News
Speed limit update

by Ruth Jones, senior editor

OHIO UNIFORM SPEED BILL STALLED

HB 11 will create uniform 65 mph speed limits for cars and trucks on rural Ohio interstates if it becomes law. While proponent and opponent hearings have been held, no vote on the measure has been scheduled. A straw poll of members of the House Transportation Committee indicated that there is currently not enough support to win approval for the bill.

MICHIGAN UNIFORM SPEED BILL MAY BE DELAYED

The House Transportation Committee heard testimony concerning HB 4377 on May 4. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) opposed raising truck speed limits outright, asking the bill's sponsors instead for a "study" of higher truck speed limits. (A study would raise truck speeds on certain stretches of rural interstates for a period of one year to see what effect the higher truck speed limits have on safety.) MDOT refused to consider 70 mph truck speeds for the study, and bill sponsors and supporters refused to consider MDOT's suggestion for a 60 mph test. Both parties agreed to a test of 65 mph on 500 miles of rural interstates, but a subsequent hearing and vote on the bill may be delayed until autumn unless the committee acts on June 1,(the final committee meeting before the legislature's summer recess).

OREGON SPEED LIMIT BILL MOVING

SB 558, which will raise speed limits to 75 mph for cars and 65 mph for trucks if it becomes law, has passed the Senate and is under consideration by the House Committee on Rules, Elections, and Public Affairs.

LOUISIANA BILLS STILL IN COMMITTEE

SB 700, HB 75, and HB 112, all calling for split speed limits, are still in their committee with little likelihood for action during this session, which winds up June 21.

ADIOS TO SPLIT SPEED LIMITS IN TEXAS?

HB 676 has been approved by both houses of the Texas Legislature and is on Gov. Bush's desk awaiting his signature. The bill calls for uniform speed limits for cars and trucks on many of the state's highways, including interstates. Speed limits for trucks will remain unchanged on farm-to-market and ranch-to-market roads (60 mph day/55 mph night). Once the bill is signed into law, uniform speed limits will take effect Sept. 1.

NO 80 MPH SPEED LIMITS IN TEXAS

HB 3328 that called for speed limits on rural interstate highways of to 75 mph (and in come cases 80 mph) stalled in a conference committee and died at the close of the legislative session.