An effort to raise the speed limit on Kentucky’s rural
interstates and parkways has died. The bill remained in the House
Transportation Committee when the session ended this month, effectively killing
it for the year.
The Senate had approved it in February.
First proposed by Gov. Ernie Fletcher, the bill sought to
increase the speed limit for all vehicles to 70 mph – up from the current 65
The bill – SB103 – also would have allowed 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 had received
widespread support from state officials before stalling in the House.
Transportation Cabinet officials told lawmakers that they
did not believe the higher limit would result in more dangerous highways. Transportation
Secretary Bill Nighbert said the 70 mph would be more realistic and
Nighbert said he hasn’t seen any data showing a significant
increase in wrecks and fatalities in the 31 states that have limits above 65
House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, also was on
board. She said most people drive 70 anyway.
Supporters of increasing the speed limit will have to wait
until January 2007 to revisit the issue.