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States Looking At Higher Speed Limits

February 7, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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Following a bold move by Texas last year authorizing speed limits as high as 85 mph along certain roads, more states are jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to puttin’ the hammer down – and none contain moves to gives four-wheelers the upper-hand.

A bill has cleared the Mississippi House that would increase the state’s top speed limit along controlled access routes from 70 to 75 mph, except along the busiest areas. It now awaits consideration in the Senate.

If it is signed into law by Gov. Phil Bryant, the state Transportation Department would still have the final word on which sections of highway would qualify for the higher speed limit.

Supporters of the legislation note more than a dozen states have speed limits of 75 mph, while opponents are concerned about the safety affect of a hike and the cost of implementing the changes that includes new road signs.

In Maryland, state lawmakers are considering a proposal that would increase Interstate speed limits from 65 to 70 mph, while there are separate bills to increase the speed limit along the near 19-mile Intercounty Connector, linking I-370 and I-95, from the current 55 to 60 mph to as much as 70 mph. Supporters say the speed limit along the ICC is “artificially low.” The ICC announced earlier this week the speed limit on the connector will already move from 55 to 60 on March 31.

Wyoming’s legislature is looking at a measure that would hike speed limits by 5 mphalong certain routes to 70 mph. If it passes and is signed into law the state DOT would have the final say on the hikes.

Finally, in Utah the House has approved legislation introduced earlier that would increase the speed limit to 80 mph along parts of Interstates 15, 80 and 84. It now moves to the Senate for consideration. While the Beehive State does have a few areas where 80 mph is allowed, most interstate speed limits there are 75 mph in rural area and 65 in urban areas.

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