Voters Oppose Lowering National Speed Limit to 55mph

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 07/09/2008 - 9:29am.

A proposal to conserve energy by reducing the nationwide speed limit to 55 miles-per-hour is strongly opposed by the nation's voters. Voters continue to prefer solutions that lead to finding more energy rather than relying upon conservation efforts. Majorities support both drilling for oil in both offshore wells and in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 59% of voters oppose the lower speed limit and 34% support it. Democrats are fairly evenly divided on the proposal with 43% in favor and 49% opposed. Republicans oppose the lower speed limit by a two-to-one margin and unaffiliated voters oppose it by a three-to-one margin.

Men oppose the lower speed limit by a 69% to 25% margin. Women are more evenly divided—50% oppose the lower limit but 42% are in favor. Age differences are even more dramatic. Among the youngest voters, those under 30, opposition to the lower speed limit is at 76%. Just 17% of the under-30s like the idea of a lower speed limit. Among those in the 50-64 age bracket, 54% are opposed and 41% are supportive. However, among senior citizens, 50% would like to see the lower speed limit and 40% are opposed. Those fifty and over were driving during the first Arab oil embargo and have memories of the first time a national speed limit was imposed.

Just 26% of voters believe that slower driving will lead to lower gas prices. Sixty-one percent (61%) say it will not.

While rejecting the nationwide speed limit, voters continue to support offshore oil drilling. The July 6 survey found that 59% support offshore drilling, a figure that is unchanged from our previous survey.

By a 60% to 31% margin, voters also support drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Republicans favor ANWR drilling by an 85% to 10% margin and Alaska's Republican Governor Sarah Palin has written to the United States Senate demanding that such drilling be allowed. However, Republican Presidential nominee John McCain is part of the 10% minority in his party opposed to ANWR drilling.

Democrats are evenly divided on ANWR drilling—46% are opposed while 41% are in favor. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 61% favor drilling in the Wildlife Refuge while 29% are opposed.

The proposal for re-imposing a nationwide speed limit was made last week by Republican Senator John Warner. Warner who has been in the Senate since shortly after the 55 speed limit was first mandated nationally during the first Arab oil embargo in 1974. Warner is not seeking re-election this year and the nationwide speed limit was lifted in 1991. Responding to Warner's proposal, an Energy Department spokesperson said "If Congress is serious about addressing gasoline prices, they must take action on expanding domestic oil and natural gas production."

Forty-six percent (46%) of voters say that reducing the price of gas and oil is more important than protecting the environment. Thirty-eight percent (38%) take the opposite view. Earlier surveys have shown that most voters think new energy sources can be found without harming the environment.

Voters are evenly divided as to which Presidential candidate they trust more on energy related topics—44% trust Obama more and 44% trust McCain.

July 7, 2008 - source Rasmussen Report

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 07/09/2008 - 9:29am.


Tami (not verified) | Fri, 07/18/2008 - 3:16pm

We suffered through the 55 mph back in the 80's. We live almost 600 miles from family and when a medical emergency arose,back then, it seemed like FOREVER driving through Iowa to get to Kansas. The vehicle I drive now, gets fairly good mileage at 65 mph on the highway. Slowing down does not seem to improve mileage at all. In town, I have slowed down substantially and that has helped. My Expedition does exactly the same on the highway at 65 as it does at 55 and I get a lot fewer "single finger" waves in my direction. If people want to slow down, let them, but do not mandate a national speed limit. DRILL DRILL DRILL!!!!!!! I can not see that our nation is ever going to give up oil and our right to drive whatever vehicle we want to drive. If I wanted alternative, I would have it. But, I do not want a car the size of a postage stamp. I have a family to haul and long distance trips means suitcases, etc. Please DRILL DRILL DRILL and let folks like me keep the vehicle we have and drive 65....

Anonymous (not verified) | Wed, 07/09/2008 - 12:03pm

I am a salesman and driveall day everyday. It's bad enough I can't make a decent living because I'm spending $500+ a week on gasoline. Lowering the speed limit would reduce the number of sales calls I could make a day and finish me off. Say no to 55! Keep us working people alive!