The Indiana Senate has approved a bill that would increase
the speed limit on certain non-interstate highways. The bill would maintain the
state’s 5-mph speed differential for cars and large trucks.
Senators voted 38-10 on Monday, Feb. 28, to forward the
proposal to the House for further consideration. The Senate vote comes just
weeks after the chamber passed a separate initiative offered by Sen. Greg
Server, R-Goshen, to increase limits on rural stretches of interstate.
Sponsored by Sen. Marvin Riegsecker, R-Goshen, Monday’s
measure targets those stretches of highway with design features similar to
those of an interstate, such as grade-separated interchanges and wide lanes designed
for higher speeds.
the bill – SB127 – four stretches of existing road would see speed limits for
cars increase from 55 mph to 65 mph. The speed for trucks would be raised to 60
affected stretches would be U.S. 20 from the intersection of U.S. 20 and County
Road 17 in Elkhart County to the intersection of U.S. 20 and U.S. 31 in St.
Joseph County; and U.S. 31 from the intersection of U.S. 31 and U.S. 20 in St.
Joseph County to the boundary line between Indiana and Michigan.
proposal also would affect about 75 miles of highway yet to be built, The
Indianapolis Star reported.
Server’s bill – SB217 – would raise the speed limit from 60
mph to 65 mph for large trucks and from 65 mph to 70 mph for all other vehicles
on interstates outside areas with populations of at least 50,000.
bills have been sent to the House for further consideration.
Another bill would make the same changes offered by Server
on the Indiana Toll Road.
HB1393, sponsored by Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Howe, is
awaiting action before the full House.
of the proposals argue better-designed vehicles and roads justify higher
limits. The intent, they say, is simply to raise limits to the actual speed at
which drivers are traveling.
new vehicle and road designs, we can travel at higher speeds,” Riegsecker said.
Todd Spencer, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator
Independent Drivers Association, said lawmakers were missing a greater
opportunity to do away with split speeds.
of the main reasons highway safety has improved even as states nationwide
increase speed limits is because higher speed limits tend to eliminate or
minimize speed variances that are often key contributors to accidents,” Spencer
said. “It makes sense now for lawmakers to use this legislation as an
opportunity to once and for all establish uniform speed limits for the state’s
Spencer says it is important that Indiana truckers
communicate to their elected officials that uniform speeds are safer for all