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Speed Limits

January 20, 1986

As I was driving up Laurel Canyon, going south toward Mulholland, I couldn't understand why on a peaceful Sunday at about 1 p.m. the traffic should be so heavy that we could only inch our way up. Then, approaching Mulholland, I saw policemen, ambulances, fire engines, and understood that there had been an accident.

The Times reported that a deadly collision had taken place due to a speeding car, and in quick succession I experienced a variety of reactions: sadness and compassion for the dead and injured, gratefulness to Providence that had kept me from being up there at that fateful moment, and anger at the perpetrator of that senseless crime.

I have been wanting to say this for a long time. Everybody keeps talking about the 55-m.p.h. speed limit on the freeways, but nobody pays the slightest attention to the speed limits on our surface streets. I use the canyons very frequently, and whenever I try to adhere even remotely to the posted speed signs, inevitably there is somebody behind me, tailgating, honking, flashing lights, even trying to pass me. Why doesn't anybody impress on these drivers that our roads are not race tracks, and that the speed signs mean what they say. This too is a matter of life and death.

RUTH NUSSBAUM

Sherman Oaks

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