Kentucky governor expected to OK speed limit increase

| 3/13/2007

The Kentucky Senate has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would allow the state to raise the speed limit on rural interstates and parkways.

Senators voted 35-2 to sign off on the House-approved version of the bill that could increase the speed limit for all vehicles to 70 mph - up from the current 65 mph. Speed limits on the state's urban interstates would be unchanged.

The bill - SB83 - now heads to Gov. Ernie Fletcher's desk where he previously expressed support for the idea.

Sponsored by Sen. Brett Guthrie, R-Bowling Green, the bill would require the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to review the parts of roadways where the maximum speed limit could be increased. The House added a provision that would prohibit raising the speed limit inside metro Louisville and near Cincinnati in Northern Kentucky, The Associated Press reported.

Opponents say increasing vehicle speeds would make roadways more dangerous and increase fuel consumption. Supporters point out that speeds only would be adjusted along stretches that are identified as capable of handling speed increases.

A similar effort offered during the 2006 session died in the House after advancing from the Senate. Last year's version included a provision to raise the speed limit on other four-lane roads from 55 mph to 65 mph.

In hopes of getting the bill through the Legislature this year, Guthrie removed the provision for higher speeds on state highways.