Kansas energy group touts lower speed limit

| 8/19/2008

An advisory panel in Kansas is looking into whether to reduce the speed limit by 5 mph on some highways in the state.

The Kansas Energy Council is mulling over the idea in an effort to encourage more energy efficient driving and reduce greenhouse gas emissions thought to contribute to global warning. Appointed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, the council advises the governor and lawmakers in the state on energy policy.

There is expected to be an opportunity this fall for public comment on the plan to reduce the state’s 70 mph speed limit to 65 mph – affecting 8 percent of highways in the state.

An endorsement by the council must be approved by the Kansas Legislature before it could take effect. Acknowledging that a change in the speed limit is a long shot, supporters say they want to continue to debate the proposal, The Hays Daily News reported.

Other recommendations backed by the group include boosting speeding fines by 50 percent.

Also drawing consideration is whether to reduce the so-called “10 mile exemption” on highways to 5 mph. Kansas law now exempts speeders ticketed for driving less than 10 mph in excess of the speed limit from having infractions counted as moving violations on their driving records.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Kansas in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor