All vehicles soon could be allowed to drive a little faster along a stretch of Interstate 15 in central and southern Utah.
State law now allows vehicles traveling along I-15 from Nephi to Cedar City to drive 75 mph. Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. signed HB406 into law, giving the Utah Department of Transportation authority to determine if the speed limit safely can be increased to 80 mph or higher between Mile Markers 222 and 64.
To determine whether the speed limit could be safely raised, UDOT will be responsible for conducting a study on the subject. An environmental study also will be required to determine the effects of raising the speed limit.
Opponents said higher speed limits would result in increased deaths from traffic wrecks.
Supporters said vehicle speed doesn’t equate to deaths. Driver error causes wrecks, they said.
Drivers still would be required to merge right after overtaking and passing other vehicles. Passing would be prohibited if vehicles cannot maintain the minimum speed limit.
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– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor