CHICAGO — The National Safety Council, opposing efforts to weaken the 55-m.p.h. national highway speed limit, said Friday that repealing the speed limit would result in an additional 2,000 to 4,000 traffic deaths a year.
Council officials estimated that nearly 80,000 lives have been saved since the 55-m.p.h. limit was enacted as a fuel-saving measure in 1973. Between 20,000 and 36,000 of those savings are believed to be a direct result of the lower speed limit, said Chuck Hurley, the council's executive director of federal affairs.