An Idaho state lawmaker has renewed his effort to do away
with the state's split speed limit.
Sen. Tim Corder, R-Mountain Home, wants to tweak the speeds
on interstate highways in the state to 70 mph for all vehicles. Existing state
law allows cars to drive 75 mph while large trucks are limited to 65 mph.
Corder, a trucking company owner, pulled from consideration
a bill a year ago that would have kept car speeds at 75 mph while moving truck
speeds up to the same rate. He said he wanted to come up with more data to
support his effort to eliminate the speed differential.
This year's version - S1075 - is awaiting consideration in
the Senate Transportation Committee.
Corder told Land Line
the lower limit for vehicles with five or more axles operating at a gross
weight of more than 26,000 pounds is cause for concern because of the number of
"interactions" that result between cars and trucks.
"Differential speeds cause people to change lanes more
often," Corder said. "There are more difficulties caused by sideswipes and
people changing lanes abruptly because people realize someone is going much
slower in front of them. So, there are more interactions going on."
Corder said his proposal is supported by a recent study from
the University of Arkansas that shows 68 mph speed limits result in the fewest
number of wrecks.
"It convinced me that I needed to do this again so at least
we could have this debate in Idaho," he said.
The bill is expected to get a committee hearing as early as
Tuesday, Feb. 13.
- By Keith Goble,
state legislative editor