signs. Actually, that would probably do away with the need for 90% of the cars on the road too. Oh, and by the way, I checked my Toyota's mileage last month on a 2,000 mile trip and it got better mileage the faster we drove up to about 70 mph. There was about a 5% drop-off going fater than that.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  131. BJB

    No. Cars are tuned to be most efficient between 30 and 60 mph. Why hasn't the tuning changed at the manufacturing level? Also, time is more valuable than cents per gallon. Finally, this is a band aid solution for a much more fundamental problem–Reliance on oil.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  132. Mark

    America is a free enterprise society. Here we go again with govenment trying to regulate our lives. What? change laws to reduce the speed limit but not change laws to ban SUVs? Hey, if you want to change or create laws to reduce fuel usage just ban fuel sucking vehicles and force people to start walking, biking or driving electric vehicles to work.

    Look at the the govenment is doing to to the national debt. Look at what they are doing in Iraq which is what is creating this mess in the first place. No thanks, leave the goverment out of my life and lets not create more laws. There are too many as it is and most of them just put money back into the lap of government anyway.

    Supply, demand and price will eventually force change with vehicles and the way people move about.

    Mark

    May 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  133. Chip in CA

    I wrote Governor Schwarzenegger several years ago and suggested a STRICT, read finally enforced, 55 on congested area freeeways like Los Angeles and a 65 as a maximum speed limit. I never heard back from our Gov who was driving a Hummer. The lower speed limit would easily meet a mandated 10% cut in fuel consumption without any vehicle sacrifices. It would also lower my insurance rates and cut the millions of gallons of wasted fuel spent by cars idling because of accident slowdowns caused by jerks driving 90 miles per hour plus on LA freeways.

    May 15, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  134. Marco Menin

    Yes, lower the speed limit and we will save some lives as well, not only gas. What we see here in Florida makes any human scare of going out... of course we will need more law enforcement, but since we are already paying for them, just put them back in the roads...

    May 15, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  135. Scott Hines

    Do we really need a law for this Jack? You're right, the fact that lower speeds = less fuel consumption isn't rocket science. So how about we wise up, and start slowing down to conserve fuel of our own accord. To me this seems preferable to creating more federal regulation. Remember, we have to pay these geeks to push this crap in to law. We also have to pay to have speed limit signs put up, and on and on. Let' stop the madness. It's time we stop looking for legislative "help" from the nanny state. Don't forget that it's really big government that made most of this mess to begin with.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  136. Tex in Oklahoma

    No, the speed limit and conservation are the not the issues. Cheap gasoline is the issue. Right now, we pay more for bottled water than gasoline. It is still a bargain at $4 per gallon.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  137. Jess

    George- You are an ass!

    May 15, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  138. David Moore

    Dear God! I thought I was the only crazy thinking we should reduce speeds to save fuel. We all whined and complained in the 70's when speeds were reduced to 55 but all of us became accustomed to the new speed and it didn't hurt us one bit. LETS DO IT!!

    May 15, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  139. Michael - chicago

    No. Lowering the speed limit won't help much. What we need is $5 gallon tax instead of 18 cents. That will force people to conserve – buy smaller cars, drive less, use mass transit. Use the tax money to fund mass transit.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  140. Andreas

    How about forcing American car company's to addopt european standards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Andreas
    L.A

    May 15, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  141. Nitin

    Well I won't be surprised the next thing you would suggest is the only solution being public transport or go back to bullock cart days.

    Adjusting or compromising with problem is never a solution, hammering the problem and its source make differences.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  142. Ginny

    It should be up to the individual driver. I think this oil problem is really blown out of proportion and I think it is helping the owners of the gas stations.

    The American people are being held hostage because owners and suppliers know that a car is a necessity in this day and age and that drivers have no recourse but to pay the price.

    Ginny
    Lebanon PA

    May 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  143. Dixon Gannett

    Jack;
    An interesting question. 18-wheelers have dropped their speed, somewhat, with no option. Interesting. I've been told that there has been a 67% percent increase in Toyota Prius orders – a three month wait, you say. Well, you want people to save fuel? Hey, Hummer, let's start with you and all the other large SUV's that one person rides around in. When that's done, let's go after those pickups that people have put large tires on. And, what the hell, let's do what the CEO of Shell Oil says – build another refinery. When you're done, put a little order into your driving habits. When you're through with the grocery store, stop by the drug store on your way home instead of tomorrow.
    Oh, yes, my new Prius! Last Sunday on a trip to our daughters, we got 50 MPG. Prius's don't get what the factory says? Can't prove that by me. I'm happy as a lark by my purchase. How about you? I can cruise at 70 MPH and still get 45-48 MPG. Stick THAT up your Hummer!

    May 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  144. Lil from TN

    Not unless it is going to be stringently enforced. These days, if you go 70 on the interstate (our speed limit in parts of Tennessee), you'll get run over by all the people doing 80 and 85.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  145. Julie

    Finally someone else notices what a joke that gas tax is. Hilary and McCain obviously can see how stupid Americans are and wanted to use that to their advantage. Never will a democrat and republican work together to "save people money". McCain is in favor of it because of the large businesses and the gas companies that will prosper because of this and Hilary thinks she can fool all the working class Americans she has.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  146. Tony L. Clifton

    Jack, I'm going to quote Sammy Hagar and tell you that, "I can't drive 55!". However, if Congress enacts a national speed limit to "tard out" highway drivers to 55mph and waste countless hours of our lives on the road traveling, why not also impose a law to cut the work week down to 3 or 4 days? I mean, as long as we are pretending and you feel that it is important to "stop and smell the roses" by shifting society down a gear, then I'd like more time to enjoy my life NOT working. I know, a bit off-topic, but the fact is, most people just do not want to drive slower.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  147. Paul Nay

    Lowering my driving speed from 65 to 60 mph on highways would probably increase my true highway gas mileage from 45mpg to 48 or maybe even 50, while increasing the time it takes to drive from Santa Barbara to LA by, say, 10 minutes. Heck, yes, do it.
    By the way, I drive a Prius – the old model. The new one does better. Funny, isn't it, that it's been out for five years now and it's still the greenest car you can buy!

    May 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  148. Doug

    Apparently conservation is no longer in the american lexicon. I drive 55 anyway. Sure, everyone passes me , but it is a pleasure to get the additional mileage. Of more concern, is that the higher speeds make the smaller lighter vehicles and motorcycles we will certainly begin using more unsafe. Many times in the 70's I would have been killed at higher speeds, but was saved by the fact that people usually only drove 65 in the 55 mandated zones. I would love to start riding my motorcycle again, but I just cringe at the thought of a SUV running me over while I do the speed limit. At least at 55 I had time to react back then.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  149. David

    How about better rail and bus service to the suburbs. In Atlanta outer counties voted against extending the rail 5 years ago and now it would take a while for the infrastructure to be built. Speed limit is not what is killing gas. Gridlock on the highways needs to be fixed. Give a tax deduction to people who use mass transit. Maybe more people will start using that option instead of going 5MPH on the freeway each morning and afternoon which is wasting much more gas than driving 70 MPH.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  150. Tony

    No, I don’t think the speed limits should be lowered to 55 mph. This country is just too big for that. Keep the speed limit where it is, if you want to go slower you can ( hopefully in the right lane) the speed limit is a limit and should be realistically set. I think we need to expand our rail and bus systems so people can get from place to place without a car, or having to deal with flying.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  151. fasmover

    Look, oil is a finite resource. It won't be here forever. Trying to save it is a waste of time. Get rid of the speed limit, let everyone drive as fast as they want, and when the oil runs out we will all have great stories to tell. Buy the fastest car you can afford, get on the highway and let it rip!!

    May 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  152. sean

    It sure sounds like everyone is making an excuse for not going slower. Everyone wants oil to be cheaper but no one wants to make any sacrifices. I drive a truck and like to go fast so gas costs a bunch. Recently I decided to slow from my normal cruising speed of 67 down to 62. I have received over 1 mpg more out of my fuel. That adds up over the course of 17000 miles driven each year. Now just think how much that would save over the course of a year if everyone did that. Makes you wonder doesn't it. I am only 32 and think people should start living the way people did many years ago. Americans have become pigs and feel that we should have anything we want. Maybe no one is conspiring against you steal your money. Don't forget, no other country in the world lives like we do here in America, maybe you would like to move to China or Burma. We should all make some sacrifices and reduce oil consumption. Does each slice of cheese need to have a plastic wrapper?

    May 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  153. Jayson

    No it shouldn't be lowered. The price of gasoline could easily be addressed by taking advantage of the oil we have here in the US until current technology makes it possible to switch to viable and affordable alternative fuel sources. Drilling in the US would lead to more tax revenue from oil royalties and the ability to eliminate the federal fuel tax since the royalties could take their place.

    Of course this will never happen because the brilliant politicians in Washington think that as usual it is just better to do something even if causes as many problems as it fixes. In this case that being the decision to turn a food staples into fuel instead of waiting for ethanol production technology to advance to the point that another source could be used. Now we have a situation where not only fuel is expensive but food prices are going up which severely impacts those who are already struggling to get by.

    So much for the Democratic party solving all the woes of this country and bringing civility and bi-partisianship to Washington.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  154. Harry Katz

    If someone is to save $70 due to the 18-cents-a-gallon decrease over the summer holiday, they would have to use 388 gallons over that 3-month period. That would be 129 gallons a month, or about 30 gallons a week. If an average miles-per-gallon rate of 22 were used it would would mean that the “average driver” would have to drive 660 miles a week, or 94 miles a day!

    Now, I ask, what “average” driver drives 94 miles a day???!!! I drive an average of 35 miles a day, so if I were to take advantage of that 18-cents-a-gallon decrease I would only save $26 over that 3-month period, or about the equivalent of a cheap dinner with my wife. And meanwhile, states would be deprived of the many millions of dollars they could use to repair our roads and bridges if the cost of gas wasn’t reduced.

    Hillary and McCain are offering a cheap trick to voters in order to garner cheap votes. Hooray for Obama for not acting like the “average” politician and putting our real interests first.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  155. Tony (Pittsburgh, PA)

    I will gladly pay the higher amount for gas if paying less at the pump meant I had to drive slower. I wish they would raise the speed limit in PA above 65 in some places, to be honest.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  156. Kyle Field

    Paulet – going back to glass bottles for milk, soda, etc. is a REALLY dumb idea. The shipment weight would go up considerably, which means more fuel to hall it, and more trips required for trucks because they'd reach their weigh limit with fewer bottles than with plastic bottles. Good thing YOU'RE not running our country.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  157. Mary-Jane

    Jack, if you are asking this question I presume you do not have to commute an hour or more from the suburbs to work(or anywhere else). Instead of making the already poor average person a scape goat for increasing governmental income(i.e speeding tickets), the Feds can:
    1. Recognize that maximum volumes of gas are expended in high density rush hour/ stop-n-go traffic (40miles/hr or less) and not cars/trucks on intercity or interstate freeways.

    2. Regulate themselves by providing efficient public transportation to every corner of a large metropolitan area suburbs included.

    3. Spend the money to ensure every street has a sidewalk (instead of changing speed limit signs) so people are not endangering themselves trying to bikeor walk to work with cars going "55miles/hr".

    May 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  158. Noclinton

    No, it shouldn't. If I want to drive fast and have the money to cover the extra gas I use, then I'm damn well entitled to do so.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  159. Stephanie

    No. It should be up to the individual to make their own decision to save themselves money. Don't change laws just to correct a current problem. Educate the population on how slowing down will save $$$. If I want to drive faster then it's my individual right to drive faster and pay more in gas. Lowering the speed limit will just generate more revenue in speeding tickets.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  160. Scott

    Lowering the speed limit is a fool-hardy move. All it would accomplish is to increase traffic and the amount drivers cough up in speeding tickets. We would be better served in pressing for more efficient engines that are fuel efficient at any speed. I find it hard to believe that in the 30+ years since the national speed limit originally went into effect that technology has not advanced enough to improve upon the fuel efficiency at speeds greater than 60 MPH. It is much wiser to look at the reality surrounding this debate – people are not going to drive slower, so why don't we focus on a more tangible solution.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  161. Pat

    In Texas you can drive 80 mph because of the big stretches of flat straight roads. If you drove the 660 miles from El Paso to San Antonio at 55 it would take 12 hours, at 80 8 1/4 hours, thats a big difference to a trucker who can only drive 10 hours at a stretch without resting.

    More than driving at full speed in top gear I think of the gas wasted by the tens of millions in traffic with their cars Idling and all the stop, start miles it wastes gas and also reduces economic productivity and efficiency.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  162. Mark

    I think our biggest problem is with education. There are so many unsupported knee jerk misconceptions in the above comments that it's depressing!

    How about some facts and analysis to support our decisions. For example, I drove my 2001 silverado on a 150 mile trip recently at constant 55 mph just to see what difference it would make. I got a whopping 22.5 mpg, vs 16 mpg doing the same trip at 75. That's a savings of 30% and $10 on that one trip and it only cost me an extra 45 minutes.

    Add to that the increased safety at the lower limits and the absolute fact that we will run out of oil eventually and to me it's a no brainer to lower the limit and do everything possible to eliminate our dependence on oil. The sooner the better. If enforcement and compliance is the issue, why does the government even allow cars to be sold that go faster than the highest legal limit?

    May 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  163. David

    Won't this just divert your gas savings to the local police department? People who like to drive faster than 55 aren’t going to change their driving habits to save a couple dollars. People who want to save gas money don’t need a law to do so; they can just drive 55 miles per hour right now. The current speed limits set the maximum speed one can drive, not the minimum. All a new speed limit is going to do is give the cops a reason to make more money. Let’s keep the government intervention to a minimum, please.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  164. Rob in Detroit

    I don't understand why Americans are unable to get by with higher gas prices. When I travel abroad, I see much higher prices in other developed countries and yet people there are not in massive financial upheaval. They do, however, tend to drive smaller fuel effecient vehicles.
    The problem here isn't so much the price of gasoline.
    The problem in America is we think we have the right to drive the biggest, fastest car we can find (which is true) while not having to pay anything for the excess fuel consumed (we don't have that right).
    I propose a decrease in taxes on vehicles that get more than 30 mpg and an increase in taxes on personal vehicles that get less than 20 mpg. The proceeds could be used to subsidize a high speed rail system similar to Europe and Japan, or to fund tax credit for poeple who commute on foot or by bicycle.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  165. Chris

    No, the speed limit shouldn't be lowered. People will still drive fast. All it will do is to give law enforcement agencies an easier reason to write tickets. The end result will be additional revenue for states, counties, and cities, with no realized savings for the motorist.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  166. James in MN

    Anyone who has the nerve to complain that all this would do is generate more speeding tickets needs to grow up. If a law is passed you should abide by it or face the consquences. Furthermore, if we dide have more speeding tickets, then the government would have some quick money to make up for the borrowed Stimulus cash they just gave to everyone, rather than end up raising taxes next year to pay for it.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  167. John from Washington, D.C.

    NO. The current market-based increases in gas prices will lead to rational drivers making their own decision to drive slower in order to conserve fuel. The increased prices will also help folks make the rational decision to trade in their Wasteful Behemoths for fuel efficient vehicles – as seen in the rest of the nations on this planet!!

    May 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  168. Chris

    Let's stop looking at SHORT TERM solutions. I want a LONG TERM solution.

    Let's make it financially attractive to get out of the 1900s way of thinking when it comes to the internal combustion engine, PLEASE! It's time has come and gone. I don't know what you'd do to make it more attractive to the auto makers to put an emphasis on getting away from internal combustion engines, but we've got to figure that out. I can't afford $7 gasoline (at our current rate, we'll be there in about 26 months). How many things do we use today that still use the same general design of over 100 years ago? Premise, maybe, but not design.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  169. Mark Salt Lake City, UT

    If the objective is reducing demand why don't we organize a nationwide boycott for a week. We could all ride public transportation, our bicycles, or even carpool. This would not only benefit gas prices but most of America could use the exercise and the planet could use less CO2 emmissions.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  170. Sidney in Vermont

    How about this one? Instead of questioning whether the government should impose lower speed limits, just slow the hell down! You will use less gas and, correspondingly, save money. Americans need to remember that power rests with us. Not Congress! Not the Oil Companies!

    May 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  171. Mark

    Why not try to enforce the laws that already exist? Where the speed limit is 65, motorist drive 75 and higher anyway. Personal irresponsibility in general is a major contributing factor for this current and future crisis.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  172. Bill St. Louis, MO

    Yes. The speed limit should be reduced to 55.
    This something that we can implement quickly while reducing consumption with minor inconvenience.
    We can always return to the higher speeds when market conditions, (supply & demand), are more favorable for the motorist.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  173. J-Dog from TN

    Lower the speed limit?
    It will reduce accidents?
    Ban SUV's?
    It will cut fuel prices?

    Are you crazy? Yes, you are if you believe any of that. What we need is not Government intervention (more) in the lives of its Citizens, but perhaps a different stance on Lazes Faire. In this case, maybe the government should intervene with the Oil Giants. If they shared the same name , they would be a monopoly. They are close enough considering our nations infrastructure.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  174. Cindy

    Jack here is an idea to ponder, what if members of congress, the president and high paid governors all fork out the money to cover their own gas expense instead of us tax payers footing the bill, then we will see how much they will do to reduce the cost of gas.

    Kansas City, Kansas

    May 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  175. hrao

    It will not work – Macho drivers do not think about fuel economy when they hop into their cars.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  176. Rob In Tampa

    Yes. nobody needs to drive more than 55. limiting speed would save lives and gas. we all need to stand up and demand change

    May 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  177. Jeff

    Jack,

    My answer is simply no. Why pay for crews all over the nation to remove and repost road signs when we're clearly spending too much money in other areas right now? It's an unnecessary expense and doesn't seem like it would do much good in the long run anyway as the oil companies will just hike up the cost some more to make up for "lost revenue". Use the money you want to use to change the road signs and put it in research to get us off the foreign oil.

    Jeff
    Auburn, WA

    May 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  178. LETS DRILL

    It is time for the the tree hugers to get out of the way and lets start drill for oil in alaska again and also off the coast of Calf. Are stupid or what

    May 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  179. Jack James

    Lowering the natl speed limit is a GREAT Idea. Of course this would save us a lot of fuel and bring down the cost but there is another side to this...auto accidents. While some statistics show that the death rate has gone down since the 55 limit was lifted, other stats point to a higher rate of accidents and injuries...with Anti lock and air bags the people in the cars are surviving the accidents...but with injuries causing both health and auto insurance to rise...

    Think about it...A Hat Trick! Lower gas, auto and health ins !

    May 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  180. Betty Bailey

    Jack, our gas this morning was 3.95.9 and has been 3.99.9., here in our "depressed, and any other adjative that belittles WV." On Interstate 79, which runs through the middle of WV the speed limit is 70mph. If you go at that speed, everything on the road passes you like you are sitting still. That includes the LARGE trucks hauling everything. If you have been on this interstate , you will know that it is NOT straight, but very curvy. 60 mph would be fast enough. But how could you enforce it?? They would run over me!!! Thanks for your comments on the Wolfe Blitzer show. Betty

    May 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  181. Munny

    This is all silliness and will not dent the problem? Want to make a real difference? Open up the Alaskan oil reserve. A massive field of oil that is the only thing that will make a real difference. American produced oil. Opening up the strategic reserves would be a minor short term fix, changing the speed limit is worthless, opening the Alaskan reserve is the only real solution. Lord knows the greenie will be mortified, but tough. Any animals that suffer for it will make a fine entree, with a touch of mint sauce.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  182. Ruth Riopell

    I would support reduced speed limits throughout the U.S.. I remember 1974 and not only did it save oil consumption but it saved lives. We need to try all options available to us including banning the ridiculously large SUV and trucks we see commuting with only one person inside.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  183. Ron in DE

    No Way!! People just won't comply with the 'new law', hell they don't comply with the many laws we have now. As a matter of fact, that's just the American way I suppose. No, instead, here's what we should do.....go over there and tell the Arabs that if you don't give 'US' your special price on a barrel of oil, well then, we'll have no choice but to TAKE it from you since we're the only country protecting you from the big, bad, tyrants (like Saddam). Hell, the Army is already over there now, wouldn't take much!

    May 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  184. Jim Nodine

    Why stop at 55, why not lower the speed limit to 45 or even 35. If the "lowering" is for saving fuel, why not lower the speed limit to 35 and maybe people will start riding bikes or roller skates.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  185. Lutwigg

    You can lower the speed limit to two mph and it will have no effect. Oil prices are high because of speculation in the commodities market. Here's the real question – Is it acceptable for hedge fund managers and other speculators to gamble without restraint when the entire world suffers from their actions?

    May 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  186. George

    From 1974 through 1981 prices for a gallon of gasoline continued to rise from about 60cents per gallon to about a $1.37 for regular unleaded. From 1985 through 1988 prices dropped down to about 94 cents for a gallon of regular unleaded. Since then prices have continued to rise. This little bit of history blows your drive 55 out of the window. As you noted the speed limit of 55 was in place from 1974 – 1995 which had no effect on the price of gas.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  187. Sam

    Jack, when are Americans going to wake up? For the past twenty years Americans have lived a lifestyle that has never been seen before in the history of human civilization.A lifestyle that is truly unsustainable. A lifestyle that billions of people over in asia are trying to get to. Sadly a lifestyle we most likely will never see again. The problem is, when it comes to resources the pie is only so big. Changing the speed limit to 55 isn't the answer, the entire attitude of the United States needs to change if we want a remote chance of our kids, kids having something similar to how we live today.

    Thanks for you time

    May 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  188. Dan in Normal (really, I live in a town called Normal)

    If you want to do something that will cut consumption, let's consider gas rationing. Everyone can get a fixed amount of fuel per week at a pre-determined price (and it should be priced at a level that makes it an incentive to conserve). Go over that amount, you pay, say, double per gallon. The combination of forced conservation (because virtually no one will conserve on their own), and penaties for those who continue to guzzle make sense to me.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  189. dar

    Slowing down definitely saves you some gas. I own a crossover SUV and I used to drive at 73MPH. Then one day two years ago I decided to do an experiement and went little slower at around 68MPH for a week. I was surprised when my mileage jumped from 23-ish to almost 28MPG, adding an extra day between each refill. Ever since then I never went back over 68-69mph.

    I'm now in middle of another experiment of driving at 65mph to see if I can squeeze more mileage out of gas.

    So while I don't think enforcing lower speed limits will be effective, but drivers should consider driving little slower at least.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  190. Bryan

    I will also add that Congress should enact a law to eliminate all of the various blends of "boutique" gasoline's and establish one blend that is used nationwide, let's say it should be the California blend. Doing that would substantially increase the supply of gasoline available as all producers in the US would produce this single blend as opposed to the multitude of blends currently being produced.

    This could be enacted quickly and the change implemented in six-nine months or possibly less.

    ~B

    May 15, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  191. pat geraghty, new market md.

    I do it and it work's.It perturbs the ba-jesus out of other drivers ,and that makes me want to do it even more, so I do.Jack , heres the real question,. why are there so many people out there driving like total asses to get somewhere they don't really want to be? namely work.morons.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  192. Deborah from Sausalito, CA

    Jack, please don't go all 'Ralph Nader' on me! The normal speed limit here in California is already 55 . . . except, on limited highway stretches where it is 65. And, yes, we've been paying over $4/gallon for a few months now. But let's not legislate our way through this one. The true fix is much bigger than any effort to curb pricing based on fuel economy driven by personal driving habits.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  193. Brenda Rogers

    I remember the bumper stickers and the saying:
    "Drive 55,
    Save gas and save lives!"
    Yes, the speed limit should be lowered...permanently!
    More people would be alive today if they had never been raised. The risk of death in an accident increases as the speed increases.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  194. Nunya

    So much ignorance I see in the comments you've gotten on here...

    "no shortage"... It's not a question of outright shortage – it's a question of supply and demand – basic economics. If changing the speed limit changes how much you use, then that changes the demand for the product, which in turn changes the balance between supply and demand and has an effect on price (lower demand correlates to lower price)

    "They tried this already and all it did was tie up traffic and generate more speeding tickets."... Well, they tried it already. And it did reduce demand. Tieing up traffic and increased speeding tickets might happen as a short-term transition as people adjusted to the new limits, but clearly isn't a long-term issue once they have adjusted. (based on facts from when it was done before, not based on speculation)

    "Our Goverment has plenty of Oil in reserve and could release some to lower these gas prices". Reserve capacity = 727 million barrels. Daily consumption = 20.7 million barrels. To increase the supply by 2.5% (to match the effect which would come from a change in speed limit), it would require roughly 0.5 million barrels/day. So if they chose to do this, they could keep it up for 3-4 years (assuming no other changes in supply or demand) before running out. To reduce the price to what it was even at the beginning of the year would require using it up even faster. Meanwhile, they would be putting the country at horrible risk for supply interruptions, encouraging even more wasteful consumption. The entire *point* of the strategic reserve is to keep some capacity to continue vital activities if some huge supply interruption happens (like Iran blowing up Saudi Arabia) – not to be able to make prices lower so people can continue to drive gas guzzlers as far and as fast as they like.

    "Take a couple of economic courses, listen to the foolish B.S. they propose , then get someone who has a decent education from a state college instead of Harvard or Yale to run the country and it will get straighten out."... This one stands on its own. If I have to explain how this is ignorance, then you wouldn't have a prayer of understanding anyway. I daresay the writer of this course wouldn't recognize an economics course if it hit him in the face to wake him up and then introduced itself.

    "I went through the oil embargo, and in the end the gas shortage was exposed as being a fraud with OPEC as a direct benefactor."... You apparently weren't paying attention to much of anything. The shortages pure and simple were the result of the embargo which was executed by OPEC. There was nothing hidden or fraudulent about it. They said they were going to cut supplies. They did. There was a shortage.

    "As it turned out, however, the energy actually saved was minimal and at best 1 percent of gasoline consumption"... Inaccurate and incomplete analysis. The savings per gallon driven is 2-3%. There is the additional savings that comes from there being fewer miles driven simply because there is only so much time you can drive and if you can drive fewer miles, the overall total drops.

    "Do people really think that a 55 mph speed limit saves gasoline. Someone needs to talk to some mechanics who understand car engines and how well they run at certain speeds."... Yes, they do. Yes, they did. Yes, it does. Try driving slower sometime and verify for yourself. No need to talk to anyone, whether a car mechanic or not. Just use your odometer to check your mileage when you drive slower and when you drive faster and compare. It's simple elementary level math.

    As far as the real question, it obviously would result in real savings to people, as opposed to the nonsense about a gas tax hoilday. Just another example of an idea that won't fly because people prefer convenient things that appear to do something over inconvenient things that actually do something.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  195. Tom Crowe

    For me the only valid argument for speed limits is safety, and cars today handle and drive at 75MPH more safely than cars in the 1970s did at 55MPH. If someone wants the small savings they get by driving at 55 MPH then they have the right to do so. Enforcing a 55MPH speed limit for conservation purposes is overly intrusive. We may as well mandate V4 engines – it would be just as distasteful an intrusion by the state but it would at least be much more effective.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  196. John

    What we also need to do is build more big cities in America. We don't have enough for all of the land that we have. With big cities, people will not have to drive 30 or more miles to get to the shopping center or to work.

    In New York City, a car is completely unnecessary because everything you need is within walking distance or accessible through public transportation.

    We need more big cities like New York City.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  197. Chris

    Wow there are a lot of really stupid people that make completely uninformed comments here...

    May 15, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  198. Janis Nichols

    My commute is 87 miles per day round trip–from West Linn to Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. When the price of gas hit $3.40 a gallon, I started driving 60 mph. on I-5. Most of the cars that fly past me at 70 or 75 mph are single occupant vehicles. It appears none of these drivers give a damn about the price of gas. I'd like to ask the governors of Washington, Oregon and California to ask their residents to voluntarily slow to 60. It would make a difference and maybe the movement would work it's way east.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  199. Garrett in TX

    A federally mandated speed limit of 55 will not solve any problems. As everyone else has said before, it will only cause a rise in the cost of insurance because of issued speeding tickets. Although, I do agree that slowing down does save gas. I changed my driving habits from driving 70 mph to driving 60 mph and increased my mpg by almost 5 mpg. The problem is not the speed limit, it is the stupidity of the drivers. If you are going to make federal mandates, they should be on the types of vehicles we drive, not the speed in which people drive them. No on needs a Hummer (or any other large SUV for that matter) in the middle of an urban area. There should be laws on what size vehicle you can have based no where you live. You want to drive a 4 wheel drive gas guzzling SUV? Move to the country where you may possibly need to off road. Citizens make the difference people, not the lawmakers.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  200. Doug Taylor

    Lower the speed limit or enforce the ones we have!

    May 15, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  201. rami

    Lower the speed limit no way!!! do you know how long it would take for us to get from one place to another at 55mph I for one do not know why such a thing would even be asked of the american people like lowering the speed limit, that is all we need a bunch of grouchy drivers complaining about how slow that we now have to drive just to save on the amount of gas we are consuming what we need is a new energy policy and alternative fuel sources like fusion power which as far as I am concerned would slove the entire world's energy problems.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  202. jeffrey haupt

    hi
    it does not matter if you lower the speed limit to 40 mph. the drivers around my area,if you dont do 80 they blow you off the road. its funny people go in to the gas stations and complain to the person behind the counter,to the piont of allmost makeing them cry,then they get in their cars and pull out on the fourlane and drive 80-90 mph. go figure!
    thanks Jeff

    May 15, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  203. T M

    If anything speed limits are artifically low. I live in a state with a low population and very nice roads and highways. The speed limit on the highway is 65. Middle of the day and there is no one else on it but I am limited to speed limits set back in the 80s. Give the advancements in automotive technology and safety features I believe highways could easily be 85mph. On small and back country roads with no homes around 35mph is in place only as a revenue generator. There is a road near me that was a two lane that was recently redone/repaved/widened to 4 lanes and the speed limit dropped from 50 to 40mph.
    Speed limits are enforced so that municipalities can fill their coffers.

    In terms of burning oil due to traveling at a higher rate of speed? BAN SUV's AND PICK UP TRUCKS (non-commercial at least) from driving with less then 2 people in them.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  204. Reid

    Yes by all means we SHOULD lower the National Speed Limit back to 55 or 60! I drive a Hybrid Honda Civic and I now drive 62 mph in a 70 mph zone and I have increased my miles per gallon from 30's- 40's to almost 50 mpg!

    Bill Clinton got that 55 mph speed limit removed during his tenure as President. He was under pressure from states like Montana and others with wide-open spaces. All this has done is made road rage more of a problem and made people act and drive as if they were NASCAR drivers. It's wrong.

    We also have stopped using plastic bags at grocery stores, but the young sackers still roll their eyes at us because they don't understand PLASTIC IS OIL!

    We also need to start drilling more of our own oil, building more refineries and developing better things like Hydrogen.

    ETHANOL is for the birds. My hybrid has gotten less MPG due to Ethanol than before. Ethanol has also cause our food prices ot go sky high as well as the high oil. ENOUGH already!

    I am in Kansas Thank you!

    May 15, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  205. Brent McAlister

    I am not nearly as concerned with the price of gas anymore as I decided to give up on owning a car several years ago in lieu of walking or riding a bicyle to work. Or taking public transportation when available. i also recently moved to a new city where i have easy access to most things within a few miles walking distance. Its not the price of gas people should be concerned about. Perhaps it should be more about why there is such a Amercain traditional need to own a car and live the faced pace life. I am a corporate exec who makes good money and has a decent life and I do not need the luxury of a car. And if I did own a car at this point I wouldn't be able to enjoy life the way I can now because i would be overstressed on how much it would cost to get me when I want to go.

    Sure it may take me longer to get where i want to go. But it sure saves me money in the long run

    May 15, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  206. Jay H.

    Presuming that you run the engine longer to get somwhere at 55 mph than 75, I doubt it would make any difference at all.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  207. Sandy Hodge

    YES, YES and YES! Lower that speed limit. I have already slowed down to 60 on the highway. (I drive in the far right lane and try not to get in anybody's way). If people are really serious about wanting to cut back on gasoline consumption this is one thing we can voluntarily do. Why wouldn't we want to?

    May 15, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  208. Tom W

    The only argument for a lower speed limit would be safety as that infringes on all our safety. But, to mandate efficient driving habits, that would be the similar to making it illegal to drive a car that has low mileage. Fuel savings will be decided by market forces. Quite simple: as fuel costs go up, people will respond by driving more fuel efficient cars (which we should have obviously done years ago). That would reduce our gas consumption by much more than 2-3%. Or, (yikes) walk or bike short distances.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  209. Sean

    This nation has had 30+ years to get away from the oil addiction and it hasn't done so. Alternative sources of transportation are the best long-term solution that I see. How about high-speed trains/mass transit to replace the I-95's, I-5's, I-40's and other busy thoroughfares of the country? We technologically were ready to go with solar powered vehicles many years ago but Washington, Detroit (??) and Big Oil apparently shot that down.

    And the SUV maniacs have helped poison this country. These irresponsible citizens have had 5 years to unload their gas guzzlers, yet stlll, the metro area where I live is SUV hell.

    Yes, lower the speed limit to 55. It will improve fuel economy, will reduce traffic fatalities and will discourage people from taking long-distance road trips.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  210. Andy

    Are you serious? The only thing speed limits accomplish is to create greater speed differentials on the roads, which lowers safety. Everyone figures out that there is a huge discrepancy in many spots between the maximum safe speed and the arbitrary speed limit. This results in those who are afraid of tickets going 55, and those that drive a safe, comfortable speed for the road going 75. That is dangerous.

    Combine it with the prevalence of left lane hogs who try to enforce the speed limit, and you have a recipe for tragedy and road rage.

    The other point here is that the presumed intent of conserving gas is to save people money by lowering demand. This doesn't fly for a few reasons:

    1 – Oil is a global commodity, not a national one, so the impact of lowering Americans' consumption is limited
    2 – You have to falsely place a value of 0 on the time lost by people forced to drive 50-55 instead of a faster, more appropriate speed. The math here doesn't work, even for a minimum wage worker.

    Example: Joe drives 25 miles each way to work, gets 25 mpg, and makes $8 per hour. Driving 55 instead of 75 saves him 3% on his gas bill, or 24 cents at $4 per gallon. His time lost is just under 15 minutes round trip, or about $2 worth of time at his normal rate.

    And that's for someone near the poverty line!

    May 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  211. DaveC

    Let's do some math people. I make some 500 mile drives when I set out to visit the relatives. At 70 mph that equals a road time of a bit over 7 hours. At 55 mph the road time goes up to over 9 hours. What's my payback for spending those extra two hours behind the wheel? Well a 3% increase in my gas mileage (from about 34 mpg to 35 mpg) and $4 gas will result in my fuel cost going down from about $59 to $57. Big whoopy. Even if the resulting national drop in demand for fuel drives prices down by 10%, I will still only realize another $6 in savings for the trip.

    Let's translate that. My guaranteed return for driving 55 mph rather than 70 mph is $1 per hour of increased road time and the speculative payoff if everyone else complies too is $4 per hour. Does anyone think you can hire someone to drive a vehicle at a pay rate of $4 per hour? That's what this plan will be compelling YOU to do. Sit behind the wheel and drive however many extra hours or minutes your trip takes for a net payback of $4 per hour.

    Not gonna happen.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  212. Daniel Jones

    The speed limit should be lowered by 10 MPH on Interstate highways immediately to lower consumption.

    May 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  213. Bert, Poughkeepsie NY

    Carpool!

    May 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  214. Rob

    Here is the facts , its, not that the speed limit needs to lowered to get things on the right track. We need to raise the IQ of those up in Washington to start seeing things in the right perspective. They are so far out of touch, they still believe that the tooth fairy will leave us all spare change under our pillows, so we'll have money to put food on our tables and gas in our cars. We need a wake up call, in a hurry!!!!!

    May 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  215. Ryan

    No! If anything speed limits should be RAISED! 65 is way to slow. Our roads were built to be traveled safely at 80mph.

    Besides lowering limits won't have any impact on gasoline consumption. In fact, artificiallly low speed limits actually promote greater fuel consumption by creating big speed differences. The few vehicles that conscientiously obey the law become obstacles to the majority of drivers (such as myself) who will ignore it. This creates a situation that invites more braking and hard acceleration thus using more gas.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  216. Dottie M

    NO! It is the oil cartel that is creating this disaster, not vehicle speed limits!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  217. paul

    no, no, no, I drive from new orleans,la to villa rica, ga. at about 80mph and it takes forever at 55mhp I would never get there.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  218. Greg Martin from Ketchum, Idaho

    Thank God someone finally addresses driving habits in considering ways to increase fuel efficiency. Yes, lowering the national speed limit to 55 would increase fuel efficiency. I'm not sure I'm in favor of a law imposing it, but I do feel that it's good for people to know that doing so will save them money. There is another very important component to increasing fuel efficiency while driving. The short version of this is concept is "the easier on the gas and easier on the brake, the better the gas mileage". Think about it...

    May 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  219. Ferne Sustaita

    Lowering the speed limit will just cost me more in speeding ticket. We should have more 6 or 7 speed vehicals that do not run on gas! We need electric vehicals now!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  220. Jody

    A full size SUV traveling at 55mph still uses 300% more fuel than a Toyota Prius traveling at 75mph. Saving 2 or 3% of fuel by wasting 36% more time in gridlock doesn't make nearly as much sense to me as driving smaller (and/or) more efficient cars, carpooling, and driving less.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  221. ed

    Great! Reduce the speed limits! But people are used to going fast, especially in our fast paced society. Local governments would applaud this as their police would get to ticket more folks thus raising revenue from citations. Tell you what, oil companies are making billions with this increase in gas prices. Make them pay for some of the war with all that money they're squeezing from the public, if they refuse, than force a price cap back to under 3 dollars a gallon. After all, isn't oil the real reason we want security in the mideast? Their oil, our blood.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  222. lori borjon

    if the government is not going to lower the gas prices and try to help the Americans, we as Americans need to help ourselves.. The speed limit should be lowered to 55mph or every American that drives should park their cars, put a sign on it "OUT OF GAS". get a bike or walk everywhere. boycott the gas stations and buy no more gas until it is lowered.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  223. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    Yes, Jack down to 55 and also stop dumping oil in reserves, open every available area for drilling, open up Cuba to US trade and get into the oil they have discovered off their shores that the Canadians are already exploiting, and finally, declare a war on oil consumption by forcing Detroit to raise efficency immediately( theyhave the ability) and funding a massive warlike campaign to rid ourselves of Arab oil , Arab wars, Arab extremists and get this country back into a leadership role in the world by minding our own business. This should start the day Bush departs for Hooterville to achieve his highest and best use-cutting brush.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  224. cindyc

    No, you can't be serious. How about we start drilling for oil in this country again? We need oil, we have oil, let's go get it before our economy is in a total shambles. Open up oil drilling and build some refineries, the country needs a reality check, we need oil and will need oil for many years to come. Time to face the fact and stop living in that battery powered, ethanol dream world.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  225. Ryan

    Jack, This is a horrible idea, with how long I sit in traffic in Seattle and where I previously lived in California, this will make no positive difference in gas usage, if anything it will make it worst and making travel times longer thus using more gas. This is a stunt to deceive voters in to thinking they are saving gas

    May 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  226. Sean

    I am a lead foot that loves to speed. Going back and forth from school in the middle of nowhere, Lubbock, Texas to home in east Texas takes tons of gas. Lately I have been driving below the speed limit to have better fuel mileage in my truck. It makes the trip longer, but it saves a significant amount of gas and stress on my wallet. I definitely believe that if we lower the highway speed limit to fifty five, it would save considerable dollars spent on gasoline. It would take more time to get from point A to point B, but our expenditures on gas would decrease a large amount.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  227. Melissa

    Why do we feel as if we have to legistlate everything? Is spending millions of dollars on new speed limit signs and law changes really going to end this raping of the middle class by BUSH, OPEC, EXXON and other big oil companies? NO! If I want to increase my gas mileage I will slow down, I don't need a low to use my own common sense!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  228. Chris

    Several comments from other bloggers say it best... No it shouldn’t. It ain’t the speed limit stupid, it is the oil companies backing the speculators driving up the price and controlling the refineries. Their is no shortage of oil. It is a scam by wall street ,the bush administration , opec and the oil companies. It would just give small-town cops another reason to oppress drivers that are trying to get from A to B and who are forced to make trips through speed traps.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  229. Michelle

    Who are these experts anyway? Are they crazy? Taking away more of our rights as U.S. citizens!. Driving 55mph only created more money for the counties and states as the drivers that didn't do it had to pay fines and their insurance went up! If someone wants to drive a little slower to save money they can stay in the slow lane.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  230. Peder

    I think we should raise the speed limit. With pump prices going up I need to get to the gas stations quicker!!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  231. Paul in Maine

    No. This is the kneejerk reaction of people who don't have to travel long distances, especially the cab-taking and chauferred denisons of Washington. Do we never learn from past mistakes? When this was tried in the 70s, the main result was more people died due to inattention as they fell asleep droning along at 55.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  232. Wendell Randall

    Great idea, I already drive 55, got rid of my suv and bought something that gets twice the gas mileage, I did not really need the suv and I was not about to spend 100 dollars a week on gas, it is time we gave up some of the big gas guzzlers to try and bring down the prices, so if you are complaining but not trying to do anything about it you are as guilty as the oil companies.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  233. Kristin, Fayetteville, AR

    He** no, I'd go crazy!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  234. Michael Caruso

    It worked in 1974 it will work now.As soon as we slow down on the highways#1 better gas mileage,#2 reduced accidents,alot less road rage because we are getting crushed at the pumps.Or nation wide boycott of exxon/mobile gas 2 days a week .Hurt them in there pockets and we will see a drastic reduction at the pumps.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  235. Randy

    No the speed limit does not need to be lowered. What needs to be done is to get auto makers to produce more fuel effiecnt cars that can perform at the same level as current cars. My God NASCAR has been able to make their cars more fuel effiect why can't Detroit do that for the little guy. Oh right we don't matter because there is no value added by the little guy in the eyes of the auto makers.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  236. Peter Van Derick

    I waited in the gas lines in the '70's. My 68 Toyota got 35 mpg. I saved trees by switching to plastic bags. I saved the land fills by changing to plastic bottles. I have seen tax incentives for renewable energy instituted then repealed. What is the point? We don't seem to have the ability to learn anything from our past. Will it be different this time? I am 60 years old and have grown cynical. Luckily I will not be around for the coming oil wars and food riots. Our kids can thank us as we drive them to soccer games in our Luxury Urban Assault Vehicles (LUAVs).

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  237. Charles B Naumann

    No. Anything but that again. In fact, I would like to see speed limits raised up a little more as long as it is reasonably safe to do so.

    A one-time drop in oil consumption of 2-3% is trivial in the long run. If oil is going to 'run out' in 30 years, that would give us what, another 8 month to a year supply? Why bother? Are we really going to come up with a solution in that last year? The higher fuel prices encourage investment into alternative fuels, and encourage investment into alternative mean of moving freight and people. We should not be trying to artificially reduce the price of gas. In fact, it would be a great time to actually increase the gas tax. Let it get expensive; lets work out some long-term solutions. I am sure that there are people out there that will say 'every little bit helps' but the truth is, 'little bits' often don't help, and they can actually hurt.

    What kind of future do you want? One where energy is cheap and abundant, or one where energy is expensive and scarce?

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  238. Nancy

    It was great in the 1970s when everyone slowed down and enjoyed the view. Not only did we get better mileage, we also probably did less damage to our vehicles. And of course, the deaths from speeding dropped as well, saving everyone on the related health costs.
    Took a recent trip on a bus when the bus had a device on it that would lower its speed to 65. You can imagine the speeding huge trucks that passed us.
    Yes, lower the speed limit so I can enjoy traveling again on the interstates without feeling that I am at the Daytona Speedway.

    Nancy
    Gainesville, Fl

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  239. Nikki-Greenwood,SC

    Hey I have a great idea! How about let's invade more countries and steal their oil. Don't bother our speed limit, let's just accuse a country loaded with oil of terrorism, petition the UN that they are a threat (then disregard them), steal their oil, and we all can drive ahppily ever after for the next 100 years!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  240. richard wagner

    Jack, i do not know where the saving shoul come from.
    Most cars buil today actuly have better milage at higher speeds.
    Case and point 94 Lincoln Mark VIII 4.6 L V8 running at 70-75 MPH gets milage of 28 MPG, 2002 Ford Crown Vic / Mercury Grand Marquis at same speed top at 30 MPG. the only cars that save some gas at lower speeds are smal 4 cilinders. Why not require auto makers to do build better cars. 1976 Volskvagen rabit turbo disel 75 MPG. Opel maks 3 cilinder diesel 125 MPG.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  241. Mary Cazalas

    Yes, there should be a national speed limit set if it saves the country gasoline and imported oil. And we should suspend the gas tax for the summer. And we should impose windfall profits taxes on the oil companies to offset the tax revenue loss. And we should stop putting oil into the strategic reserve at the current prices. And we should close the energy trader loop holes that drive up the price of gas. And we should give consumers heavy tax credits for purchasing US made hybrid vehicles. And we should take the extra oil that these things will create and poor it over President Bush and throw on some chicken feathers and ride him out of Washington on a rail.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  242. Patrick

    Lowering the speed limit to 55 again is one of the dumbest things I've heard suggested in recent memory to reduce fuel consumption. If an individual would prefer to reduce consumption instead of arriving somewhere faster there is NOTHING stopping them from driving at whatever speed they like right now (as long as its above the minimum). Additionally speed limits were originally put in place for safety reasons (at least thats what the gov't says). If the limit was lowered back to 55 and an individual decided to speed and exceed the limit if he got a ticket he'd still face higher insurance premiums. But why, the limit would only be there to reduce fuel consumption not save lives. If anything the limit reduction would only make roads less safe as there would be a greater differential in traffic flow consisting of those that follow the limit and those that disregard it and drive at a comfortable rate.

    If you REALLY want to make a noticeable difference why doesn't the government insist that people inflate their tires to the proper inflation, that alone makes a considerable difference if tires are underinflated.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  243. Dave Humpal

    Jack-

    This is just a larger bandaid. If the U.S. government forced U.S. automakers with more fuel efficient cars, sooner, we would be better off. The problem lies in the fact that we talked about this issue years ago. Heck, I can remember the idea for 26-32 miles per gallon in the 1980's. Als, the idea of 55 mph speed limit. It's just another quick fix. We need to force these oil companie's hands by saying, "We don't need as much of your gas, or none at all." Lower consumption would mean a savings for us, less money for oil companies and maybe, less war.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  244. peter

    Jack, I'd rather not have the government mandate how I drive. Perhaps the focus on more effecient vehicles will actually do the same thing any lowering of the speed limits would. If you want to drive a big gas thirsty vehicle be prepared to pay a higher gas guzzler tax. As the sales of those vehicled drop and the sale of economical vehicles increase we should see an increase in development and competition from the auto manufacturers. It's amazing what companies can accomplish when it affects their bottom line isn't it?

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  245. Bobby

    Jack if you want to reduce the amount of gas we use tell Hillary that the dream really has died. No more cross country flights no more volunteers campaigning no more hot air from Wolfson, and Lenny and Papa Clinton .

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  246. Bob Glennie

    I believe the reduced speed limit will work. It was done before.
    Unfortunately those same people who refuse to give up their V8's will probably be the ones who won't slow down.
    By giving everyone a gas tax holiday will cost the coffers far too much.
    Spending the $70.00 won't put anyone in the poor house, nor will it make them rich.
    It's time to tighten up, on both sides of the border.
    Good show, love to watch and be educated and informed.
    Bob

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  247. Neil Bradford

    NO. You can choose drive 55. Time is money.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  248. Fulton "Jack" Waterloo (Philadelphia, Pa.)

    No, Jack, increase the speed limit! As I cruise in the right lane at 60 miles an hour, getting 60, thats right, 60 miles per gallon in my diesel sedan, I love watching the morons, oops, motorists wasting gas in the left lane. Also, could my fellow citizens please keep buying SUV's? I also own oil stocks!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  249. AnnonUSA

    NO! Speed limits should not be lowered.

    Speed limits are a tool for Revenue generation for Law Enforcement and Insurance companies (Who I am sure will endorse the Speed reduction plan).

    Modern Automobiles can be made very efficient at speeds above 55MPH with Aerodynamics, gearing and engine management hardware and software.

    A lower speed limit would just become another Tax on the American Public. A tax on our pockets and a tax on our time. This is just another idea primed for failure. If the Country and Government was really concerned about the Economy, global warming, and fuel consumption, the Ethanol farce would not be allowed either.

    There is no oil shortage, America has created this "problem" because we don't want domestic Oil Drilling or gasoline production in our own backyards. And if that is the game you wish to play, you shouldn't bite the hand of those that sell you oil.

    The Genie is out of the bottle, Oil companies have tasted the high profiteering and so have their Speculators and Investors. Driving slower or saving fuel is not going to quench their thirst for profits.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  250. John

    Jack,
    Unless your a politician or the head of a corporation you should have already had the common sense to slow your speed down to 55mph to save money for yourself and your family, if not than you don't have a right to complain about the price of gas!!!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  251. Rod

    No, lowering the speed limit will only help the oil companies make more money. I ask you this, if, like you said, the american public has started to change thier driving habits and reduce (though a small amount) the amount of fuel consumed, why are the oil companies still making record profits?

    Rod
    Shiremanstown, PA

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  252. Dave S

    Are you kidding!!!!!! When the oil companies are making billions in profits, you're going to make all of us drive slower. How about giving us a government that would require car makers to increase the MPG's on cars which they haven't had to do for years. How about taxing the oil companies heavier to reduce gas prices? How about drilling in our own country instead of importing oil from our enemies? How about giving us a government who truly invests in alternative fuels?

    May 15, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  253. carol macrae

    Yes, lower the speed limit to 55MPH and raise the driving age by one year. This will save us all money and we'll be a lot safer.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  254. brian in buffalo

    Why should I have the government tell me its not legal to drive 55 so some one can save couple cents on gas? If I have the money to pay for the decrease mileage it is my right. There are a million other ways this corrupt government could save americans money without limiting their personal freedoms. and of course it only goes to reason the a 2-3% reduction in overall usage could easily be taken away with other industry practices.I should be allowed to drive a reasonable speed in my new car on a modern high way that jack is NOT 55. This is pure communism Jack, i cant believe you would suggest this. We all the real cause of the price surge is the manipulation by inside players in the oil future market. This suggestion is plain old crap, that wont help anybody but will slow down traffic.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  255. Joe

    Jack , Americans are so selfish and gullible, If they believe your endorsement of the anti-christ (OBAMA) then of course they will believe that a national speed limit of 55 will solve our energy problems. Afterall it worked before..LOL....ROFLMAO....GOD BLESS AMERICA and of course The situation Room.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  256. Jack Armstrong

    Should there be a 55 mph national speed limit again. Absolutely not! This is supposed to be a free country. If you want to drive 55 to save money on gas, fine, but don't tell me what I have to do.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  257. Taylor From Denton, TX

    I think lowering the speed limit would help ease the pressure created by gas prices, whether you believe its an issue or not. Personally, I think that investing money in alternate fuels would help the price of gas by lowering the demand. Unfortunately, certain persons in high places have their own wallents in mind.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  258. Derrell Raleigh, North Carolina

    Absolutely NOT!!! Driving slower is no solution to this problem. The problem is the fact, that despite numerous warnings about the crisis we are currently in, we have continued build cars that consume more gas. If the automobile industry wouldnt' have purchased all of the rights to the fuel conservation technology and put it in their pockets to keep, we'd be much better off.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  259. Patrick Rohde

    Absolutely not! If anything it should be raised. Statistics have shown that the highest number of fatal collisions occur at lower speeds, not to mention the severe traffic that would induce in major urban areas; and living in Southern California, I can vouch that such a measure would be an utter catastrophe. All it would do is allow the state to extort more money from the taxpayers and supplement police quotas.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  260. Chris P, Washington, DC

    Jack: which statistics are you looking at? Have you driven on I-95 recently? My own statistics indicate that on weekdays when my average speed per trip is 45-50 mph my gas consumption is less than 23gpm (I drive a Mercedes-Benz LK320). On Sunday evenings when my average speed is 60-65 the average gas consumption goes up to 26-27mpg. The problem is mostly in the bad drivers that cause back ups and start-and-go situations because for some reason they think they are entitled to the left-most lane on the highway for their entire trip – and nothing can really get them to switch lanes!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  261. NicPayne

    Yes it should be lowered! As a former speed demon (with tickets to prove it) I have changed my driving habits. Every little savings helps. And because of the economic squeeze on my family (me and my husband are both in the mortgage business) i won't take any chances on speeding- so i'll avoid the tickets!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  262. TRM

    Of course, 55 MPH makes sense, but then again, it only saves lives. And pandering has become the lingua franca of much of today's political debate. Even the presidency itself has been reduced to a platform to pander to American Jewish voters. High minded representation of (all) the American people in international fora has been reduced to domestic political pandering. So much for a united American statement to the international community. So much for congratulations. Pander on!
    It seems to be the order of the day in too many sectors of the public discourse. Let's go full speed ahead to the idiocracy!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  263. Joe Cieslewicz

    I find it unnecessary to mandate a lower speed limit on the US highways. If one is worried about the cost of gasoline on their pocket books, they can voluntarily reduce the speed they drive on the highway. The speed limits are just that "limits" or maximums, not the minimums you must drive. No one needs to put another law upon us when we can intelligently negotiate this issue without regulation.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  264. John

    Come on Jack, 55 is an absolutely ridiculous speed limit. If you and all the other old people want to drive that slow get in the right lane and knock yourself out. The rest of us have things to do and don't need to spend extra hours on the highway.
    If you want to do something meaningful call for all new cars to be hybrids or other alternate fuels. Don't let the automakers off easy on cafe standards.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  265. Alex

    No… in fact speed limits should be raised. Germany has no speed limits on 57% of there highways and their incident rates are similar to ours. We have been down this 55mph road before in the 1970s, it was terrible. If people want to drive slower than the speed limit, then they can do so as long as they do it safely in right lane, not the middle lane, and not the left lane.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  266. Terry

    Positively. Yesterday after travelling the parkway and being passed by like I was standing still, I was doing 62 to save gas, I said the only way people are going to save gas is force them by lowering the speed limit. I also would add to that to double the fines if caught speeding.
    Just think along with saving gas we would also be saving lives.
    Terry, Seaville, NJ

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  267. FREE ME, Maine

    So let me get this straight, I can drive slower and "save" 38 cents a gallon! Sounds like a like a bargain! It'll take longer to get to work, longer to get home – basically decreasing the limited and valuable time families share already (and I believe my time is worth more than saving 38 cents), but wait it gets better – taxes will increase in order to change speed limit signs and employ more police (handing out inevitable tickets), nevermind insurance rates going through the roof, because everyone will be so stressed about being late that they'll have certain road rage, leading to accidents and traffic jams – I see many pulling a Michael Douglas in Falling Down.

    Surely, there is a better solution. Hybrids anyone?

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  268. m3cats

    Yes, lower the speed limit to 55 MPH..... to save gas why not go only 55 miles in one hour instead of 70.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  269. Allen Lamphere

    Yes, the speed limit should be lowererd to 55mph. It make sense.
    The fact it already hasn't happened means that Pres Bush has our
    oil companies best interest.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  270. Bill McCluney

    No! It might save a little gas, but people already know this and it's up to each individual to dermine how fast or slow the wish to drive. It would probably save more gas if it was against the law to drive a HUMMER. We live in a free society. If you have the money and want to spend it on driving faster, go for it. If you want to save by driving slower, that's your privelege.

    Bill

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  271. Sandra

    Jack, yes, yes, yes, great idea lower speed limet. i think it will cut down on so many accident's, and that will be a plus.
    Thank's Jack
    Sandra in Gallation Tn

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  272. Gail in Texas

    Jack. How many times in your life time have you seen this same scenario? We have lowered the national speed limit to 55 or 60 at least twice in my life time to "save gas". Our cars are older and get better gas mileage than you can get in the same car of this year's model. We have had the technology to get 40+ miles per gallon for decades. Get real, the gas companies and the car manufacturing companies have NO desire or plans to make more fuel efficient cars OR to help cut gas prices or consumption. Their SOLE desire is to make money, and as much as they can.
    We are being played by corporate America, yet we as Americans sit back and allow it to happen. I am not that old and yet I have seen this scenario go around at least twice. If people are REALLY interested in cutting gas costs and more fuel efficient cars, then they are ready to do some serious boycotting.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  273. Rusty, Atlanta, GA

    I believe that any monetarysavings that lowering the national speed limit may bring would be negated by speeding fines drivers would incur with the certain implementation of speed traps!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  274. J. F. Paul

    Yes, speed limits should be lowered AND enforced. Alas, since we are asked to make no sacrifices to pay for the misguided war, we probably won't be asked to sacrifice for energy independence either.

    J. F. Paul
    Stevens Point WI

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  275. steve b.

    i lived thru the first national speed limit farce. and to this day we still have the 55mph limit in chicago. it is virtually ignored by 100% of the driving public. dont believe me? try doing 55 here in chicago... youll get run over by the traffic flow... not to mention the hazard you cause by obstructing the flow causing cars to change lanes around you.. the law is also unenforceable when everyone ignores it. the theory of driving 55 sounds great on paper, but most everyone ignored it back in the 70s and the same would happen today. how bout this instead.. EVERYONE save ONE gallon of gas a week. with the millions of cars in this country, that would have more of an effect than the 55mph farce.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  276. Cristy in NC

    I think too many people are trying to find a quick fix with ideas like lowering the speed limit. Why are we not releasing some of our reserve? Why are we not drilling on our own turf?? Heck, I'm a simple elementary teacher who has shares in Koniag Oil Company out of Alaska-why not make me a little richer instead of everyone overseas?
    I welcome it.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  277. Harry Hunkele

    This is a no-brainer. I have been driving slower for many months now since I can equate speed directly with gas consumption.. However, I have definetly been the minority and I am constantly aware that I could be rear-ended from the majority who cannot bring themselves to slow down. Yes, the average American driver is spoiled and it is so engrained in him that he can go as fast or faster than the posted speed limit that he cannot concieve of ever going slower to save gas. I honestly don't believe they get it and they become irate when they come up upon someone who is limping along in the effort to save gas. I guess the price of a gallon of gas isn't high enough yet!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  278. Emmanuel

    The speed limit should not be lowered because even though it will help towards saving gas, no one in their right mind will actually drive 55 mph on the highways.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  279. jan

    Not only lower the speed limit to 55 but lets enforce this with a hefty fine for those whom go over the speed limit. This will save not only gas for us all but hopefully some lives too!!!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  280. Aaron

    I'm completely for a reduction in speed limit to 55. Not only would a reduction save fuel, it would also encourage more people to take public transit by reducing the difference in time between each method of transporation.

    In general, I think our country should be focusing on public transportation to improve efficiency and lower consumption. How about a tax incentive for living within 10 miles of your office? How about free public transporation? Instead, we give tax incentives if you buy an SUV. Yeah, that makes sense. My company pays me to leave my car at home – and it works, I put the money into a bicycle. We need the right incentives to drive the right behavior.

    Also, we need to stop drinking so much bottled water. The water isn't any cleaner than tap water, and the amount of gas used to create the bottles is obscene – enough to power many millions of cars for a year.

    And finally, I think someone should organize a gas strike. Oil companies continue to make record profits. Organize a large group to go a week without purchasing gas. Let the oil companies feel our pain. Who is with me?

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  281. Chris

    It very Sad that in over 30 years we still got to drive 55 to save Gas.
    It real Sad that in in over 30 years we still have not fixed anything.
    We are Oil Junkies and the oil crack dealers know it .

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  282. Danny, Phoenix, AZ

    Jack,

    Lowering the speed limit may have little effect on gas prices. But the savings would quickly be outdone by the extraordinary amount of speeding tickets issued to drivers.

    In fact, I'm almost positive speed limits exist for the sole purpose of safety. It would just continue to cover up the Republican errors made in our economy to try and solve the issue of high gasoline prices by lowering the speed limit.

    I know I wouldn't obey it.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  283. Kip Galloway

    I have already logged over 14,000 miles this year and as an outside sales consultant I will log over 30,000 miles by years end. I'll accept the .18 pr gallon discount and while they are at it maybe they could get the states to repeal their gas taxes as well, I know here in IL the state is still taxing the people via a gas tax. Todays gas prices are 3.98 per gallon for 87 Oct. 4.05 for 89 Oct and 4.15 for 92 Oct. these are inflated prices and something must be done.
    As far as the speed limit is concerned give me a break, lets come up with a way to lower prices to a reasonable level and continue to get things done at full speed. Lets not forget time is money as well and we are already wasting enough money on fuel.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  284. Andrew, Little Elm TX

    No, raise the capital gains tax on energy (and food) commodity trading to 60% and 80% respectively and the prices for both will collapse.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  285. Working man

    “Do people really think that a 55 mph speed limit saves gasoline. Someone needs to talk to some mechanics who understand car engines and how well they run at certain speeds.”… Yes, they do. Yes, they did. Yes, it does.

    That statement is like comparing oranges to apples....Maybe u should talk to a mechanic.

    Newer cars are geared more toward the higher speed limits. There was a study released not too long ago that the majority of newer cars get their best gas mileage between 62-70 mph depending on the car.

    It is not simple math anymore. It is gear ratio, torque, and finding the the highest gear at the most efficient rpm.

    Now with that said... Older cars DO get better gas mileage at lower speeds.
    They are made differently with different requirements at the time they were manufactured.
    Someone mentioned it above. Idling uses more gas than driving above or even well above the speed limit. Does this mean that forcing people to turn off their car instead of idling is a good idea?
    Or how about mandate a 4 day 10 hour a day work week?
    I bet than would send a message. I don't know if it would be good or bad, but the working class would probably love it...

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  286. Gary

    55 mph will reduce consumption of oil but it will also reduce liberty. There are better ways to save oil. For instance: we could encourage employers to allow office workers to use technology to spend a large fraction of their time working from home. This would save massive amounts of energy, time, productivity, highway congestion and pollution. The only obstacle is management methods that account for time rather than actual productivity. If the media starts examining this approach, I'm sure employers would realize the cost savings and social responsibility benefits that could be achieved.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  287. Chris C

    Worst idea ever. Why don't we abolish all speed limits so we spend less time driving and more time working. pwnd.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  288. Phil

    Jack,
    Let's do a little math here. The figure of $70 savings under McCain and Clinton's proposals is based on consumption of approximately 389 gallons over the summer. A reduction of 10% based on savings from reducing the speed limit would produce a $148 savings in the same time frame. Thats a $78 dollar savings from one plan to the other. The bonus from your approach – we strengthen what is already becoming a nanny state. Thanks, but no thanks. Let's stop with the populist pandering Jack – we get enough of that with Lou Dobbs. I'll pay the extra $148 and get where I want, when I want. If others want to save money let them drive at the speed they desire. A 70 mph speed limit doesn't mean you have to drive 70 mph.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  289. William

    No. Now, a sure way to save fuel and lives would be to not allow anyone over the age of 62 to drive. What do you think about that one?

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  290. Robert

    Why do some people always feel that more government and new laws will solve anything? How about the people who want to save themselves some $ on gas slow down, and the rest who are in a hurry or have money to burn keep going the speeds they want? That way, everyone wins. People need to stop trying to impose what's good for their personal situation onto everyone else.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  291. Orlin, Minneapolis MN

    Why can't we all just...walk to work...?

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  292. Ben

    Heck yes, slow it down to 55! No not 55, 45! No, not 45, 35! Moped anyone?

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  293. Mike

    A) No one under 35 would comply with this.

    B) It would cost more than it would save in terms of traffic, signs, and enforcement

    C) This is typical of your stupid generation – can't deal with the REAL problem so impose a stupid restriction. Just a few more years and enough of you will be dead we won't have to deal with your idiocy anymore.

    BTW: Anyone who thinks releasing the strategic petroleum reserve would really lower prices and wouldn't harm us in the short and long terms should be deprived of the right to vote for being incurably stupid.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  294. Dana Dossey

    Jack,

    I was so excited about sending my comment, I forgot to include my city and state. They are:

    Scottsville, Kentucky

    We get to vote next Tuesday.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  295. Windell Courson

    It was dumb as dirt the first time around and it took decades for people to wise up and get rid of it. Actually, we could use a national speed limit increase. 80 on the Interstates would be appropriate for 90% of the current roads. Here in Virginia on I-95 people just ignore the 65 speed limit and drive 80 and 85 when they can to make up for the 30-35 moments along the way. All the 55 limit would do is provide more money for the police coffers. The crocodiles (Ticket writers) will stalk the Wildebeest (commuters) and do the only police work they know how to do – issue speeding citations. No other civilized nation in the world would even think of imposing such an oppressive speed limit on motorists.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  296. Valerie Davis

    As much as most of the driving public will howl, it's a proven fact that "55 saves lives" to drag out an old line, but it also saves gas. Actually. most of our Southern Ohio highways are 55 or at the most, 60 MPH. I;m all for it.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  297. Sandra St. Mire

    Dear Jack,

    I've often thought that the laws should reduce the speed limits to conserve gas. I remember when the speed limit was first changed back there in the seventies and I must admit to a couple of tickets for not obeying which brings me to my second point that this should not be a "siggestion" but a law because there will alway be people who feel it doesn't apply to them. This is important enough that we must all be engaged plus think of all the extra revenue to be made from speeding tickets. I also noted that reducing the speed limit actually save more than Hillary Clintons gas tax holiday and she'd be pleased that I didn't need an expert in economy to figure that one out.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  298. Michael Januszczyk

    Hello Jack,
    Suggesting that lowering speed limits is as absurd as not taxing pickup trucks in the US with gas guzzler tax. How about we allow diesel engines into the US which attain with ease 40-60 mpg. Another option would be to offer vehicles with smaller engines – who realistically needs 6.2L V8 engines... lets get real... All it takes is to look to Europe and start to import those engines - gas prices in Europe are double what they are here, and somehow most folks drive cars that get 40-50 mpg, what do the Europeans know that we do not.
    I enjoy the show - but reducing the speed limit is not the option but a waste of time.

    Regards,
    Michael

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  299. Dean

    rather than enacting policies that continue the use of oil... the western world should be looking at ways of removing it... there is a mountain of info that shows Hydrogen Peroxide can be made stable and cheap enough to match gasoline... make laws that give cars using renewable or hybrid technology the same status as High Occupancy Vehicles (and expand their use) pushing gas guzzlers into more congested lanes and the problem would solve itself...

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  300. Vic DeHAven

    Jack I live near I-10 in the little town of Quartzsite, AZ, which is about 17 miles from Califronia and 130 from Phoenix.
    On recent trips to the "belly of the beast" Phoenix, I average about 27 mph on the way to PHX at 70 plus mph and on the return trip I get about 30 mph at 60.
    For 10% or more in fuel savings it would be better to have a 55 mph limit.
    It worked for me, as a trucker, in the 70s, it can work again.

    Somehow this concept has eluded most of those folks that can still afford to make long trips. I see people driving the same speeds, the linit is 75 out here, but long distance traffic seems to be thinning out.
    However in Phoenix it is just as crazy as ever.....
    Vic DeHaven

    May 15, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  301. Jackie - Vallejo, CA

    Lowering the speed limit, or a gas tax holiday won't lower the price of gas. Even blue collar middle class whites will tell you time is money, lowering the speed limit will hurt everybody. The only thing that will lower gas prices is for the United States to allow American oil companies to drill in America. But, eventually the American oil companies will import cheap labor to do the drilling. Which would lead to oil spills, and put us right back where we are today.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  302. angie p

    I view the lowering of the speed limit as nothing more than an excuse to hand out more speeding tickets.

    Sammy Hagar and I agree:

    I can't drive 55!

    May 15, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  303. Don

    Yes, lower the speed limits please!!. Not only would it save gas but more important, it would save lives too.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  304. Ty

    When people really want to spend less on gas, they'll slow down themselves. But for now, spending an extra 2 minutes in car is apparently just too much of a sacrifice. Only when everyone wants to go slower voluntarily will real change occur. Lowering the speed limit would just mean more speeding.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  305. Harold Haight

    It's a "No Brainer." We have to go back to 55 mph. You're the first I've heard on TV to bring up one of the things that must be done to decrease dependence on imported oil and to fight global warming.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  306. Duncan Holmes

    Sure. If it's knocked back to 55, most everyone will still travel at 65. At 55 you can almost smell the roses, which ain't a bad thing at any age. My choice always is to stay in the right lane and let the rest of the world go by.

    May 15, 2008 at 6:21 pm |