The Reader’s Viewpoint

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Speed limit increase lacks sense
An 80 miles per hour speed limit! Why? Who benefits from it? What was the rationale behind the increase? Was the Montana Highway Patrol involved in the decision to establish the 80 mph speed limit? What are the benefits? Anyone?
I am a lifelong Montanan who always considered my home state to be one of the “common sense” states. Had to re-think “that” when the “Reasonable and Prudent” speed limit arrived. Took some time to recover from that one! Then along came the vote against a “mandatory seat-belt law” by our Montana legislators who by the way, should have had some sleepless nights whenever they heard of still another death on Montana roadways that might have been avoided had there been a mandatory seat belt law in effect at the time.
Now, we Montanans have another situation to ponder, the merits of which escape me! How can increasing the speed limit to 80 mph possibly be a common sense thing when one considers the numerous negatives? Recent traffic reports show that speeding has contributed to fully one-third of Montana’s highway deaths.
The mph spread between trucks and smaller vehicles has gone from a 10 mph differential to a 15 mph differential which creates an even greater ebb and flow in traffic.  
It is common practice for many drivers to push the boundaries by driving 5 mph faster than the posted maximum 70 mph in a 65 mph zone, 75 mph in 70 mph zone, etc. 85 mph traffic!  Wow! 90 mph anyone?
Other things to consider:
The cost of supplying and installing new signs. Imagine the cost of just one sign, let alone many dozens! Add the cost of determining  which “curves” signs need a speed limits sign installed due to the increase in the mph.
The move to the 80 mph speed limit instantly creates higher fuel consumption, along with more air-pollution!
The largest personal weapon in the U.S. is the motor-vehicle with its thousands of pounds of potential muzzle-velocity. Those two, four, six and more wheeled vehicles on our streets, roads, and highways are projectiles - potentially!  Projectiles of 1,000, 2,000, and up to 6,000 pounds. and more. The person behind the wheel is in control of a weapon.
PS.  While writing this article, I have just been reminded of how common-sense we Montanans are not: collectively speaking that is!  The current Montana Legislature has just turned down a mandatory seat-belt law again!

Lawrence T. Phelps
Laurel

Sen. Tester stands with water users
Earlier this month, the United States Congress voted to permanently gut protections for clean water. The Stream Protection Rule would have provided valuable additional protections for landowners and water users like me.
Agriculture depends on clean water- a precious commodity in places like the Bull Mountains. My thanks to Senator Jon Tester for standing with water users. If only Senator Daines would do the same.
Steve Charter
Shepherd

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check www.laurelexchangeclub.org for more info. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/laurelexchangeclub . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: clubinfo@laurelexchangeclub.org The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, July 3, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961

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