Speed Limit Legislative News

By John Carr, NMA Activist

It’s the time of the year when many state legislatures convene.

In Iowa, a bill would raise speed limits on two lane roads from 55 to 60. According to the DOT, the 85th percentile speed is slightly over 65 so this increase is not enough. The limit should be at least 65 or 70, like most Western states. (Sources: Des Moines Register; Land Line) This bill has been filed before. Iowa moves slowly on speed. It took a decade after repeal of the national speed limit before the Interstate speed limit went up to 70.

In Kansas, a bill would raise speed limits on four lane divided highways from 70 to 75.

In Massachusetts, the perennial bill to reduce speed limits from 30 to 25 in built up areas will be considered again. In the past it has passed preliminary votes but never made it through the full set of three votes in each branch of the legislature. Recently a bicyclist died in an accident in congested downtown Boston and the Boston Globe took the opportunity to print a bicyclist group’s push for a speed limit reduction. Apparently nobody at the Globe saw any irony in bicyclists who drive with complete contempt for the law calling for stricter laws.

In Michigan, a law passed several years ago has recently been interpreted to allow speed limits above 55 on two lane roads. US 2 on the Upper Peninsula is among the roads with higher limits.

The Wyoming House approved a bill allowing cars to exceed the speed limit by 10 mph while passing on a two lane road. (Source: Land Line) Minnesota, Montana, and Washington have similar laws.

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