Idaho passes speed trap protection

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A new law in Idaho is intended to ease the concerns of truckers and others traveling highways in the state about towns lowering speed limits to generate revenue. It takes effect July 1, 2012.

Currently, Idaho law authorizes local governments to set speed limits on state highways that run through city limits. The local power can result in posted speeds that are at least 10 mph lower than outside their boundaries.

Gov. Butch Otter signed into law a bill to strip the authority from towns. Instead, power to set speed limits on highways will soon be returned to the Idaho Transportation Department.

Supporters said the change would help eliminate needless speed traps near small towns. Communities around the state that have reputations for extended slow zones along highways include Bellevue, Donnelly and New Meadows.

Critics doubted the state can assess speed settings in communities as well as local government.

Previously H619, the new law requires ITD to investigate and base posted speeds on “sound traffic engineering safety standards.” Localities could do their own study and request a different posted speed from the department.

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

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