FEDERALROAD FUNDS FOR SPEED LIMIT ENFORCEMENT
Thefederal government has authority to take over matters of transport ininstances where individual states fail to take full responsibility.The proposal that all states must have a fixed speed limit was passedby the Congress for a positive outcome and should have worked to fora better outcome (Council, 2008). Legally, the government is heldaccountable for safety issues in its countries as monitored by theministry of roads and safety of travelers. Therefore, to some extentthe federal government is not to blame for the course of action itopted for towards improving the state of matters on all roads in thestates.
Impositionof speed limits has always been the role of states because it is thestates that understand the nature of their roads. Setting speedlimits was, traditionally, the states’ responsibility except forthe years 1973-1994. During these years, the government appropriatelyintervened and set a speed limit for all roads and superhighwayscutting across states. After these years, most states increased theirspecified speed limit for reasons that are not well understood(Harsha Hedlund & North, 2007). Threatening to withhold the roadfunds may have been triggered by the rebellion that states showedtowards maintaining discipline on the roads. The government was rightin choosing to withhold road highway funds to states that failed tolegislate the national policy. The federal government acted in itsposition by trying to make the individual states responsible forsafety on the roads. The issue on withholding road and highway fundsappear to a government interest to benefit from the funds yet it wasonly meant to act as a consequence to the states that failed tocomply with the legislation.
Thefixed speed limit bill evoked reactions from both states and theCongress in a significant manner. To the majority of the Congress,the mandate directed towards states was only positive sided. It wasentirely meant to make the states responsible for such criticalmatters. However, the states’ authorities have expressed greatrejection towards the policy for many reasons. The major con attachedto this legislation is the persistence friction between the federalgovernment and the states in the transport sector. The officials inthe transport sector in particular states disregard the involvementof the government in the roads sector. Therefore, with the forcedlaws and threats, it appears as though the government is forcing itsway into the matters of the transport sector. A more liberal approachand negotiation with the states could have led to appreciation andcompliance with the laws.
Secondly,the threat to withhold public road funds portrays a very negativeimage of the federal government. Most citizens and the state sectorshave always raised issues regarding disbursement of funds fordevelopment of other areas (Harsha Hedlund & North, 2007).Touching on public funds by using it as a threat to the countriespaints the picture of a greedy federal government. The downside tothis mandate is that it is centered misuse of authority to threatenthe states over something that should happen out of obligation. Theenactment of this policy took a negative approach especially becauseof the threat issues to it. Even though the government may have beenpushed to act that way, the outcome is devastating. A better waywould have been to help the states deal with the issues of safety anddiscipline along the roads.
Council,A. T. (2008). National road safety action plan 2009 and 2010. (p 41).The council.
Harsha,B., Hedlund, J., & North, H. S. (2007). Changing America’sculture of speed on the roads. ImprovingTraffic Safety Culture in the United States,257.