Arizona bill would split speeds

| 2/12/2008

A bill in the Arizona House would require large trucks traveling along certain stretches of interstates to slow down by 5 mph. Other traffic would continue at current speeds.

State law now allows all traffic to drive 65 mph on interstate highways outside urban areas that have populations of at least 50,000. The Arizona Department of Transportation also can set speeds on rural portions of interstates at 75 mph.

Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, has introduced a bill that would slow large trucks by 5 mph along interstates posted with 65 mph speed limits. The measure – HB2314 – would require vehicles in excess of 26,000 pounds declared gross weight to drive 60 mph.

All other vehicles would be allowed to continue to travel at the current 65 mph speed limit.

Supporters say requiring trucks to drive at speeds slower than over vehicles would make for safer travel.

Opponents say slowing trucks down to speeds slower than other vehicles does not promote safety on the highways. In fact, they said it does exactly the opposite by requiring that vehicles are constantly in conflict with each other.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer pointed out that 40 states now have uniform speed limits for all vehicles using their highways. “The only speed limit policy that makes any sense is the kind that has all vehicles traveling at the same speed,” he told Land Line.

The bill is in the House Transportation and Rules committees.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Arizona, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor