Higher speed limit bill advances in Kentucky

| 2/3/2006

A Kentucky Senate panel has approved a bill that would raise the speed limit on the state’s rural interstates and parkways.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted 11-0 Wednesday, Feb. 1, to advance a bill that would increase the speed limit for all vehicles to 70 mph – up from the current 65 mph.

The measure now heads to the full Senate for further consideration. If approved there, it would move to the House.

First proposed by Gov. Ernie Fletcher, the bill – SB103 – also would allow the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to raise the speed limit on other four-lane roads from 55 mph to 65 mph.

The effort to increase the 65 mph limit has received widespread support from state officials.

Transportation Cabinet officials told the panel before the vote that they did not believe the higher limit would result in more dangerous highways.

“We believe the 70 mph limit would be more realistic and enforceable,” Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert told lawmakers, according to The Courier-Journal.

Nighbert said he has seen no data showing a significant increase in accidents and fatalities in the 31 states that have limits above 65 mph.

House Speaker Jody Richards also is on board.

“Most people drive 70 anyway,” Richards, D-Bowling Green, told The Associated Press. “I think that will pass the House.”