If a Wisconsin state lawmaker gets his way, drivers on
certain highways in the state would be able to cruise along at speeds 10 mph
faster than the current limit.
Sen. Tom Reynolds, R-West Allis, is pushing the idea of
raising the state’s 65 mph speed limit on rural interstates and expressways to
“We have an artificially low speed limit at 65,” Reynolds
told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, noting that drivers already exceed
He said the higher limit would lead to safer roads because
all drivers would travel at the same speed.
Opponents, including chairs of the Assembly and Senate
transportation panels, have raised concerns that the move could increase
traffic fatalities. Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle also cited safety concerns when
asked about the proposal.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation hasn’t yet taken
a formal position on the effort.
Eric Skrum, a spokesman for the National Motorists
Association, a Wisconsin-based group, likes what he hears about the proposed
“This is going to make the roads safer,” Skrum told Land
Skrum said the majority of traffic is traveling 75 mph
already. He said raising the speed limit will mean that more people will be
driving the same speed.
“Traffic will flow much smoother. You will have less weaving
in and out of traffic, less tailgating and less congestion because the majority
of the traffic is going roughly the same speed. It’s a safer driving
environment,” Skrum said. “Speed doesn’t kill. It’s the speed differential that
Reynolds intends to formally introduce the bill some time
after Thursday, July 21.
By Keith Goble,
state legislative editor