Canadian Firefighter Magazine

Traffic fatalaties fall with rising gas proces

By Canadian Firefighter   

Features Blogs Editor’s blog

July 28, 2008

With gasoline prices bouncing to as much as $1.35 a litre and beyond, depending on the region you are in, there's no shortage of reasons to grind your teeth while you fill your tank (not to mention filling those pumpers, ladder trucks, emergency response vehicles, etc.)

In a country as large as
Canada, gasoline and driving is a virtual necessity for many, if not most
people. So finding a silver lining in higher gasoline prices is not easy
(especially if you spend your down time ferrying kids all over the countryside
to sports and other events.)

Well, here's something
that will touch the heart of firefighters and emergency responders everywhere:
preliminary data is showing that as gasoline prices rise, traffic fatalities are

"When the economy is in
the tank and fuel prices are high, you typically see a decline in miles driven
and traffic deaths," John Ulczycki, executive director for transportation safety
with the U.S.-based National Safety Council told The Associated

What's more, researchers
say they have seen this movie before — during the gasoline shortage of the
early 1970s. That crisis triggered a national speed limited of 55 mph in the
United States. Slower drivers coupled with less driving because of high fuel
costs meant safer roads. And some politicians are starting to think legislating
slower speed limits might be a good next step.

It may not do your
pocketbook any direct good, but there's comfort in knowing there might actually
be fewer accidents, fewer deaths and injuries, and safer roads for all of

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