Letters to the editor: 08-05-19

No, speed DOES kill

In regards to Ken Obenski’s recent opinion piece titled “Reducing speed doesn’t reduce wrecks” (WHT, July 14, 2019):

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Unfortunately, Mr. Obenski is wrong, and the statistics he uses are incorrect. When the issue is fatal car crashes, the old adage still holds: “speed kills.” Twenty-five percent of all traffic deaths in the United States in 2017 were caused by speeding. Mr. Obenski stated that “when the 55mph national speed limit was repealed…crashes and fatalities went down significantly.” I am not sure where Mr. Obenski gets his data, but there is overwhelming evidence showing the exact opposite.

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety has reported that highway deaths have INCREASED 15 percent in states that have increased their speed limits since Congress abolished the national 55-mph limit in 1995. Deadly accidents in California increased by 17 percent after it allowed for higher speeds. In Montana, deadly car crashes increased by 34 percent after it abolished all daytime speed limits.

Due to this massive increase in deaths, Montana has gone back to mandated speed limits on its roads.

Numerous studies have shown that reduced speed limits and improved enforcement with speed cameras could reduce speeds and save lives, in addition to reducing gas consumption, cutting emissions of air pollutants, saving valuable years of productivity and reducing the cost of motor vehicle crashes.

The evidence is overwhelming — speed kills! the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones while driving the roads of the Big Island is SLOW DOWN!

Bill Harlan

Kealakehe

Hawaii can lead on gun issue

Oh no, yet another shooting with at least 20 killed in Waco, Texas, and we supposedly live in the No. 1 country of the world?

How much longer do we need to wait for action to remove so many guns from our citizens? Every time it happens a lot of politicians come out to denounce and condemn, but it still goes, again and again. It’s very disheartening.

Our Congress seems unable to agree on any action at all. So I think our State of Hawaii with its wise leaders should take the excess gun issue on, at least for our local state laws. Obviously we need a major effort to ban most of the rifles, and pistols as well.

If all of us lowly voters work together and insist on new laws for our state I think we can convince our leaders to stand strong, and we can change things. Let’s all work together and make a difference. Write to your state representatives. Sign petitions. Take action now to protect ourselves and our keiki. Let’s set the example. It makes sense. Let’s do it.

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Norman Moe

Kailua-Kona