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May 31, 2005

Speed Limits?

Jonathan David Morris's The Non-Aggression Principle presents us with food for thought.

He also, however, reminds me why I cast about for what I am, politically. He notes, for instance, that libertarians believe that "every single public policy issue—from speed limits and seatbelt laws to national IDs and steroids—there exists the barrel of a gun."

National IDs and steroids...I can see that. Maybe sorta seatbelt laws, too, though I'd wear one, regardless. But speed limits?

The states, operating as stewards in the public trust, establish rules of the road. They are effectively the owners. It's not entirely different than Disney telling its patrons how they must line up to go on a ride. Speed limits help to make the streets reasonably safe places to drive, and it seems to me a perfectly appropriate rule. Maybe they should be higher in some rural places, I don't know. But I certainly don't feel coerced in any way when I see a speed-limit sign.

Test this back against common sense: Can we really imagine no speed limits on Broadway in Manhattan? Or even downtown in Anytown, USA? Anyone, at any time, can drive as fast as he or she wants?

With all due respect, I find this notion ludicrous.

Maybe I need a new label...

-Robert Capozzi





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