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Tuesday's letters: Raising limits will waste fuel

State speed limit may rise to 75 mph | Nov. 13

Raising limits will waste gasoline

I have to shake my head in disbelief that the Florida Legislature would even consider raising the speed limits in Florida. It demonstrates how out of touch they are with real-world issues.

According to the U.S. Energy Department, there is a 7 percent decrease in fuel economy for every 5 miles per hour over 50 mph. At a time when our planet is undergoing severe weather changes due to human interference, the Legislature should be lowering speed limits, not raising them.

In the early '70s the nation's speed limit was reduced to 55 mph to increase fuel efficiency due to a fuel shortage. Even though it was not a popular move with the public, the outcome was positive. Fuel economy was achieved and, as a bonus, highway fatalities were reduced.

Speed limits have slowly increased since then based on safety, but fuel economy has not been a factor. The truth is, if measures to reduce carbon emissions are not imposed soon, far greater austerities will be forced upon us. Getting to your destination 10 minutes sooner is not worth a global disaster.

Alfred Renedo, Brooksville

How fast is too fast? | Nov. 15, letter

Driver not following rules

By moving to the left lane and driving 75 mph in a 70 mph speed zone, the letter writer is actually creating a bigger safety hazard than those drivers driving 80 mph, as his actions result in drivers swerving in and out of lanes to try and get around him.

Has the letter writer never seen the signs along the interstate instructing slower traffic to keep right? It is not the letter writer's job to control speeds on the highway — that is a police function. If the letter writer was truly concerned with road safety, he would abide by the posted instruction for slower-moving traffic to stay right.

Dave O'Brien, Belleair Bluffs

Driverless cars just up ahead, transportation leaders say | Nov. 15

Flexible transit solutions

Automated cars are coming. In one scenario, most homes will continue to have one car per driver, but driving will become better and more efficient. Cars will still consume a substantial portion of the average household's income, but you will be able to text while in the driver's seat and driving will be safer.

In another scenario, automated cars will be used to deliver a supercharged version of car-sharing. You will no longer own a car, but have access to one, on demand, 24/7. Parking spaces will become obsolete because the car will pick someone else up when it drops you off. Without the need for parking, cities will get denser.

But even in the most ambitious scenario for car-sharing, we still need more density in the urban core, more transit and decreased parking regulations.

If you can make a driverless car, you can make a driverless train or bus. So transit will likely still be the most cost-effective option.

Will automated vehicles change how we drive and live? Maybe. Will automated vehicles make the need for transit choices obsolete or transit spending today wasteful? No. In the future, as it is today, people with different needs and different wants will seek out different transportation options.

There is no transportation silver bullet. Government should never pick a winning transit technology and force it on everyone. Cities with good transit systems and walkable neighborhoods are already benefiting from car-sharing and, in the future, cities with dense urban centers will benefit the most from automated cars.

Brian Willis, president, Connect Tampa Bay, Tampa

For honor roll, D's don't make the grade Nov. 16, editorial

Disservice to students

I believe it is a terrible idea to disqualify a high school student who makes a C or below from the honor roll. It is demoralizing to hard-working students.

This would mean that a student could get five A's and one C for the quarter and not be recognized as an honor roll student. This student would have a grade-point average of 3.66.

Another student could get four B's and two A's and make the honor roll with a GPA of 3.33.

In many cases, bright, hard-working students have deficit areas. Suppose a student is weak in math and gets a 79 for the quarter. This is a C. He or she could earn five A's in the other classes but still be excluded from honor roll status.

I hope the school board reconsiders this proposed policy. In this day and age, to not reward a hard-working student who earns a 3.4, 3.5 or 3.6 grade-point average in a quarter to me is professional negligence.

Andy Kern, New Port Richey

Kerry, Biden seek time to negotiate with Iran Nov. 14

Time for peace

I visited Iran in 1972, during the time of the U.S. puppet, the shah. I made apologizes to the people for what the United States and our CIA was doing. Many times I was told, "We like the people of the United States, but the government is bad."

For more than 40 years I have said that if the Iranian people forgive the United States in my lifetime, it will be sooner than we deserve.

Now I ask all to support peace, and ask for removal of sanctions. The drums of war only bring suffering and do not add to the security of anyone.

Patrick Lawhead, Tampa

Priorities for next police chief Nov. 18, editorial

Thanks for police

During this time of giving thanks, I would like to express appreciation to our St. Petersburg Police Department: Chief Chuck Harmon, his assistant chiefs, and every police officer who serves and protects our community. We are truly blessed to have such a committed, professional and caring group of individuals. I have never met a police officer who was not of stellar quality.

The next time you see an officer on duty, thank him or her. The next life they protect may be your own.

Nancy Williams, St. Petersburg

Tuesday's letters: Raising limits will waste fuel 11/18/13 [Last modified: Monday, November 18, 2013 5:44pm]
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