Bill would raise speeds on North Dakota county roads

| Monday, January 24, 2005

If a North Dakota state lawmaker gets his way, drivers would be permitted to travel a little faster on county roads.

Under current state law, drivers can legally travel up to 55 mph on paved roads that do not have speed limit signs.

Rep. Bill Kretschmar, R-Venturia, has introduced a measure that would raise the limit on paved, unposted county roads to 60 mph.

The bill – HB1299 – was the subject of a recent hearing in the House Transportation Committee.

Kretschmar told lawmakers he often drivers a McIntosh County road between Lehr and Ashley near his home. He said the road is at least as good as two nearby state highways, The Forum reported.

Wade Williams, a spokesman for the North Dakota Association of Counties, said the proposal would make road upkeep more expensive. Curved stretches that need lower speed limits would have to be posted, he said.

“You’re looking at a lot of signs, that the counties would have to install at $150 a sign,” he said.

Also, because the roads were designed for slower speeds, counties also could be liable for some accidents, Williams warned.

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