SPAR #6: Speed Limits

Speed Limits should be abolished on Interstate highways.

Claim: Driving faster will save everyone time and money.

  • It is about 5 miles on I-5 from the Harvard exit to the UCC exit.
  • Driving 85 mph rather than the speed limit gets you to UCC one minute faster.
  • That’s a half an hour of extra sleep every school term! More seriously, this adds up a lot faster when you are driving more than 5 miles. You save 15 minutes driving to Eugene, and an hour when driving to Seattle.

The less time we spend on traveling or transporting goods, more time can be spent doing rather than wasting our time waiting.

Cox, W., & Love, J. (1996, June). 40 Years of the US Interstate Highway System: An Analysis The Best Investment A Nation Ever Made. Sponsored by American Highway Users Alliance. Retrieved February 21, 2012, from website:

Speed Limits should NOT be abolished on Interstate highways.

Claim: Abolishing the speed limit on ALL interstate highways would be irresponsible.

  • Not all interstate highways are straight or flat, such as the section of I-5 between Roseburg and Canyonville.
  • Not all interstate highways have been engineered to withstand high speeds.
  • Speed limits let drivers know what speed it is safe to drive at.

Removing the speed limit on interstate highways where there are reasons to drive slower would remove a critical tool that is especially used by drivers who are unfamiliar with the road.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. (2011, May). Q&A: Speed and speed limits. Retrieved February 21, 2012, from

Extra proof in case the opposition says “30% of deaths are caused by speeding”: Only a portion (12%) of those deaths are on the Interstates, which is what we’re talking about in this debate. (That’s 3.6% of all deaths rather than 30%).

National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. (2007). Traffic Safety Facts: Speeding (DOT HS 810 998). Retrieved from

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