2013 US Trucking Industry News – Proposed Bill for Increasing Maximum Speed in Florida to 75 MPH

Two senators from Florida have submitted a bill that would increase the speed limit to 75 miles per hour on several Florida highways.

This bill, also known as SB362, states that “highways outside an area of 5,000 or more persons and that have four lanes divided by a median strip”. The bill is under the control of Florida’s Department of Transportation, and would be eligible for increased speed limits.

SB362 would need to have the approval from Florida’s Legislature branch, as well as from its governor. If passed, the bill would take effect on July 1, 2014.

Florida highway Patrol

Florida highway Patrol

New Speed Limit

The following states in the US will have to comply to the required speed limits: Georgia

A part of Interstate-285 will increase its speed on November 15, 2013. Its speed limit will go up from 55 miles to 65 miles per hour, for some areas of the perimeter south of I-20.

Tractor Trailer Speed Limit in Georgia Increases to 65 MPH

The east and west interchanges on Interstate-20 will remain at a 55 mile per hour speed limit.

This change is part of a plan to implement the new Variable Speed Limit system, which allows traffic operators to adjust the speed limit based on the current driving conditions.

Around 261,000 drivers utilize I-285 everyday, and only a few of them actually follow the speed limit.

These signs are currently installed, with the Georgia Department of Transportation implementing the change at noon the following day.

Maine

The Maine Senate has approved and passed a bill that allows the state’s transportation commissioner to raise the speed limit on interstate highways to 75 miles per hour. But before these speed limits are raised, the Maine Department of Transportation will need to evaluate whether or not the highway can safely maintain these kinds of speeds.

The bill has now been moved to the desk of Maine’s governor for the final approval.

Illinois

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the governor of Illinois has signed a bill that increases the speed limit on rural interstates from 65 to 70 miles per hour. This bill was sponsored by the state senator and the state representative of Illinois.

Nevada

A bill was recently introduced to the Nevada Senate which, if passed, would raise the speed limit from 75 to 85 miles per hour on certain highways. The Nevada Department of Transportation will still have the authority to raise the speed limit, but only if it determines that the limit of the higher speed is appropriate. Aside from that, the bill also lets the NDOT to set lower speed limits for commercial vehicles.

The senator who has introduced the bill has said that the increased speeds will not result in more fatalities.

Texas

Last year, the speed limits for some highways in Texas have increased to 85 miles per hour. During the springtime, select highways in the Waco area will have speed limits raised to 75 miles per hour.

This is the result of a state law implemented in 2011 that allowed highways that have been declared reasonable and safe to be eligible for increased speed limits. In some areas, the speed limit signs have already gone up.

According to Ken Roberts of the Texas Department of Transportation, the pavement’s condition, the width, and shoulders are the kind of things that establish the safety and ability of a roadway to provide the raised speed. Some of the speed limits have already been put up on parts I-35 on Hill Country and State Highway 22 in Bosque County. In March and April, new signs are expected to be built in McLennan County. Until then, drivers should obey the 70-mph speed limit.

Speed limits will be increased on the following roads:

State highway 164, between Riesel and Mart
Highway 84, from Bellmead east, to the Limestone County line
McGregor west to the Coryell County line
State highway 31, from the US highway 84 split northeast to the Hill County line
State highway 317, from Moody north to southern McGregor city
North of McGregor to Valley Mills

Interstate-35 sections that currently have a 70 mph speed limit in McLennan County will increase to 75 miles per hour, once the construction of the highway is complete.

In the United States, speed limits are assigned by each territory or state. They are always posted in an addition of five miles per hour. Some of these states do have lower limits for trucks and at night, and on occasion, there are even minimum speed limits. Most of these speed limits are set by local statute. But each state may allow several different agencies to set a different, generally lower limit.

75 mph (12 kilometers per hour) is generally the highest speed limit in the western states, while 70 mph (113 km/h) is for eastern states. Few states, mostly in the northeast, have 65 miles per hour (105 km/h) limits, while Hawaii only has 60 mph (97 km/h) maximum limits. Small portions of the road networks in Texas and Utah have higher limits. From 1974 to 1987, federal law has prohibited speed limits that are higher than 55 mph (89 km/h).

Some authorities have set lower speed limits that only apply to large vehicles such as buses or heavy trucks. However, these speed limits do not apply to lighter trucks.

Since trucks are classified as 7 or 8 and are far heavier than other types of vehicles. They take longer to stop, are not capable of avoiding hazards, and have more momentum. Basic physics show that limiting the speed of trucks could reduce the severity and incidents of truck accidents and crashes. But this research is mixed—A study back in 1987 has shown that trucks that drive much slower than passenger vehicles have a higher chance of getting into a crash. This is due to the difference in speed between these passenger vehicles and slow trucks. It is also stated that “no conclusive evidence could be found to support or reject the use of differential speed limits for passenger cars and heavy trucks.”

Around two thirds (or 67%) of truck crashes are caused by the passenger vehicle.

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