CREDIT: Matt Rosendale for Montana Facebook page
State speed limit laws are evidence of too much government power in Washington D.C., according to Montana State Sen. Matt Rosendale (R), a leading candidate for his state’s lone congressional seat.
Not even 60 seconds into an interview on Tea Party Express’ podcast Monday, Rosendale began bemoaning Montana’s 75 mile per hour speed limit and fondly wishing for the days when the Big Sky state had no speed limit at all. He went on to say the matter illustrates his belief that the federal government has too much power. “It’s a classic example of federal overreach,” Rosendale said.
HOST: They still have that open speed limit there?
ROSENDALE: No they do not. It’s a classic example of federal overreach. The state is dependent upon the federal government for highway funds, so the federal government certainly has the ability to say, “here’s the type of laws you will implement to be eligible for those funds.” So they ended up placing speed limits on the state, so now we have a 75 mile-an-hour speed limit on the interstate.
Listen to it:
Setting aside Rosendale’s spurious argument that the federal government can’t set conditions on money it doles out, there are many good reasons to have a speed limit. Studies have found that higher speed limits result in more highway deaths. In fact, the automobile consumer group AAA found that in the 16 states with speed limits greater than 70 miles per hour, fatalities due to speed-related accidents are higher than the national average.
In addition, speed limits increase fuel efficiency. That’s why Congress set a national speed limit of 55 miles per hour in response to the 1970s Arab oil embargo. As CBS News notes, “Every additional 5 mph above 60 is estimated to cost motorists essentially another 30 cents per gallon.”
This isn’t the only time Rosendale has garnered controversy this campaign. Last month, he released a television ad showing him “shooting down” a drone with his rifle.