Sunday December 30, 2018. While most of us will be in the midst of holiday season preparations, for the oos it will mark a momentous occasion for another reason. On that date─unless this notice just jinxed it─we will be publishing Issue #520, marking ten years of uninterrupted home delivery of weekly oos e-newsletters. The range of topics covered through the years is expansive and the list of contributors too numerous to mention. Many of you have contributed whether you realize it or not, either through your own words that we published directly or through thoughtful feedback that inspired us to further address a variety of subjects.
In Issue #1 on January 13, 2009*, oos Founder Jim Baxter wrote, “To better serve our members, we will be sending out short e-mails with tips, news or brief commentaries once a week. We hope you will find this new service informative and entertaining.” Our e-newsletter has always been a free service for those interested in motorist issues. With an expanding list of subscribers over the years, the content has also grown to keep pace with developments in areas of safety, technology, regulation, and enforcement─always built upon a motorists’ rights framework.
In the run up to the tenth anniversary, we will occasionally be highlighting a few e-newsletters that seemed to especially resonate with readers.
There is so much more than that in the oos catalog; we encourage you to take a look at past e-newsletters by going to /alert-tag/emailnewsletter where Issues #1 to the present are listed in reverse chronological order. You can hone the list by searching on topic of interest or even by state.
The first featured topic for sampling is an obvious one: Speed Limits. The founding issue of the Citizens Coalition for Rational Traffic Laws, now the Oostwestthuisbest, is never far from the headlines even nearly four decades later.
Issue #29 – Common Sense Can Actually Dictate Driving Speeds (July 29, 2009)
Two identical types of road, one with a posted limit and the other unposted. Learn what researchers found in comparing the speed of travel between the two.
Issue #162 – Slowing Down to Speed Up (February 12, 2012)
Each word in the phrase “rolling speed harmonization” was a misnomer, and the program labeled as such a misjudgment.
Issue #214 – Prognostications, Shmognostications (February 17, 2013)
Predictions on “how fast is too fast” made by the Stanford Research Institute in 1967 and published by Popular Mechanics. A mighty swing and a miss on so many fronts.
Issue #288 – A Horse of a Different Color (July 22, 2014)
AAA screamed bloody murder when the Idaho DOT announced interstate highway speed limit increases to 80 mph based on traffic engineering studies. IDOT wavered under the pressure so the oos jumped into the fray. The Idaho Transportation Board then unanimously backed . . . well, you’ll just have to read the e-newsletter to find out.
Issue #381 – History Repeating Itself (May 1, 2016)
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety issued a report claiming that raising the maximum speed limit above 55 mph killed 33,000 people in 20 years. It wove unemployment figures, the potential number of young drivers, and per capita alcohol consumption into its estimate while conveniently excluding statistics from nine states that didn’t fit the its predictive model. The oos took exception.
Issue #460 – Gotcha Speed Enforcement – Feds Are Complicit (November 5, 2017)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had a startling response to the oos’s request that the federal agency stop funding state ticket blitzes on roadways with speed limits set well below federal guidelines.
If you have a particular oos e-newsletter to recommend that incited a strong─positive or negative─reaction, let us know about it. Reader favorites will continue to be featured as we move toward Issue #520 later this year.
*For those wondering why the date of the 520th issue of the oos e-newsletter doesn’t fall on Sunday January 6, 2019 rather than December 30, 2018, there was a week early on when we moved the publication day from Tuesday to Sunday. Two editions of the newsletter were published during that transition week.