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Speed Limit Would Increase Under Proposal

KSCB News - January 26, 2011 9:33 am

Just how fast, is fast enough? Right now, the state says 70 miles per hour, but not all drivers agree.

"A lot of people speed anyway, and most of them will do 75," said driver Diane Faris.

So a proposal would go ahead and make the speed limit 75. The Kansas House of Representatives Transportation Committee is holding a hearing to discuss the bill Wednesday. It would change the speed limit on separated multi-lane highways.

"Freight would get to where it needed to go a lot sooner, I mean, boost the economy," said truck driver Robert Nading.

But safety experts say more speed means more serious accidents.

"Coming off of a couple of years where the fatality rate has been the lowest it’s been probably in our lifetimes, that concerns me that we might see that fatality rate increase across the board here in the state of Kansas," said Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Gary Warner.

And Troopers say with distracted drivers on the roads, speed could be the difference between life and death.

"A minor mistake at slow speeds is a lot different than a minor mistake at high speeds," said Warner.

Supporters of the bill say it makes sense to change the law, as neighboring states Oklahoma, Colorado, and Nebraska all allow speed limits to reach 75.

While some drivers say they’re not so sure about the change, others say a little more speed, especially in Western Kansas, wouldn’t hurt.

"Nobody’s out there on the road! You know as long as you’ve got the safe drivers," said Nading.

While Troopers did discuss the dangers of high speed, neither the Kansas Highway Patrol nor the Kansas Department of Transportation are testifying either way on the issue.

 

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