Residents asked for the change, reports Glenn Adams of the Portland Press Herald. They told Adams no one followed the lower limit anyway and when state Rep. Alexander Willette went campaigning door-to-door last year in his northern district, people kept asking him to get the limit raised. When he drafted a bill, he found that the Maine Department of Highways had already completed studies about raising the limit and determined the change was justified. Because of residents' lax attitude toward the lower limit, the law passed quickly and quietly through the legislature.
Though residents and some in government approve of the change, others like insurance representative Anne Flemming told Adams the higher limit will encourage faster speeding and could cause more severe accidents. The American Trucking Association, which has previously lobbied for a national speed limit of 65 mph, say the issue is also an economic one for them because slower speeds help truckers save money on fuel. (Read more)