drivers in Indiana would be allowed to travel a little faster on various roadways
in the state under a bill approved by House lawmakers Tuesday, April 5.
bill, which passed the House 68-25, now must return to the Senate for approval
of changes before heading to Gov. Mitch Daniels.
Senate version dealt only with increasing the speed limit on rural interstates
from 65 mph to 70 mph for cars and from 60 mph to 65 mph for large trucks.
bill passed the Senate 34-15. If senators don’t go along with the House
changes, conferees from both chambers could be appointed to work on a
House added provisions that would increase the speed limit on the Indiana Toll
Road to 65 mph for trucks and 70 mph for cars. It also would increase speeds on
rural stretches of divided, four-lane highways for all vehicles to 60 mph.
limits are 60 mph for trucks and 65 mph for cars on the toll road and 55 mph on
four-lane highway provision is intended to target 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.
change made to SB217, sponsored by Sen. Greg Server, R-Evansville, would boost
speeds from 55 mph to 65 mph on four stretches of road totaling about 50 miles.
The affected stretches would be U.S. 20 from the intersection with
County Road 17 in Elkhart County to the intersection with U.S. 31 in St. Joseph
County; and U.S. 31 from the intersection with U.S. 20 in St. Joseph County to
the Indiana-Michigan boundary.
Supporters of the legislation 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.
signed into law, the Indiana State Police would be responsible for tracking
traffic fatalities so lawmakers will have data to help them evaluate the
measure’s effect on highway deaths.
also added a provision to the bill that would toughen penalties for road rage.
would create a specific charge for aggressive driving for motorists who have
the intent to harass or intimidate another person in a way that risks property
damage or bodily injury.
in at least three acts such as honking your horn, tailgating and flashing
headlights while driving could result in up to one year in jail and a $5,000
fine. Violators could face felony charges if they injure or kill someone.