Speed limits in Idaho could soon move higher but trucks will still have to travel slower.
Legislation signed into law by Gov. Butch Otter allows an increase of up to 80 mph along interstate routes and 70 mph along state highways, but trucks would continue to be limited up to 10 mph slower.
The law leaves the final decision for any increase up to the Idaho Transportation Department, once it has competed studies to see if the routes could handle the higher speeds.
Supporters of increasing the speed limit say that many motorists are already driving around the higher speed limits and states that have made a similar hike have not seen an increase in truck crashes. Opponents, such as the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, say different speed limits increase the chances of crashes.
While the new law doesn’t take effect until July 1, Idaho’s Transportation Department is expected to begin studies about hiking the speed limit this spring, with higher speed limits possibly appearing as soon as this summer, according to published reports.
If the higher speed limits are approved, Idaho would join Texas and Utah, which currently allow a top speed limit of 80 mph along select routes, while legislation in Wyoming was recently signed into law allowing the same increase, provided they are approved by the Wyoming DOT.