Idaho bill would eliminate split speed limits

| 2/9/2006

If an Idaho state senator gets his way, the state’s split speed limit on interstate highways will be eliminated.

Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, has introduced a bill that would allow large trucks to travel up to 75 mph – the same limit as all other vehicles. Currently, big rigs are limited to 65 mph on the affected roadways.

Corder, a trucking company owner, says the lower limit for vehicles with five or more axles operating at a gross weight of more than 26,000 pounds is unrealistic for today’s trucks.

“We like ours to run the most efficiently, which saves fuel, and oftentimes that speed is greater than the 65,” Corder told the Senate Transportation Committee, The Times-News in Twin Falls reported.

Committee Chairman Skip Brandt, R-Kooskia, said he agreed.

“Currently, with the load of congestion that we do have on our highways, you put in a truck or anything that’s holding back the flow of traffic, and people do stupid things,” Brandt told The Times-News. “Everybody’s in a hurry.”

Officials with AAA of Idaho, however, said their organization is opposed to increasing the truck speed limit. They opposed a similar effort a year ago because they say faster trucks are dangerous and cause more road damage.

Corder’s bill, S1349, is expected to get a full hearing in the coming weeks.