Franklin D. Roosevelt

Appeal to Governors to Conserve Rubber by Reducing Speed Limits

March 14, 1942

As you know, we are doing everything possible to conserve rubber. The situation in the Far East makes this very necessary for the successful prosecution of the war effort.

It has been said that a large part of our rubber stockpile is on the wheels of the more than 30,000,000 motor vehicles of the country. If this stockpile is conserved by the individual motorists, as we are endeavoring to conserve the national stockpile, tires will last much longer, cars will run much farther, and civilian life will be less disturbed because of lack of sufficient transportation facilities.

Rubber experts agree that fast driving wastes rubber and that tires run many more miles when driven at limited rates of speed. May I suggest that this waste could be curtailed to the advantage of the individual motorist, and likewise to the advantage of the country, if the speed of all motor vehicles were limited to a maximum of forty miles per hour and if regulations were promulgated requiring frequent checking of tires in order to insure their repair or, where possible, retreading at the proper time. I would greatly appreciate your cooperation in an effort to achieve these objectives throughout the country.

The tire rationing program, so recently established by the Office of Price Administration, has been a marked success and has met with ready acceptance throughout the United States, largely because of the enthusiastic cooperation and participation on the part of the Governors and their State defense councils. Reduction of speed limits and regular inspection of tires constitute another important means of Federal-State cooperation in the war effort.

Very sincerely yours,

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Appeal to Governors to Conserve Rubber by Reducing Speed Limits Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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