Some Arkansas highway speeds could be on the rise down the road

| 3/21/2007

Gov. Mike Beebe has signed a bill into law that could result in all traffic traveling 10 mph faster along some highways in Arkansas.

The House voted 95-1 to approve a bill that would direct the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department to study two-lane and four-lane highways where the speed limit is 55 mph to determine if the maximum speed could safely be increased to 65 mph. The Senate followed suit by unanimously approving the bill. The votes cleared the way for the bill to head to the governor's desk.

Sponsored by Rep. Scott Sullivan, D-De Queen, the measure - HB1342 - requires the department to complete the report and present its findings to lawmakers by fall 2008.

To minimize the cost to the state, the study will be conducted as part of other routine studies on roads.

Sullivan acknowledged the agency already has authority to change speed limits on state highways. His bill simply urges the department to do the study.