Arkansas asking for feedback before potentially raising speed limit to 75 mph

The Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT) is open to comments on whether the state should raise its maximum speed limit to 75 mph.

This 45-day comment period began on October 30, 2017, and ending December 13, 2017.

In the press release the ArDOT stated, “Pursuant to the passage of Act 1097 to “Amend the Law Concerning Speed Limits” by the 91st General Assembly of the Arkansas State Legislature, the Department has conducted an engineering and traffic investigation to determine the feasibility of increasing the speed limits on state highways.”

Within minutes of opening the comment forum, ArDOT received many comments that raising the speed limit would cause drivers that already speed to drive even faster.

Legislators this year approved raising interstate highway speeds to 75 mph and said motorists on other highways should be allowed to go faster, too, if engineering studies show it can be done safely, according to SFGate.

“With the speed limit being 60 I have people passing me when I’m driving about 64, looking like they’re driving about 80,” a motorist from Hoxie wrote. “If you raise the speed limit, people are going to think they need to drive 90 or faster. … Please don’t raise it.”

Highway department spokesperson, Danny Straessle, said that motorists that make comments about themselves speeding will not be prosecuted for their feedback. Law enforcement would have to witness the act in order to ticket drivers. ArDOT welcomes honest feedback.

Eleven other states have already increased their speed limits to 75 mph, while some like Texas have gone as far to raise the speed limit to 80 mph and above.

SFGate reported that more than half of the 40,000 vehicles that travel daily between Little Rock and Memphis, Tennessee, are 18-wheelers. This speed limit increase has the potential to greatly affect a large number of trucks traveling on Arkansas highways. Straessle responded to allegations that an increased speed limit would encourage drivers who are already speeding to drive even faster. He said, “A highway department study showed that 85 percent of the state’s drivers travel at 71 mph or less in 70 mph zones.”

if the Highway Commission approves speed limits on highways to 75 mph, other areas will also feel the increase. Supposedly rural multi-lane highways will increase to 65 mph while other rural highways could jump up to 60 mph.

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