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Letters to the Editor: Bring back the 55 mph national speed limit. It’ll save on gas and a lot more

Gas prices are well above $6 per gallon at a Mobil station in Westchester on May 18.
(Al Seib / For The Times)

To the editor: In all of the talk by politicians in an election year about how to lower the cost of gasoline and rebate gasoline taxes, no one is mentioning the simplest way to reduce costs by reducing consumption.

It can be done by following President Nixon’s response to the Arab oil embargo. In 1974, he signed into law a national speed limit of 55 mph on freeways, and it was enforced.

We waste a lot of gasoline by the way we routinely have cars speeding at more than 70 mph on our freeways. Driving this fast is almost never really necessary, and the time saved from doing so is not very significant. Still, some drivers are encouraged to treat the roads as race courses.

Having a national 55 mph speed limit would also reduce danger to lives and property and the costs of repairs and insurance. Why not do it?

Allen Manzano, Carlsbad

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To the editor: Why doesn’t Gov. Gavin Newsom just reduce the gas tax, even if for only six months, instead of trying to send rebate checks to every driver? This would cost the state less than sending checks, not to mention the fact that politicians still haven’t figured out who should get the money.

This would be a win for everyone.

Susan Greenberg, Los Angeles

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To the editor: With gas prices at a record high, I read with great interest about the desire to not build more freeways or widen existing ones.

Has anyone considered what traffic will look like when electric cars are the norm? High gas prices reduce driving — this we know. When people can power their cars with solar panels for free, essentially giving them the equivalent of free gas for life, is it actually thought they will drive less and use public transit more?

Los Angeles has an incredible amount of wealth, much of it about to be inherited in the form of housing. In 20 years, electric cars will be ubiquitous. Solar energy will be everywhere. And the marginal cost to drive per mile will be near zero.

Traffic is going to go up, not down. And the magical thinking that people will drive less is delusional.

Once I go solar with my electric car, I can drive guilt free with regard to climate change. Nothing other than gridlock or massive tolling will keep me home.

Jesse Cline, Santa Maria


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