Iowa bill would boost highway speed

| 1/26/2011

An Iowa state lawmaker is once again pursuing an effort to increase the speed limit by 5 mph on Iowa?s primary highways.

Sen. Steve Kettering, R-Lake View, is the sponsor of a bill that would boost the speed limit from 55 mph to 60 mph on two-lane state highways. Two-lane county roads would remain unchanged. Divided, multilane expressways and interstates would also not be affected.

The higher speed is already used in nearby Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota, Minnesota and Missouri. Illinois and Wisconsin have stuck with the 55 mph law.

Kettering, and others, have pursued the 60 mph speed limit change during most of the past decade. The efforts have struggled to advance from committee.

Hopeful that this year?s session could be different, Kettering is once again pushing for the change. The argument in favor of the change is that drivers already are traveling at the higher limit.

Critics question whether it?s a good idea to boost speeds to enable drivers to get to their destination a few seconds earlier.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has concluded during past sessions that increasing the speed limit would result in as many as 20 additional deaths on state highways each year.

The bill ? SF3 ? is in the Senate Transportation Committee.

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

Editor?s Note: Please share your thoughts with us about the legislation included in this story. Comments may be sent to