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"The speed limit is 55!!"

January 11, 2012 - Dear Editor,

(In response to 'Area gravel road speed limits debated,' The Citizen, Jan. 7, page 1)

I was opposed to the then-Gov. Granholm pressuring Oakland County to remove its speed limit signs in 2006. I also completely disagree with Lt. Peterson's statement that "The speed limit does not dictate the travel speed." Try explaining that to the impatient people who pass us when we are travelling slower for safety or to protect our vehicles from damage. On more than one occasion I have received a gesture and heard, "The speed limit is 55!!" exclaimed by a motorist. The mentality is exactly that!!! Lt. Peterson also indicated that "We live in a mobile society." That very statement acknowledges the fact that someone not familiar with the area may be traveling through it and have no idea that there is a blind hill, sharp turn, narrow road or multiple driveways ahead. We live off of West Glass Road and the many blind hills and curves cannot support 55 mph traffic. The school bus stops at our corner four times per day, every stop during rush hour. At 55 mph you cannot see the bus before creating a dangerous situation. The higher speeds result in a major safety issue, more damage to the roadways, more dust in the dry months and a lower quality of life in general for those who live there. Less experienced, younger drivers do not have as much practice judging differing conditions to adjust their speed. If there is not a lower limit posted they are not doing anything wrong are they? I am disappointed in Supervisor Bob DePalma. I have supported you publicly and at the polls ever since I have lived here. I personally sat across the desk from you in 2006 and explained my concerns. You said there was nothing you could do, it was state law. Well now you have the opportunity to support a change. Safety is the number one concern and to take no action on SB 52 and HB 4037 is irresponsible and that is the last thing I would expect from you. I invite you to park on the corner near my the corner near my house in the morning when children as young as 5 are standing there waiting for the bus and cars come by on their way to work or school so fast that they can't even stop when the bus is there with its lights on. I am the last person that would invite more regulation or government intrusion into my life or the life of others, but some people do not have any sense. Some people can't think for themselves and must be told by government what to do and how to act. Do I expect the state police to sit there and clock people? No, they have never done that in the 11 years I have lived here. But for the 15 percent who feel that the speed limit is 55 mph so I will drive 55 mph, a sign indicating a lower, safer speed for that roadway, in good conditions or bad, would be a posted reminder to slow down and act responsibly, not default to their own judgment, which for 15 percent of them is clearly poor.

Keith Wiederhold

Groveland Township

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