Automobiles Should Have Maximum Speeds

Introductory Paragraph

Is there such a thing as being given too much of what we want? Most people would answer no, that if we want something, and especially if we are paying for it, we should receive as much as possible. However, when it comes to our automobiles, there is one thing that is oversupplied to us by manufacturers: speed. It is so overabundant that it is a danger to us and to others; excessive speeding leads to more traffic accidents and fatalities. Another less tangible but equally serious and harmful result is an increased dependence on oil. One way to get away from these harmful effects would be for the manufacturers to install in every car a governor, a mechanism that regulates the speed of the car. This should be done so as to create a maximum speed for all cars on the road.
First Supporting Paragraph

Legislating maximum speeds for automobiles would help to make the roads a much less dangerous place. There is an urgent need for this, especially among younger drivers. In British Columbia, many young people have serious, often fatal, accidents when racing on city streets. According to the CBC online news, in February 2002, four young people died in the Vancouver area in such senseless accidents. Another danger on our roads occurs when police chase criminals or suspects who refuse to stop their cars. These high-speed pursuits can reach speeds of over 100 kilometres an hour, and often end in tragic crashes with innocent bystanders. If cars were governor equipped, criminals would be less tempted to attempt to outrun the faster police cars, which would not have governors.
Second Supporting Paragraph

If we were to decide that cars and trucks should not go faster than a certain speed, we would take a large step towards making the world a cleaner and safer place. The faster a car goes, the more fuel it consumes; thus, slower speeds would help to reduce fuel consumption, which in turn would have several beneficial effects. The first of these is a reduction in air pollution and the rate of global warming, both of which are heavily contributed to automobile emissions. Second, if less fuel is used, there is less need to drill for oil in such areas as the Alaskan wilderness or in wildlife-rich coastal waters. This means less destruction of the environment, as there will be less drilling for exploration and extraction, and a reduction in the corresponding risk of oil spills in sensitive marine habitats.
Third Supporting Paragraph

Because many, if not most, people enjoy the powerful sensation of speeding in an automobile, it could be argued that the public would not support such a strong response to speeding. John Vavrik is manager of human factors research at the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. In a study in which he surveyed British Columbians about their attitudes towards speeding, he found that "pro-speed concepts are deeply entrenched in our culture, and high speed typically symbolizes high efficiency and high performance in business and people, as well as in automobiles." But in the same survey Vavrik discovered that not only do "about 75% agree that speed on the roadway is a big problem," but also that "84% believe that speeding is a burden on our health-care system, and 77% feel that speeding causes auto insurance premiums to rise." This clearly demonstrates to our politicians that the public actually feels the need for slower speeds.

Concluding Paragraph

Saving lives, protecting the environment, and responding to the public will: all are strong reasons for governments to legislate maximum speeds for automobiles. A final, additional reason to cut the maximum speed is philosophical: such a decision would benefit our spirits. Instead of rushing from point A to point B, people could actually enjoy the trip and see what lies between.

CBC News online March 5, 2002 (
Recovery, Volume 7, Number 2, Summer 1996.