Essay topics: Highway safety
13. In an attempt to improve highway safety, Prunty County last year lowered its speed limit from 55 to 45 miles per hour on all county highways. But this effort has failed: the number of accidents has not decreased, and, based on reports by the highway patrol, many drivers are exceeding the speed limit. Prunty County should instead undertake the same kind of road improvement project that Butler County completed five years ago: increasing lane widths, resurfacing rough highways, and improving visibility at dangerous intersections. Today, major Butler County roads still have a 55 mph speed limit, yet there were 25 percent fewer reported accidents in Butler County this past year than there were five years ago.
Write a response in which you discuss what specific evidence is needed to evaluate the argument and explain how the evidence would weaken or strengthen the argument.
The Prunty County plans to apply the reforming highways project that Butler County completed five years ago to improve highway safety. The Prunty County expects following the road improvement project which Butler County did five years ago is effective because their action – lowering speed limit from 55 miles to 45 miles – to decrease the number of accidents had failed. However, this recommendation needs three more explanations to make the prediction sustainable.
First, lowering the speed limit can improve highways safety when Prunty County strongly enforces their traffic law. Clearly, lowering speed limit from 55miles from to 45 miles has not been successful because the drivers exceed the changed speed limit. Therefore, if the county thoroughly announces the speed limitation to the public and strictly enforces the law with strong authority, the number of accidents might decrease, which means the fact that the county’s effort to improve the highway safety worksthe county’s speed limitation policy can still be effective. In sum, the county should have done its best in regulating drivers to follow the speed limitation before they consider following the exact same effort Butler County did five years ago.
Second, there is no guarantee that Prunty County will have the same positive result as Butler County. Because, the Prunty County did not present any relevant data about the current road conditions in the county, it is impetuous to decide whether the highways in the county are in need of improvement. Rather, the road conditions in Prunty County may already be wide and good enough to prevent traffic accidents in the highways. If the road conditions of Prunty County are already good, the expectable effectiveness of the road improvement project would be limited.
Third, the road conditions of highways in Prunty County may already be wide enough and good enough to prevent traffic accidents in the highway, maybe even better than the road conditions in Butler County at present. The road improvement project in Burtler County seems to have certainly alleviated car accidents. Judging from the favorable result from Burtler County, the road conditions could be considered as significant factors causing accidents before the application of the reforming highways project. However, there is no guarantee that Prunty County will have the same positive result as Butler County, if the road conditions of Prunty County are already good. The highways in Prunty County can either be even wider or organized than Burtler County’s roads. If Prunty County already has well equipped and organized road system, the expectable results would be limited.
Lastly, Prunty County may not have many obstacles which block off views at its intersections. When there is a thick forest or large rocks in front of intersections, they should be removed to secure a clear view for drivers. However, since the geographical features of Prunty County are not informed, it would be impetuous to decide to clear out obstacles to improve visibility at intersection in Prunty County. For this reason, the county should have evaluated the necessity of securing visibility at intersections before they consider following the action that Butler County applied.
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